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Team Climate Change - 2022 Technology, Innovation & Great Power Competition

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Team Climate Change - 2022 Technology, Innovation & Great Power Competition

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Technology Innovation and Great Power Competition,TIGPC, Gordian knot Center, DIME-FIL, department of defense, dod, intlpol 340, joe felter, ms&e296, raj shah, stanford, Steve blank, AI, ML, AI/ML, china, climate

Technology Innovation and Great Power Competition,TIGPC, Gordian knot Center, DIME-FIL, department of defense, dod, intlpol 340, joe felter, ms&e296, raj shah, stanford, Steve blank, AI, ML, AI/ML, china, climate

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Team Climate Change - 2022 Technology, Innovation & Great Power Competition

  1. Jenn Zhou XiaoJian MA, East Asian Studies Songchen Yao BA, Economics Stuart Schonberger DCI Fellow AJ E Rodriguez MS, Chemical Eng. Sarvesh Babu BS, Maths and EE Mitra Naeimi DCI Fellow Great Power Competition: Climate Change 16 Interviews - Radical Change in Hypothesis Original Problem Statement What combinations of technologies and international financial relationships should the US prioritize to mitigate climate change? Final Problem Statement How should the US manage China’s dominance in solar panels?
  2. Our Journey: Enriching but Unfinished Week 2 3 4 6 5 7 8 9 10 Optimism about our project Ideation Joining of forces Solar power identified DoD angle? Bring back manufacturing? Benefits of Chinese entrance Two-prong strategy DoD perspective revisited Building blocks of strategy …?
  3. W2: Team Merger - Both Teams Focused on Climate Change How to realize a holistic solution with both technological and financial feasibility? Team A: � How can climate change be mitigated by optimizing the distribution of electricity with AI? ■ How batteries can be optimized to selectively distribute power? ■ How Artificial Intelligence can optimize the distribution of power to areas of greater demand? Team B: � What financial partnerships and incentives should the US prioritize to mitigate climate change? ■ How China-based investment firms are sourcing their capital? ■ How international investment firms are sourcing their capital? ■ Supply chain issues? ■ International partnerships? Does Climate Change Impact National Defense?
  4. W3: Agreeing upon a Renewable Energy Technology � Supply chain � Artificial Intelligence � Power Grid Infrastructure � Batteries � Manufacturing � Finance � Global Partnerships � Technology dominated by China ■ Manufacturing ■ Threatens US Supply Chain � Threatens US National Defense � Technology that combats climate change � Solar Power ■ DoE: 40% of US Energy by 2035 ■ Cost, Maturity, Second-Degree Impact ■ Scalable renewable energy Key questions: ● Should the US decouple from China? ● Can we? ● How? Chosen Technology Boiling the Ocean Qualifications How does technology impact Great Power Competition?
  5. W4: Threat to Solar Energy Supply Chain Why did we choose solar energy? �Threat to 40% of US Energy Infrastructure by 2035 ■ China’s unexpected supply chain halts ■ 2022 cut-off stalled 80% of all US projects ■ Choke foreign access to raw materials �China Dominates Supply Chain via: ■ Illegal seizure of land from its citizens ■ Circumvention of fair trade through shell companies ■ Forced Cheap Labor ■ 75% of the solar panel supply chain is dominated by China Threat to National Security
  6. W5: Why does the DOD care? DoD uses a lot of energy
  7. W5: DOD is increasingly reliant on solar to meet federal rules Federal Statutes Drive Solar Need Renewable Energy is Driven by: � Executive Orders � Department Level Guidance � Federal Statutes Department of Defense is required to produce or procure renewable energy as 25% of its energy sources by 2025
  8. W5: Statutes? What do DOD planners care about? Energy Diversification and Independence
  9. W5: DOD wants energy resilience Solar is everywhere and scalable
  10. W5: What did we define as the DoD angle? DOD stakeholder hypothesis
  11. W6: Is moving manufacturing back to USA a potential solution? Remember what the supply chain looks like! Validating security threat hypo. from W4
  12. Supply chain bottlenecks from interviews ❏ US research created solar cells in 1950s, produced most solar cells in 1970s ❏ China’s tariffs (more recently) made US polysilicon for solar uncompetitive ❏ US used to have robust domestic polysilicon production supply chain ❏ Chinese state led investment allowed for cost cutting when scaling up production ❏ For all steps of midstream and upstream manufacturing ❏ Battery technology is a bottleneck for increased adoption ❏ High price volatility and shortages worldwide for minor metals is a bottleneck ❏ Small Quantities ⇒ still critical for Solar panel energy generation Each one of these was a possible pivot ❏ Deeper question: “Is the supply chain the key to China’s dominance?” ❏ Is there more to the story than just simply building everything in America? Discouraged W6: Is moving manufacturing back to USA a potential solution?
  13. W7: Autarky cannot “Mitigate Climate Change” � Interviews with tech and policy leaders reminded the team to look at “WHYs” in the prompt � Lessons learned from interviews: ■ Low cost and fast expansion create well-paid downstream jobs ■ Climate goals only achievable under consistent major expansion reliant on affordable China-made inputs ■ C-Silicon has potential � Industry and end users primarily concerns energy efficiency ■ GPC is long-term and comprehensive: � If we are seriously alarmed by the prospect that China will cut-off supplies, we must “be fully prepared” Need to study how the whole system work together Entangled with Question of “How to Compete?” Cost of C-Si PRC vs. USA
  14. W8: Dual Circulation with American Characteristics 2nd Lesson: It’s not – and cannot be – import substitution � Discovered old problem of “How to make money in Solar in US?” ■ Need a lot of investment with modest profit margin ■ Fundamentally more than old “R&D”, “innovation”, “system and creativity” cliche ■ Hence we need DoD’s money, market, and mandate, but more! �Continue to make good use of cheap and fast improving c-Si panels from China ■ Incentives for c-Si is too little, too late ■ Breaking down the “installment, technology, and manufacturing” targets �Si vis pacem, para bellum ■ Friendshoring and diversification ■ Build up domestic supply chain � Leapfrogging new tech: CdTe for short-term, Perovskite for long-run. Manufacturing-based and scale-driven � Bottlenecks like batteries: Need to make the system cheaper Build Scale or Die
  15. W9: Two Prong Strategy C-Si � Continue to import cheaply � Substantial tech and cost improvement expected CdTe Thin Film � US (First Solar) is the frontrunner � High tech barriers � Vertically integrated production � Availability of Te Perovskite � Emerging (5-10Y) � Rapid increase in light to electricity efficiency � R&D to improve stability & scalability Key technologies Partnerships Malaysia Vietnam Thailand (75% of US imports) Resumption of climate talks as an opportunity? Need to think both short & long term (1) Encouraging R&D and deployment of key technologies (2) Fostering strategic partnerships
  16. W10: DoD can gain mission benefits from solar Use DoD financial capabilities and demand to drive domestic Solar supply chain � 1 in 24 fuel convoys ended in a US casualties between 2003 and 2007 ○ US Army estimates ~3000 fuel related casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan � dramatically reduce fuel deliveries in remote combat sites and improve agility ○ Solar panels, microgrids and batteries � DoD can be the catalyst to clean energy adoption: ○ Financial capabilities to invest in emerging technology with military application ○ Force of demand that drives the military-industrial complex Questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’
  17. Key lessons learned ❏ Worthwhile & plausible goals for USA Solar: ❏ Short term: taking advantage of cheap PV from China ❏ Long-term ❏ decoupling from China ❏ creating domestic and allied supply chain ❏ Solar is only one part of the story ❏ DoD’s wider strategy of energy diversification: ❏ Reduce fossil fuel reliance ❏ Improve energy security & resilience
  18. More questions and possible next steps � How to break the cycle of just buying cheaply from China? ■ Design effective incentives for rebuilding Solar supply chain in USA � Are the tax credits and other incentives in recent IRA legislation effective? ● Interviewees suggested that they aren’t efficient enough � Which national players can drive sufficient demand to break the cycle � Need better understanding of DoD purchasing decision making Someone needs to do a lot more interviews
  19. Q&A

Editor's Notes

  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Here is an overview of our journey; roller coaster ride
    Y-axis: optimism..

    more details elaborated later, but generally:
    W2-4
    Downhill on W5: DoD or DoE
    W6: as in semiconductors
    turning point: W7 due to a few interviews
    W8-9: develop a strategy for US
    W10: DoD as implementation body
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • decreased electricity costs, acceleration of the decarbonization of U.S. Energy infrastructure
    But these incentives damped out focus — given the morals of class, we ran into interviews first and iterate
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • The solar supply chain: Polysilicon is melted to grow
    monocrystalline silicon ingots, which are sliced into thin silicon
    wafers. Silicon wafers are processed to make solar cells, which
    are connected, sandwiched between glass and plastic sheets, and
    framed to make PV modules. Then, they are mounted on racking
    structures and connected to the grid using an inverter.
  • Learn about other bottlenecks
    Study how the whole system work together
    Rare Earth Materials (REM)
    Battery storage
    Recycle EV batteries
    Possible pivot? -> but decided not to. Why?
    Challenges with REM not specific to solar
    - [do we need to fill more here?]
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • 2 prong
    short, medium, long term
    targeted partnership










    c-Si: e.g., increased energy efficiency, decreasing silicon material usage per watt

    CdTe as byproducts of smelting other metals like Zn and Cu; requires high purity
    Te availability: Canada, China Germany; Sweden, Japan, Russia, China, US (Montana, Alaska, Colorado), Peru

    CdTe: low cost, but low efficiency
    First Solar is the only major American company operating in the solar space, specialises in CdTe thin film where vertically integrated production line is the norm and where US has expertise
    But high upfront cost to build end-to-end thin film factories; First Solar is expanding prudently

    Perovskite materials offer excellent light absorption, charge-carrier mobilities, and lifetimes, resulting in high device efficiencies with opportunities to realize a low-cost, industry-scalable technology.
    UK and US as leading in R&D
    the key is light to electricity conversion efficiency

    ASEAN: module production
    Countries like Singapore are open to climate cooperation with US, China as well as other like-minded countries
    Biden administration has stepped up in terms of global leadership in climate issues; BRI as the main Chinese vehicle for green partnership

    EU: financing
  • Framework → implementing body

    Why should DoD care?
    How can DoD be part of the solution?





    Clean energy is on DoD’s agenda

    Mr. Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment & Energy Resilience

    https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/3140223/us-should-not-surrender-clean-energy-technology-to-china-dod-official-says/

    https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/energysource/a-clean-energy-agenda-for-the-us-department-of-defense/
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  • Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”

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