Accelerating Breakthroughs in Small Scale Electricity Storage — A Strategic Economic Lever


Date Thursday November 10th 2005
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

The power grid is becoming increasingly vulnerable to systemic failures, natural interruptions like hurricanes or earthquakes, and terrorist events. One critical challenge to reduce this vulnerability is to find a reliable way to engineer innovations that will dramatically cut the cost and enhance the performance of electricity storage, especially for small scale distributed applications. Our target is smaller, distributed energy storage systems: 5-20 kW for 1-2 hours up to 100s of kW for 5 or more hours, or as large as 1 MW for 7 hours, at an installation cost of $150 per kW.

EPRI, in collaboration with Alliances for Discovery ( and Case Western University’s Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME), is launching a novel research initiative which will engage “domain experts” with “creative amateurs” around the world to achieve these breakthroughs. The stakes are enormous:

For the utilities:

  • Increased reliability
  • Reduced costs for new expansion
  • Better management of peak loads

For clean and renewable energy industries:

  • Better dispatchability, stimulated demand, reduced costs, and system integration

For the transportation sector:

  • A platform for plug-in, hybrid electric vehicles

For the nation:

  • A trigger for economic growth based on clean and sustainable energy.
  • A macro-innovation strategy and process which can be systematically applied to engineer other critical scientific and technical challenges.

Please join our Innovation Team in planning the launch of this important project. Materials and references on our new Collaborative Innovation Engine, and an Action Plan will be distributed to participants. Please invite any friends and colleagues whom you feel will contribute meaningfully to helping the Expedition achieve its targeted breakthroughs.


Julian Gresser is an international attorney, negotiator, inventor, and recognized expert on Japan. As a negotiator his most dramatic success involved helping a San Francisco-based trading company transform its $8 million after-tax branch into a $1 billion Japanese company in seven years. From 1976-1983 he was twice Visiting Mitsubishi Professor at the Harvard Law School and also taught courses as a Visiting Professor at MIT on the legal issues of strategic industries. He has been a Visiting Professor at Beijing University, where he taught seminars on Japanese and U.S. environmental law, and also helped the Chinese environmental authorities draft China's Marine Pollution Control Law. He has been a senior consultant to the U.S. State Department, The World Bank, The Prime Minister's Office of Japan, The People's Republic of China, and the European Commission (where he trained the Commission's Japanese negotiating teams). Julian Gresser is the author of three books, Environmental Law in Japan (MIT Press, 1981), Partners in Prosperity: Strategic Industries for the U.S. and Japan (McGraw Hill, 1984), and Piloting Through Chaos: Wise Leadership/Effective Negotiation for the 21st Century ( Five Rings Press, 1996) in addition to numerous articles in English and Japanese on technology, economics and law.

Mr. Gresser has launched a non-profit, humanitarian venture, Alliances for Discovery ( with the ten-year goal of helping to facilitate critical breakthroughs that will enhance happiness or reduce misery in the world from disease, poverty, hunger, violence, illiteracy, and the destruction of the living environment. His latest publications which implement this idea are, "Inventing for Humanity: A Collaborative Strategy for Global Survival" (VIA—Journal of New Ideas for New Action, January 2004) and "Hydrogen and the New Energy Economy—A Sensible Plan for the Next President." Alliances for Discovery's most current initiative is The Ten Cube ™ Project which is deploying the above collaborative framework to invent a power source with the long term goal of a 1000 fold composite beneficial improvement, measured by these parameters: power (compared to a conventional battery), cost, size, and environmental sustainability, and which will help to level the playing field of the rich and poor countries. (

Mr. Gresser's new for-profit company, Energy Voyager, seeks to become the essential, imaginative resource on the Internet for advocates and innovators for a New Global Energy Economy which is economically and environmentally sustainable and based on clean and renewable energy.

Dan Rastler is Technical Leader and Program Manager of EPRI's Distributed Resources business area. As an early visionary of a "distributed power electric grid", he conceived, developed and grew EPRI's distributed energy program which today provides a portfolio of products and services to the U.S. electric power industry. He is world-recognized authority on distributed generation and emerging alternative clean energy technologies, their applications, markets, and business opportunities; he is also an internationally recognized technical expert in stationary fuel cell power systems.

Dan has a network of professional contacts which include electric and gas utilities, leading and emerging early stage alternative energy companies, government, and private investment firms in North America, Europe and Japan.

Dan has been a member EPRI's technical staff for twenty four years and he has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley.

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