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Modernizing the grid

Clay Meyer
Clay Meyer, left, is pictured with a colleague at the Intersolar South America in São Paulo, Brazil where he participated in and supported an Alliance for Rural Electrification – UN Foundation Off-grid Workshop in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Clay Meyer)

Clay Meyer

BS ’18, MS ‘19
Sustainability Science and Practice (SUST)

“Not having access to energy is a major barrier to wellbeing faced by so many people around the world,” said Clay Meyer, BS ’18, MS ’19. “In assessing efforts to expand access to this vital resource, I’ve realized the importance of not only finding ways to promote well-being, but in working with developing countries to electrify without amplifying our collective impact on climate change.”

In conjunction with a BS in Atmosphere/Energy from Stanford’s School of Engineering, Stanford Earth’s Sustainability Science and Practice (SUST) graduate program gave Meyer the tools to tackle large sustainability issues. While in the SUST program, he focused on combining his passions for expanding renewable energy generation and increasing energy access in developing countries – an area that simultaneously addresses climate change and social inequality.

“The goal is to standardize the energy development process, enhancing local economic development through low-carbon pathways,” he said. Meyer completed his master’s practicum through a fellowship at the United Nations Foundation that furthered his understanding of the barriers stifling the electrification of developing countries. The following year, as a capstone to the SUST program, he worked with the United Nations Development Program to design a web-based platform to encourage funding in energy development in rural Uganda.

Following graduation, Meyer will begin a role as a strategy analyst for Smart Wires, a Bay Area company working to modernize the electric grid worldwide. “In the past, utility companies had little control over the flow of power on the mass grid. With new opportunities to gain control, they can bring on renewable energy generation more quickly, increasing the resiliency and flexibility of the grid and decreasing costs shouldered by consumers.”

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