Karl worked for the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) from 2001 to 2008 as a Senior Resource Planner where he pioneered several of the City’s sustainable energy programs and projects. Jane Woodward partnered with Stanford University to launch the the Karl Knapp Energy Fellow in City Government in the spring of 2019 to give Stanford students the opportunity to gain real-world energy experience working for a summer at the City of Palo Alto Utilities. Nora Hennessy, a PhD student at Stanford, was the inaugural Karl Knapp Energy Fellow at the City of Palo Alto Utilities this past summer, and you can read more about her experience here.

While at CPAU, Karl was involved in many projects, including:

  • The City of Palo Alto’s first contract with a wind energy project. 

  • Palo Alto’s first successful voluntary green program, PaloAlto Green. 

  • The installation of four 2MW natural-gas-fired back-up generators to avoid rolling blackouts in the energy crisis.

  • The installation of several early solar demonstration projects sited in the city of Palo Alto.

  • A local distributed generation study, including developing rates for customer owned generation, the original feed-in-tariff. 

More information on the Stanford Energy Internships in California and the West program can be found here: https://energy.stanford.edu/seicw/seicw-overview