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Full video of presentation, “Innovating for the clean energy economy” @ MIT Energy Initiative

For the video of the talk: click here.

Talk deliv­ered Feb­ru­ary 19, 2018

Daniel Kam­men is a pro­fes­sor of energy at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, with par­al­lel appoint­ments in the Energy and Resources Group (which he chairs), the Gold­man School of Pub­lic Pol­icy, and the Depart­ment of Nuclear Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing. Recently, he gave a talk at MITEI exam­in­ing the cur­rent state of clean energy inno­va­tion and imple­men­ta­tion, both in the U.S. and inter­na­tion­ally. Using a com­bi­na­tion of ana­lyt­i­cal and empir­i­cal approaches, he dis­cussed the strengths and weak­nesses of clean energy efforts on the house­hold, city, and regional levels.

Q: Your team has built energy tran­si­tion mod­els for sev­eral coun­tries, includ­ing Chile, Nicaragua, China, and India. Can you describe how these mod­els work and how they can inform global cli­mate nego­ti­a­tions like the Paris Accords?

A: My lab­o­ra­tory has worked with three gov­ern­ments to build open-​​source mod­els of the cur­rent state of their energy sys­tems and pos­si­ble oppor­tu­ni­ties for improve­ment. This model, SWITCH, is an excep­tion­ally high-​​resolution plat­form for exam­in­ing the costs, reli­a­bil­ity, and car­bon emis­sions of energy sys­tems as small as Nicaragua’s and as large as China’s. The excit­ing recent devel­op­ments in the cost and per­for­mance improve­ments of solar, wind, energy stor­age, and elec­tric vehi­cles per­mit the plan­ning of dra­mat­i­cally decar­bonized sys­tems that have a wide range of ancil­lary ben­e­fits: increased reli­a­bil­ity, improved air qual­ity, and mon­e­tiz­ing energy effi­ciency, to name just a few. With the Paris Cli­mate Accords plac­ing 80% or greater decar­boniza­tion tar­gets on all nations’ agen­das (sadly, except for the U.S. fed­eral gov­ern­ment), the need for an ‘hon­est bro­ker’ for the costs and oper­a­tional issues around power sys­tems is key.

Q: At the end of your talk, you men­tioned a car­bon foot­print cal­cu­la­tor that you helped cre­ate. How much do indi­vid­ual behav­iors mat­ter in address­ing cli­mate change?

A: The car­bon foot­print, or Cool­Cli­mate project, is a visu­al­iza­tion and behav­ioral eco­nom­ics tool that can be used to high­light the impacts of indi­vid­ual deci­sions at the house­hold, school, and city level. We have used it to sup­port city-​​city com­pe­ti­tions for “California’s coolest city,” to explore the rel­a­tive impacts of life­time choices (buy­ing an elec­tric vehi­cle ver­sus or along with changes of diet), and more.

Q: You touched on the topic of the “high ambi­tion coali­tion,” a COP21 goal of keep­ing warm­ing under 1.5 degrees Cel­sius. Can you expand on this move­ment and the car­bon neg­a­tive strate­gies it would require?

A: As we look at paths to a sus­tain­able global energy sys­tem, efforts to limit warm­ing to 1.5 degrees Cel­sius will require not only zero­ing out indus­trial and agri­cul­tural emis­sions, but also remov­ing car­bon from the atmos­phere. This demands increas­ing nat­ural car­bon sinks by pre­serv­ing or expand­ing forests, sus­tain­ing ocean sys­tems, and mak­ing agri­cul­ture cli­mate– and water-​​smart. One path­way, bio­mass energy with car­bon cap­ture and seques­tra­tion, has both sup­port­ers and detrac­tors. It involves grow­ing bio­mass, using it for energy, and then seques­ter­ing the emissions.

 

National Public Radio: Former U.S. Science Envoy: The Tone Of Climate Talks Is Now ‘Quite Grim’

For the audio of the story, click here. For­mer U.S. Sci­ence Envoy: The Tone Of Cli­mate Talks Is Now ‘Quite Grim’ NPR’s Michel Mar­tin talks with Daniel Kam­men, for­mer sci­ence envoy to the State Depart­ment, about the U.N. cli­mate talks being held in Poland. Tran­script MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now we’d like to hear about that major […]

The Clean Energy Transition in Bangladesh (November 1, 2018)
Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.14.55 AM

For a video of the lec­ture: https://chowdhurycenter.berke​ley​.edu/​c​l​e​a​n​-​e​n​e​rgy

Foreign Policy editorial: The Beautiful Rivers — And the Dammed
Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 10.33.05 PM

To access the arti­cle, click here. The Beau­ti­ful Rivers—And the Dammed Advances in solar and wind power mean that hydropower is no longer the only renew­able game in town—and that’s good news for the world’s rivers. BY JEFF OPPERMAN, CHRIS WEBER, DANIEL KAMMEN NOVEMBER 23, 2018, 9:05 AM For­eign Pol­icy - https://​for​eign​pol​icy​.com/​2​0​1​8​/​1​1​/​2​3​/​t​h​e​-​b​e​a​u​t​i​f​u​l​-​r​i​v​e​r​s​-​a​n​d​-​t​h​e​-​d​a​m​m​ed/ Fig­ure: Water is released from the flood­gates of […]

RAEL contributes to Chapter 3: Energy systems. In State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2): A Sustained Assessment Report for the United States
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To access the Energy Sec­tor chap­ter, click here. KEY FINDINGS In 2013, pri­mary energy use in North Amer­ica exceeded 125 exajoules,1 of which Canada was respon– sible for 11.9%, Mex­ico 6.5%, and the United States 81.6%. Of total pri­mary energy sources, approxi– mately 81% was from fos­sil fuels, which con­tributed to car­bon diox­ide equiv­a­lent (CO2e)2 […]

Journal editors share their views on the future of open-​​access publishing

As Open Access Week kicks off, Physics World talks to edi­to­r­ial board mem­bers of IOP Publishing’s open-​​​​access jour­nals about their views on the future direc­tion of open-​​​​access pub­lish­ing.   To read the com­ments, click here.

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