Current Projects

CoolClimate Carbon Footprint Calculator

Go to the Carbon Footprint Calculator

The CoolClimate Calculator has been designed to help US households evaluate their complete climate footprints, including all direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation, household energy, food, goods and services. See the calculator

Coverage in the news:

ABC News: Here's how you can reduce your carbon footprint

Treehugger: Yet another study confirms that transportation and location matter most

Berkeleyside: Measuring a Berkeleyan carbon footprint

California Watch: Carbon footprint varies by location, income

SWITCH

SWITCH-WECC
Designing low-cost, low-carbon power systems using the SWITCH optimization model


The
SWITCH model can explore the cost and feasibility of generation, transmission, and storage options for the future electricity system. The model identifies cost-effective investment decisions for meeting electricity demand, taking into account the existing grid as well as projections of future technological developments, renewable energy potential, fuel costs, and public policy. SWITCH uses time-synchronized load and renewable generation data to evaluate future capacity investments while ensuring that load is met and policy goals are reached at minimum cost. The optimization is formulated as a deterministic linear program, which is solved by standard commercial software.

Clean Energy Financing

A number of cities and counties across the U.S. are launching programs to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades for homes and businesses. RAEL is supporting these efforts through research, consulting, and the creation of educational tools. This project focuses on what we call Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) which covers the up-front costs for energy efficiency improvements and installation of solar energy systems for residential and commercial properties within a city or county. The property owner then repays the cost of these installations over 20 years through a special fee on their property tax bill. 

Check out our summary proposal for privately-managed PACE here: http://rael.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/2011_RAEL_PACESummary.pdf

Virtual Electric Vehicle (EV) Test Drive

WANT TO SIGN UP TO BETA TEST THE VIRTUAL EV TEST DRIVE? SEND AN EMAIL TO BETA@VEVDRIVE.COM

Now is the time for a surge in EV education and ‘success stories’ from early adopters

In just six months, major automakers will initiate one of the greatest experiments in modern automotive history: the roll-out of the mainstream electrified vehicle (EV). Over 30 models of EV are expected by 2013. The Virtual EV Test Drive project addresses three major education-based barriers which confront a consumer’s decision to buy an EV:

Berkeley Rural Energy Group (BREG)

BREG has expanded to it's own full site! 

Visit breg.berkeley.edu for up-to-date information on BREG projects, members and activity.

Sustainable Energy Options for Kosovo: An analysis of resource availability and cost

Headline: http://koha.net/?page=1%2C3%2C76949

350.org link to the subject: http://www.350.org/en/about/blogs/onwards-kosovo

 Today Kosovo faces critical energy and development choices that will impact the energy supply available to meet basic needs, and provide for economic growth.  These choices will also impact the health of the population, determine the job creation potential of the energy sector, and impact the wider regional role that Kosovo may play in the European Community and European Union.

Sustainable Islands

             Wigton Windfarms, JamaicaRAEL Graduate Students installing a solar system with GRID Alternatives, CADomestic Solar Water Heating, Tahiti, French Polynesia

           From Left: (a) Wigton Windfarm, Jamaica; (b) Lab member Rebekah installing panels in Oakland, Ca; (c) Solar water heaters in French Polynesia.  

Graduate Student Researcher: Rebekah Shirley 

Fulbright NEXUS

Launched in 2010, the Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Program supports U.S. foreign policy initiatives that fight poverty and encourage innovation in market-driven and socially responsible ways while increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Program participants explore public-policy research questions and involve governments, NGOs, businesses, and communities in the implementation of their projects. As Western Hemisphere nations take steps to work together on shared challenges, the Fulbright NEXUS Program offers a collaborative model for regional scholarly exchange that moves beyond theory into practice. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2012-2013 cycle of the program.

Thailand Power Sector Working Group

The Mekong Region Power Sector Working Group collaborates with government agencies, non-profit organizations, universities, businesses and to analyze electricity planning and policy from a public interest perspective. The group identifies and analyzes steps to ensure that transformations in the region's electricity sector are economically rational, and that they augment, rather than undermine, social and environmental justice and sustainability.  

The working group's areas technology areas of focus include stepped up integration of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and efficient cogeneration into the region's largely conventional natural gas and hydropower-based generation and transmission networks. Grounded in a solid historical understanding of power sector development in the region, the group's analysis includes regional power trading; environmental analysis of impacts of coal, natural gas, hydropower generation; analysis of planning practices; and analysis of technical, regulatory, and political barriers to sustainable energy infrastructure choices