Search Results for 'energy'

Princeton Environmental Institute Seminar, “An Energy Plan the Earth Can Live With”

Daniel Kammen, Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, will present, "An Energy Plan the Earth Can Live With," at 4 p.m. Monday, May 7, in Guyot Hall, Room 10. Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 5.59.00 PM Kammen is the eighth and final speaker in the Challenges in Environmental Sciences Seminar (CHESS) Series organized by PEI in cooperation with campus partners. Kammen will look in overview at clean-energy projects at scales from off-grid solar-energy systems to mini-grids and decarbonization efforts in the United States, China, Nicaragua, Kenya and Southeast Asia. He will review a number of specific areas of energy-system innovation, including in energy storage and information management systems for mini-grid operation. He will examine how analytic and practical field-based efforts both decarbonize communities across scales and establish frameworks to meet the Paris climate accord. Kammen was appointed the first Environment and Climate Partnership for the Americas Fellow by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in April 2010. Kammen has served as a contributing or coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1999.  Th IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. From 2010-2011, he was the World Bank Group's chief technical specialist for renewable energy and energy efficiency, in which he helped enhance renewable-energy and energy-efficiency activities and expand the institution's role in promoting cleaner, more sustainable energy. Before joining UC-Berkeley, Kammen was an assistant professor of public and international affairs at Princeton, as well as director of the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) and PEI associated faculty. He received his doctorate in physics from Harvard University in 1988.

Dr. Rebekah Shirley provides a roadmap for energy access in “The Conversation”

For the original piece, click here file-20180306-146650-1kgus7y by Dr. Rebekah Shirley is Research Director at Power for All and Visiting Research Scholar, at the Strathmore Energy Research Center (SERC) at Strathmore University and both alumni and Post-doctoral Fellow at RAEL. At least 110 million of the 600 million people still living without access to electricity in Africa live in urban areas. Most are within a stone throw from existing power grid infrastructure. In Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and Liberia alone there are up to 95 million people living in urban areas. All in close proximity to the grid. In Kenya about 70% of off-grid homes are located within 1.2km of a power line. And estimates for “under-the-grid” populations across sub-Saharan Africa range from 61% to 78%. Besides energy access being crucial for many basic human needs, these underserved populations represent a massive commercial opportunity for cash-strapped sub-Saharan African utilities. Electricity providers could reach tens of millions of densely packed customers without the cost of a last-mile rural grid extension. So, why aren’t these potential consumers connected to the formal grid? Urban communities often face many challenges in obtaining electricity access. These range from the prohibitively high cost of a connection, to the challenges of informal housing, the impact of power theft on services and socio-political marginalisation. In many cases, these obstacles are difficult to address successfully. However, recent advances in distributed renewable energy technologies mean a more affordable, faster to deploy, cleaner alternative is at hand in Africa. One that can step in where policy and utility reforms are wanting.

Barriers to grid connections

One of the major barriers to electrification is the cost of a grid connection. A grid connection in Kenya, for instance, is estimated at USD $ 400 per household. This is nearly one-third of the average per capita income of a Kenyan. Beyond pure cost barriers, urban communities often can’t access energy services for other socio-economic reasons. For instance, not being metered because they don’t have a formal address. Or living in in an area that is difficult to service – such as near flood plains or in informal housing settlements. Corruption among electricity service providers, power theft by customers and the establishment of electricity cartels also complicates and limits electricity access. Finally, the utilities themselves face many challenges in implementing reforms to get more people connected. Take the example of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company, which owns and operates most of the electricity transmission and distribution system. In 2015 it introduced a subsidised connection fee of US $150. This was done through the Last Mile Connectivity Project. In one year, this installment-based payment plan led to a 30-fold increase in legal electricity connections in impoverished neighbourhoods. But the project was marred by cost overruns and inflated and misreported new connection numbers. On top of this, newly connected households often have very low consumption levels and low-income customers were often unable to make payments, even at subsidised rates. Without the necessary infrastructural development, experts argue that the program puts a strain on the technical, commercial and financial resources of the utility. This means that the programme may find it difficult to generate revenue, recover costs or provide the service intended to new customers.

Decentralised renewables

Decentralised renewable energy technologies offer an important solutionfor “under-the-grid” electrification. They are simple, fast and agile. They have short installation times, and offer a reliable electricity service for informal settlements. Pay-as-you-go solar systems and appliances, for example, can provide a much lower barrier to entry. Compared to the high upfront connection costs noted earlier in Kenya, a 15-watt solar home system costs on average USD $9 per month for 36 months after which point the household owns its system. The renewable energy sector recognises this under-the-grid market. In fact, about 35% of solar lighting product sales in Kenya are made in peri-urban areas. And it’s a good bet. Evidence shows that the willingness to pay for decentralised renewables is much higher than a grid connection because they are seen as more reliable. Policies to support decentralised technologies include: integrated energy planning that incorporates these solutions, adopting and enforcing product quality control standards and providing financial incentives – like reduced import duties for products or local loan and grant programs. These solutions show that with the right approach, and simple innovations, Africa’s prospective urban customers can finally get access to electricity. Ben Attia, a Research Consultant with Greentech Media, contributed to the writing of this article

Profitably Powering the Clean Energy Economy

  rsz_img_9702-696x464 Dr. Daniel M. Kammen, Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, Director of Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) and Chair in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) and doctoral student Samira Siddiqui, also of the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley came to North South University on the 18th of February, 2018 to talk on “Profitably Powering the Clean Energy Economy”. This event was organized by the Office of External Affairs and facilitated by NSU HR Club. He informed the audience members on Bangladesh’s changing energy landscape—electricity for all by 2021, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and insufficient power supply of the rapidly growing demand for electricity. Dr. Kammen also showcased Bangladesh’s remarkable success in Solar Home System (SHS). When most countries were skeptic of solar energy system, Bangladesh became one of the pioneers to start this new program. He informed that Bangladesh, just starting from 2003, has the largest off-the-grid program in the world. The 4.5 million SHS installed as of July 2017 are generating over 200MW of electricity. To illustrate the current situation of the energy/fuel system, Dr. Kammen used the analogy of the horse race where energies from solar and wind are going neck and neck and other forms of energy such as nuclear, water, coal are lagging behind. Then he informed that, the concept of energy storage was not even an option 15 years ago. It was when China started mass producing solar panels that the prices dropped significantly and people started relying on solar energy. Like a dark horse, SHS is sweeping in and winning the race for clean energy economy. Dr. Kammen stressed that Bangladesh has an ample amount of clean energy resources from which a profitable and empowering economy can be built. Dr. Kammen is an expert in his field having authored/co-authored 12 books, written more than 300 peer-reviewed journal publications and contributing to Nobel prizewinning climate work with the professors at University of California, Berkeley. For his valuable words and time, Dr. Kammen was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the Director of External Affairs, Dr. Katherine Li and a crest by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Atiqul Islam as tokens of appreciation from NSU. Original link: http://qswownews.com/profitably-powering-the-clean-energy-economy/  

MIT Energy Initiative: Innovating for the clean energy economy

3 Questions: Innovating for the clean energy economy

Daniel Kammen of the University of California at Berkeley discusses current efforts in clean energy innovation and implementation, and what's coming next.

For a video of the talk and Q & A, click here.
Ivy Pepin | MIT Energy Initiative March 28, 2018 Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 3.49.47 PM Daniel Kammen is a professor of energy at the University of California at 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 MIT 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. The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) followed up with him on these topics. 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 team, the Renewable and Appropriate Energy 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 percent 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, directed by Dr. Chris Jones in my RAEL lab, 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 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference 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. This talk was one in a series of MITEI seminars supported by IHS Markit.

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.  

March 6, 2018 — @MIT for “Innovating for the clean energy economy”

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 2.53.14 PM This talk will examine the current state of clean energy innovation and implementation. Through explorations of household, city, and regional clean energy innovations and implementation efforts, Professor Daniel Kammen will both analyze successful innovation processes and identify the areas that need urgent action and targeted programs. A mixture of analytic and empirical studies will be used to explore what steps have worked and where dramatic new approaches are needed.   Speaker Bio: Daniel Kammen is a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and former director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. His research focuses on energy supply; transmission; the smart grid and low-carbon energy systems; the life-cycle impacts of transportation options; and energy for community development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He has published extensively on these topics and testified numerous times in U.S. state and federal congressional briefings. In 2010, Kammen was appointed the first energy fellow of the Environment and Climate Partnership for the Americas; he has also served the state of California and the U.S. federal government in several other expert and advisory capacities.   Follow Kammen on Twitter @dan_kammen ___________________________________________________________________________ This MITEI Seminar was made possible with the generous support of IHS Markit. Please note this is a public event and we will open our doors to unregistered participants 15 minutes before the event start time. To guarantee your seat, we recommend you register and arrive at least 15 minutes early. If you are not able to attend, note there will be a high-quality recording of this seminar made available on our YouTube channel about a week following the event. ___________________________________________________________________________ The MIT Energy Initiative is MIT’s hub for energy research, education, and outreach. Learn more at energy.mit.edu ›

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