Sam Miles is a Ph.D. student in the Energy and Resources Group, and in the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley.
His research focus is at the intersection of the scalability challenge for electricity mini-grids and the socio-economic characteristics of urbanization in Africa, particularly for the artisans and entrepreneurs who constitute the ‘productive’ users of such energy systems. He will engage with these questions as an INFEWS (Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems) NSF scholar.
Previous to life at ERG, Sam worked as a freelance writer covering technology in emerging markets, an educator at the African Leadership University in Mauritius, and as an international development consultant based in West Africa. He holds an MA in International Energy from Sciences Po — Paris and a BA in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale.
At ERG Annelise has continued the study of community energy solutions, with both cooking and community extension services focal areas for her analytic and field studies.
Annelise Gill-Wiehl studied environmental engineering and international development studies at the University of Notre Dame. There, she worked with the Keough School of Global Affairs’ Associate Dean for Policy and Practice, Sara Sievers, through the Kellogg International Scholars Program. They investigated how to incorporate the preferential option for the poor into policy. Gill-Wiehl’s own research investigates energy infrastructure and the barriers to technology adoption. Gill-Wiehl and Professor Sievers piloted a Community Technology Program in Shirati, Tanzania through a Kellogg Research Grant.
While an undergraduate she interned for the Foundation of Sustainable Development in Masaka, Uganda. Additionally, Gill-Wiehl conducted roughly 200 household energy surveys through an Experiencing the World Fellowship to investigate energy infrastructure in Shirati. Her research interests are at the intersection of engineering and policy in the East African context. She hopes to pursue a PhD to further investigate these issues.
Thesis Title: Pilot of Community Technology Workers in Shirati, Tanzania
My interests range from the integration of renewables into existing grids,the possibility of indigenes (especially women) in rural communities producing their own power or at least understanding its workings and the interaction between science and policy making in developing countries. I would love to study in the Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) or the Energy Modeling, Analysis and Control Group (EMAC)
Hilary received her B.A. in Government and Biological Sciences, with a concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the latter, from Cornell University, where she graduated in 2015. At ERG, Hilary is interested in exploring the science-law nexus and the factors – political, economic, and social – that inform the translation of science into legislation. Her academic interests additionally include topics in sustainable development, climate change education, restoration ecology, water and energy efficiency, and environmental justice. Hilary was previously involved in researching energy and wildlife issues as an intern with the NRDC’s Northern Rockies office, and in the year before coming to ERG, she spent some time pursuing another passion, working in Malawi on a death penalty sentence rehearing project. Hilary is a Gates Foundation Millennium Fellow.
Akol Kuan is a civil engineering major and MaserCard Foundation Scholar at UC Berkeley.
In RAEL, Akol is focusing on the design and operation of clean energy mini-grids for refugee communities, with a project focused on the UNHCR Kakuma Refugee Camp. Kakuma is a town in northwestern Turkana County, Kenya. It is the site of a UNHCR refugee camp, established in 1969. The population of Kakuma town was over 180,000 in 2016, having grown from around 8,000 in 1990.
Serena is an Energy Engineering major at UC Berkeley, where she is engaged in number of activities, including:
Working at the Student Environmental Resource Center under the Zero Waste Research Center to help food vendors achieve zero waste goals, creating a culture of zero waste within the student body through education, and conducting research on compostable plastics recycling.
During the Spring 2018 semester Serena is leading a group of 9 students in working with the local nonprofit, Grid Alternatives, to install solar panels on low income family homes in Salinas, California during spring break. Her responsibilities include co-facilitating a class about energy access, equity, energy policy, and solar energy technology in California as well as coordinating housing, fundraising, and transportation to the location.
In RAEL Serena is focusing on the design, operation, power systems optimization, and social impacts of the clean energy mini-grid powering the Human Needs Project in Kibera, Kenya.”
RAEL has partnered with both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and a number of other groups worldwide that are engaging the Vatican and interested partners to utilize the dialog around The Encyclical to promote equity, sustainable development and climate protection.
Events in this initiative include:
RAEL and Vatican publications such as:
November 2, 2016 roundtable:
Actualizing the Vision of Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home
Kammen, D. M., Alstone, P. and Gershenson, D. (2014) “Energy for sustainable and equitable development,” Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Extra Series 41, Vatican City 2014 Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Acta 20, Vatican City 2014
Climate Change, Consumerism, and the Pope
David Mozersky is the Founding Director of the Program on Conflict, Climate Change and Green Development. An expert on Sudan and South Sudan, he has been involved in conflict prevention efforts in Africa since 2001, with a specific interest in mediation, negotiation and peace processes. He has worked with the International Crisis Group, the African Union High-Level Panel on the Sudans, and Humanity United, among others. He has written extensively about the conflicts and peacemaking efforts in the Horn of Africa, and has testified or presented before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Canadian Parliament, and South Sudanese Parliament. David has authored and co-authored more than two dozen International Crisis Group reports and briefing papers, and his writing has appeared in the Harvard International Review, International Herald-Tribune, Financial Times-Europe, and other publications.
Dave now directs Energy Peace Partners to put many of the ideas developed in this program in practice.
Recent forecasts suggest that African countries must triple their current electricity generation by 2030. Our multicriteria assessment of wind and solar potential for large regions of Africa shows how economically competitive and low-environmental–impact renewable resources can significantly contribute to meeting this demand. We created the Multicriteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy (MapRE) framework to map and characterize solar and wind energy zones in 21 countries in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) and find that potential is several times greater than demand in many countries. Significant fractions of demand can be quickly served with “no-regrets” options—or zones that are low-cost, low-environmental impact, and highly accessible. Because no-regrets options are spatially heterogeneous, international interconnections are necessary to help achieve low-carbon development for the region as a whole, and interconnections that support the best renewable options may differ from those planned for hydropower expansion. Additionally, interconnections and selecting wind sites to match demand reduce the need for SAPP-wide conventional generation capacity by 9.5% in a high-wind scenario, resulting in a 6–20% cost savings, depending on the avoided conventional technology. Strategic selection of low-impact and accessible zones is more cost effective with interconnections compared with solutions without interconnections. Overall results are robust to multiple load growth scenarios. Together, results show that multicriteria site selection and deliberate planning of interconnections may significantly increase the economic and environmental competitiveness of renewable alternatives relative to conventional generation.
Brooke’s undergraduate career was profiled in the CNR Newsletter.