Archive of Topic: Central America/Mexico

Isa Ferrall

Isa Fer­rall is a MS/Ph.D. stu­dent in the Energy and Resources Group and Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Energy Lab at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. She is inter­ested in the impact of renew­able energy on rural elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, global devel­op­ment, and the domes­tic energy sec­tor. Pre­vi­ously, Isa gained expe­ri­ence on both the tech­ni­cal and applied sides of renew­able energy. She researched inno­v­a­tive energy mate­ri­als at Duke Uni­ver­sity as a National Acad­emy of Engi­neer­ing Grand Chal­lenge Scholar and at the National Renew­able Energy Lab­o­ra­tory as a Depart­ment of Energy Intern. She also has ana­lyzed sys­tem data for Off-​​Grid Elec­tric, a solar home sys­tem com­pany oper­at­ing in east Africa. Isa grad­u­ated Magna Cum Laude from Duke Uni­ver­sity in 2015 with dis­tinc­tion in Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing and a Cer­tifi­cate in Energy and the Environment.

Sustainability at the CLEW Nexus in Latin America

Emerg­ing economies will account for more than 90 per­cent of new energy-​​generation capac­ity by 2035, and Latin Amer­ica is no excep­tion to this trend. In the last 40 years, the region’s pri­mary energy demand has more than dou­bled. In a global envi­ron­ment of increas­ingly volatile fuel prices, emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies, and climate-​​change impacts, the con­tin­ued increase in demand presents chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties to Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean. To man­age the next phase of devel­op­ment, the region’s gov­ern­ments will need to develop new energy sources and pay more atten­tion to sustainability.

Kam­men and stu­dents (Juan Pablo Car­vallo, Diego Ponce de Leon Barido and Rebekah Shirley) dis­cussed strate­gies to design and eval­u­ate pro­grams for man­ag­ing energy and other resources in the region both as a speaker panel for the Cen­ter for Latin Amer­i­can Stud­ies at UC Berke­ley and in a new pub­li­ca­tion on inte­grated tools for build­ing low-​​carbon economies in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean.

Our researchers also delve into the spe­cific case study of Nicaragua along with Ful­bright Nexus Fel­lows 2012–2013. This group explored three case stud­ies at the national, regional and com­mu­nity lev­els in Nicaragua: bread­fruit and food inse­cu­rity; rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing on the Pacific coast; and, bio-​​energy pro­duc­tion from agri­cul­tural waste. This research shows the increas­ing need to see the cli­mate, land, energy, and water (CLEW) sec­tors as inter­re­lated, and to proac­tively plan pol­icy with these inter­con­nec­tions in mind. Nicaragua’s oppor­tu­ni­ties for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment within a CLEW nexus frame­work are suf­fi­ciently large that the coun­try could well become an exam­ple of wise nat­ural resource use for Latin Amer­ica and the world.

 

Press release on our work with bio­gas digesters in Mexico: 

Fusion, March 24, 2014. These stu­dents have bold ideas on how to make renew­able energy more acces­si­ble

 

Arti­cle, full video and pho­tos from our panel dis­cus­sion with CLAS:

Cen­ter for Latin Amer­i­can Stud­ies. Feb­ru­ary 10, 2014. Sus­tain­able Energy Sys­tems in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean

 

Read more about our involve­ment in the Ful­bright Regional Net­work for Applied Research (NEXUS) Pro­gram 2012–2013.

 

Arrechea Alvarado, Marlene Susana

Susana Arrechea holds a bach­e­lors degree in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­sity of San Car­los of Guatemala and a mas­ters degree in Mol­e­c­u­lar Nanoscience and Nan­otech­nol­ogy from the Uni­ver­sity of Castilla-​​La Man­cha. Susana is a Pro­fes­sor at the Engi­neer­ing Fac­ulty at the Uni­ver­sity San Car­los of Guatemala. In 2011, she began a doc­tor­ate pro­gram in Nanoscience and Nan­otech­nol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Castilla-​​La Man­cha in Toledo, Spain. She received a schol­ar­ship through the Car­olina Foun­da­tion, the Uni­ver­sity of Castilla– La Man­cha and the Uni­ver­sity San Car­los of Guatemala. Susana inves­ti­gates novel mate­ri­als for third gen­er­a­tion solar cells at the Insti­tute of Nanoscience, Nan­otech­nol­ogy and Mol­e­c­u­lar Mate­ri­als at the Uni­ver­sity of Castilla – La Man­cha. In 2014, she was selected to par­tic­i­pate in the Renew­able Energy group of Ful­bright Regional Net­work for Applied Research (NEXUS) Pro­gram, led by Dr. Daniel M Kam­men and Dr. Ser­gio Pacca. This pro­gram bring together a net­work of researchers from the United States, Brazil and other West­ern Hemi­sphere nations, for a series of sem­i­nar meet­ings and mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary research. Susana will visit the Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Energy Lab­o­ra­tory (RAEL) at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, to study­ing sus­tain­able iso­lated micro­grids in Latin Amer­ica as part of the Ful­bright NEXUS exchange experience.

Program on Conflict, Climate Change and Green Development

For a video sum­ma­riz­ing the pro­gram, click here.

The impacts of cli­mate change are already being felt across Africa, lead­ing to greater nat­ural resource scarcity, which has con­tributed to vio­lent con­flict in Dar­fur (Sudan), Mali, and Soma­lia, among oth­ers. This trend is likely to con­tinue, as Africa is pro­jected to be among geo­gra­phies most severely impacted by cli­mate change. Though the path­way from cli­mate change to greater nat­ural resource scarcity to vio­lence is not a direct one, the risks of con­flict will increase as liveli­hoods are threat­ened due to greater scarcity of food, water or arable land. With lower gov­ern­ment capac­i­ties and lim­ited fund­ing to adapt to cli­mate change impacts, and a rel­a­tively weak con­flict prevention/​resolution archi­tec­ture in place, cli­mate change is likely to have an increas­ingly impor­tant impact on future con­flicts in Africa.

This assess­ment neces­si­tates new pol­icy plan­ning and devel­op­ment think­ing. Despite the threats, the broader global inter­est in cli­mate change also presents sig­nif­i­cant oppor­tu­ni­ties to mobi­lize new inter­est and momen­tum for pro­mot­ing green devel­op­ment in Africa. This can con­tribute to an effec­tive con­flict pre­ven­tion strat­egy, and can also drive increased invest­ment and more diver­si­fied economies, improved gov­er­nance and devel­op­ment out­comes, and greater polit­i­cal sta­bil­ity. This project aims to build the the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal case for a new model for green devel­op­ment, which can pro­vide both polit­i­cal and eco­nomic returns, while deliv­er­ing both cli­mate sen­si­tive and con­flict sen­si­tive development.

Our 3–5 year goal is to seed and sup­port a suc­cess­ful “green” pilot in a still to be selected geog­ra­phy in Africa. A suc­cess­ful pilot will require polit­i­cal buy-​​in and local polit­i­cal cham­pi­ons, as well as new exter­nal invest­ment to sup­port green devel­op­ment projects. This can serve as a model that helps demon­strate the polit­i­cal and eco­nomic poten­tial of a green approach, the eco­nomic poten­tial of a green frame­work to exter­nal investors, as well as effec­tive con­flict pre­ven­tion. It is our hope that the model, once proven, will be scal­able in other geographies.

Bailis, Robert

Rob is inter­ested in sus­tain­abil­ity, resource use, and envi­ron­men­tal change in the devel­op­ing world. He explores these issues prin­ci­pally, though not exclu­sively, in the con­text of energy. He became inter­ested in the inter­sec­tion of energy, soci­ety, and envi­ron­ment while work­ing as a teacher in the US Peace Corps in a remote com­mu­nity in north­west­ern Kenya. He uses an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary approach that places equal empha­sis on qual­i­ta­tive and quan­ti­ta­tive meth­ods across a range of scales, from local to regional and global. Fol­low this link for more infor­ma­tion about his past and cur­rent research.

https://​envi​ron​ment​.yale​.edu/​p​r​o​f​i​l​e​/​b​a​i​l​is/

Household Energy, Cookstoves and Health

Bio­mass fuels (wood, char­coal, dung, and agri­cul­tural residues) are vital to basic wel­fare and eco­nomic activ­ity in devel­op­ing nations, espe­cially in sub-​​Saharan Africa (SSA), where they meet more than 90% of house­hold energy needs in many nations. Com­bus­tion of bio­fu­els emit pol­lu­tants that cur­rently cause over 1.6 mil­lion annual deaths glob­ally (400,000 in SSA. Because most of these deaths are among chil­dren and women, bio­mass use is directly or indi­rectly related to mul­ti­ple Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals (MDGs), includ­ing envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity, reduc­ing child mor­tal­ity, and gen­der equity.

 

Taking indoor air pollution measurements in rural Kenya

Tak­ing indoor air pol­lu­tion mea­sure­ments in rural Kenya

Making charcoal, Kenya

Mak­ing char­coal, Kenya

Women gathering firewood, Zombe, Kenya

Women gath­er­ing fire­wood, Zombe, Kenya

The Information-​​Energy Nexus for Energy Access

Distributed energy and information (satellite TV) in Prizren, Kosovo

Dis­trib­uted energy and infor­ma­tion (satel­lite TV) in Prizren, Kosovo

Homes built in Juba, South Sudan showing the lack of infrastructure associated with these new units.

Homes built in Juba, South Sudan show­ing the lack of infra­struc­ture asso­ci­ated with these new units.

Making charcoal and mud fuel blocks in Kibera, Kenya

Mak­ing char­coal and mud fuel blocks in Kib­era, Kenya

Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA)

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Kam­men speak­ing in Man­agua on an ECAP spon­sored trip to facil­i­tate com­mu­nity energy ini­tia­tives on the RAAS (Region Autonoma de Atlantico Sur).

Dan on Horse to Khaka Creek

Vis­it­ing Kaka Creek, clean energy and bio­di­ver­sity research and eco-​​tourism site in the RAAS.

Lecture on clean energy options at the National Engineering University (UNI) in Mangaua, Nicaragua

Lec­ture on clean energy options at the National Engi­neer­ing Uni­ver­sity (UNI) in Man­gaua, Nicaragua

Meeting with the Mayor of , Dr. Harold Bacon, who awarded Kammen an honorary citizen of Bluefields accolade.

Meet­ing with the Mayor of , Dr. Harold Bacon, who awarded Kam­men an hon­orary cit­i­zen of Blue­fields accolade.

 

 

 

Decentralized energy systems for clean electricity access

Inno­v­a­tive approaches are needed to address the needs of the 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple lack­ing elec­tric­ity, while simul­ta­ne­ously tran­si­tion­ing to a decar­bonized energy sys­tem. With par­tic­u­lar focus on the energy needs of the under­served, we present an ana­lytic and con­cep­tual frame­work that clar­i­fies the het­ero­ge­neous con­tin­uum of cen­tral­ized on-​​grid elec­tric­ity, autonomous mini– or com­mu­nity grids, and dis­trib­uted, indi­vid­ual energy ser­vices. A his­tor­i­cal analy­sis shows that the present day is a unique moment in the his­tory of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion where decen­tral­ized energy net­works are rapidly spread­ing, based on super-​​efficient end-​​use appli­ances and low-​​cost pho­to­voltaics. We doc­u­ment how this evo­lu­tion is sup­ported by crit­i­cal and widely avail­able infor­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies, par­tic­u­larly mobile phones and vir­tual finan­cial ser­vices. These dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy sys­tems can rapidly increase access to basic elec­tric­ity ser­vices and directly inform the emerg­ing Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals for qual­ity of life, while simul­ta­ne­ously dri­ving action towards low-​​carbon, Earth-​​sustaining, inclu­sive energy systems.

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Phone: (510) 642-1640
Fax: (510) 642-1085
Email: ergdeskb@berkeley.edu


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