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.
Samira Siddique is an MS/PhD candidate in the Energy and Resources Group. Her studies focus on the interconnected social, economic, and physical processes of urbanization and climate change in Asia. She was previously an international development researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, where her work included an evaluation of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions in cities worldwide. Prior to that, she was a researcher at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She received her BA from Wesleyan University in the College of Social Studies and the College of the Environment. Samira has interests in energy in conflict settings, and in urban climate adaptation.
A 2018 paper summarizing her research focus can be found in The Dhaka Tribune, here, and in the RAEL Publications Directory.
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.”
For the Human Needs Project full website, click on:
Professor Kammen, serves as the CTO of the Human Needs Project, highlighted how the Kibera Town Center Project provides basic services (water, toilets, showers, laundry) and empowerment services (business skills training, micro-credit, WiFi cafe, health kiosk, green marketplace) to over 800 people per day. These integrated services provide a holistic solution to the challenges of living in a slum. Together, they can help people with a road map to creating a better life.
Kammen demonstrated how clean, local energy can empower vibrant and sustainable community centers. Actress and Human Needs Project Founder and President Connie Nielsen said, “Our vision is to develop a network of community empowerment centers themselves powered by clean energy, which is the most reliable form of power”
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.
Rapid economic growth sustained in Southeast Asia throughout the new millennium has led to a surge in large-scale infrastructure projects to facilitate industrial productivity and consumption. The state of Sarawak, located along the northern coast of the island of Borneo, is the poorest and most rural state in Malaysia but has long been a focal point for the development of large-scale hydroelectric power. At least six dams are scheduled to be completed in Sarawak by 2020 as part of a high hydro-potential corridor in central Sarawak. These forests have undisputed global and local significance ecologically, biologically and culturally.
In collaboration with local grass-roots renewable project developers and river protection groups we have explored the potential for clean energy alternatives in the state through an integration of modeling tools: (a) modeling long-term utility scale electricity generation alternatives in East Malaysia to determine trade-offs across different technologies; (b) exploring the potential for rural communities in dam-affected areas to satisfy energy access needs using local resources; © demonstrating a rapid assessment method for estimating the impact of mega-projects on biodiversity. Each of these studies provides information useful to the discussion of alternatives and furthers the analysis of green economy costs and benefits. Our published findings have influenced policy discussions at the Ministerial level and a moratorium against the Baram Dam was announced in 2015.
Media coverage of our research and the Baram Dam Moratorium:
The Borneo Project, March 21, 2016 — Fantastic new video on “Development without destruction” in Sarawak.
Mongabay, October 20, 2015 — Indigenous anti-dam activists converge in Sarawak from around the globe
Sarawak Report, September 25, 2015 — BMF Press Statement: Victory, Moratorium on the Baram Dam in Malaysia
The Borneo Post, September 27, 2015 — Small is Beautiful: The People Matter
Media coverage of our June 28, 2015 press conference in Kuching, Sarawak:
The Borneo Post, August 11, 2015 - Adenan wants SEB to light up the rural areas
The Malaysian Insider, July 31, 2015 - Adenan puts Baram dam on hold, agrees to listen to natives’ grouses
Radio Free Sarawak, July 15, 2015 - “Sjotveit should be out”, say Sarawakians
The Malaysian Insider, July 14, 2015 - Stop Baleh dam tender until environmental study scrutinised, says Sarawak PKR
Mongabay.com, July 8, 2015 - Sarawak can meet energy needs without mega-dams: report
BFM 89.9 — The Business Station (www.bfm.my), Radio and online interview, July 3, 2015, Clean energy options in East Malaysia
The Daily Express — East Malaysia, June 30, 2015 - Sarawak Mega Dam Project Study
The Borneo Post, June 29, 2015 - Borneo May See the End of Mega-Dams
The Malaysian Insider, June 29, 2015 - Activists say Adenan rethinking mega dams policy in Sarawak
Free Malaysia Today, June 29, 2015 - Adenan May Drop Mega Dam Projects
The Maylay Mail, June 29, 2015 - CM pulls the brakes on Baram dam until he goes through detailed studies, group claims
International Rivers (2014). Better Solutions Than Megadams for Powering Sarawak, Study Finds. World Rivers Review Vol 29. No 2. Page 5.
Earlier media coverage of this work on energy alternatives to coal and mega-hydropower projects includes this report in TIME Magazine:
February 22, 2011 — Borneo says no to dirty energy
Recent discussions of the relationship between mega-dams and earthquakes has also been receiving local coverage in Borneo: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/06/28/dams-fault-lines-and-quakes/
Peter’s research focus areas are information technology approaches to energy development, understanding markets for demand-side energy technology, and energy technology policy. Outside of academics, he contributes to the Lighting Global program, which supports the market for modern off-grid lighting in the developing world. Peter’s work for Lighting Global includes technical and engineering support, policy development, and market intelligence. To escape the city he enjoys hikes in Tilden Park and farther afield, particularly with his two kids and wife Andrea. Peter holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (North Carolina State University) and M.S. in Environmental Systems (Humboldt State University).