Archive of Topic: decarbonization and dramatic reductions in resource consumption

Innovation in Energy Storage

Ener­gy stor­age deploy­ment and inno­va­tion for the clean ener­gy transition

Noah Kit­tnera,b, Felix Lillb,c and Daniel M. Kam­men*a,b,d

a Ener­gy and Resources Group, UC Berke­ley, Berke­ley, CA, USA

b Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Ener­gy Lab­o­ra­to­ry, UC Berke­ley, Berke­ley, CA, USA

c Cen­ter for Dig­i­tal Tech­nol­o­gy and Man­age­ment, TU Munich, Munich, Germany

d Gold­man School of Pub­lic Pol­i­cy, UC Berke­ley, Berke­ley, CA, USA

Carrara, Samuel

Samuel Car­rara holds a Mas­ter Degree cum laude in Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing (Major: Ener­gy and Mechan­i­cal Plants) and a PhD in Ener­gy and Envi­ron­men­tal Tech­nolo­gies, both from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Berg­amo.
After work­ing as an engi­neer in the gas tur­bine field, he is now junior researcher at FEEM. His main research inter­ests include renew­able ener­gies, sus­tain­able devel­op­ment, ener­gy poli­cies, cli­mate and ener­gy eco­nom­ics, advanced ener­gy systems.

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.

SMART VILLAGES: New thinking for off-grid communities worldwide





Key­words: off-grid ener­gy; vil­lage pow­er; decen­tral­ized ener­gy, ener­gy ser­vices, ener­gy innovation.


Two crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant and inter­linked chal­lenges face the glob­al com­mu­ni­ty in the 21st cen­tu­ry: the per­sis­tence of wide­spread ener­gy pover­ty and the result­ing lost eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty; and inten­si­fy­ing human-dri­ven cli­mate dis­rup­tion. These crises are inex­orably linked through the ener­gy tech­nol­o­gy sys­tems that have so far pro­vid­ed the vast major­i­ty of our ener­gy: bio­mass and fos­sil fuels. Both the ener­gy ser­vice cri­sis and the cli­mate cri­sis have become increas­ing­ly seri­ous over the past decades, even though we have seen greater clar­i­ty over the indi­vid­ual and social costs that each has brought to humanity.


The Sus­tain­able Ener­gy Imperative:

The cor­re­la­tion between access to elec­tric­i­ty and a wide range of social goods is over­whelm­ing. How­ev­er, access to improved ener­gy ser­vices alone does not pro­vide a sure­fire path­way to eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty and an improved qual­i­ty of life. In Fig­ure 2 we show the cor­re­la­tions that exist between elec­tric­i­ty access across nations and a vari­ety of mea­sures of qual­i­ty of life, such as the Human Devel­op­ment Index (a mea­sure of well-being based in equal thirds on gross nation­al income, life expectan­cy, and edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment). Oth­er indi­ca­tors stud­ied include gen­der equal­i­ty in edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ty, and the per­cent­age of stu­dents who reach edu­ca­tion­al mile­stones. All of these indices improve sig­nif­i­cant­ly and rough­ly lin­ear­ly with access to elec­tric­i­ty. At the same time, the per­cent­age of peo­ple below the pover­ty line, and child­hood mor­tal­i­ty, both decline with increas­ing ener­gy access1.




Fig­ure 1: A vil­lage micro-grid ener­gy and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem in the Crock­er High­lands of Sabah, Malaysian Bor­neo. The sys­tem serves a com­mu­ni­ty of two hun­dred, and pro­vides house­hold ener­gy ser­vices, tele­coms and satel­lite (dish shown), water pump­ing for fish ponds (seen at cen­ter) and for refrig­er­a­tion. The sup­ply includes micro-hydro and solar gen­er­a­tion (one small pan­el shown here, oth­ers are dis­trib­uted on build­ing rooftops). Pho­to cred­it: Daniel M. Kammen.

 Fig­ure 2: The Human Devel­op­ment Index (HDI) and var­i­ous addi­tion­al met­rics of qual­i­ty of life plot­ted against the per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion with elec­tric­i­ty access. Each data point is coun­try lev­el data a spe­cif­ic point in time. For addi­tion­al data, see Alston, Ger­shen­son, and Kam­men, 20151.


Today the gap between glob­al pop­u­la­tion and those with elec­tric­i­ty access stands at rough­ly 1.3 bil­lion, with ener­gy ser­vices for the unelec­tri­fied com­ing large­ly from kerosene and tra­di­tion­al bio­mass, includ­ing dung and agri­cul­tur­al residues. This ‘access gap’ has per­sist­ed as grid expan­sion pro­grammes and pop­u­la­tion have grown.


Grid expan­sion has rough­ly kept pace with the increase in the glob­al pop­u­la­tion. About 1.4 bil­lion peo­ple in 2013 are com­plete­ly off-grid, and many osten­si­bly con­nect­ed peo­ple in the devel­op­ing world expe­ri­ence sig­nif­i­cant out­ages that range from 20–200+ days a year.   The major­i­ty of these off-grid res­i­dents are in rur­al and under­served peri-urban areas. Cur­rent fore­casts are that this num­ber will remain rough­ly unchanged until 2030, which would rel­e­gate a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion and the economies of many of the need­i­est coun­tries on earth to frag­ile, under­pro­duc­tive lives with less options than they could oth­er­wise have. Tra­di­tion­al grid exten­sion will be slow­est to reach these com­mu­ni­ties. Unless the advances in both ener­gy and infor­ma­tion sys­tems that have occurred over the past decade are more wide­ly adopt­ed, there will be lit­tle if any chance to alter this trend.


Advances in off-grid systems 

Recent­ly we have seen an emer­gence of off-grid elec­tric­i­ty sys­tems that do not require the same sup­port­ing net­works as the tra­di­tion­al forms of cen­tral­ized pow­er gen­er­a­tion. These tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tions are as much based on infor­ma­tion sys­tems as they are direct­ly about ener­gy tech­nol­o­gy. While tra­di­tion­al elec­tric­i­ty grids can grad­u­al­ly pay off (amor­tize) the costs of expen­sive gen­er­a­tion, trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­b­u­tion cap­i­tal equip­ment across many cus­tomers and across many decades, a new busi­ness mod­el is need­ed to rapid­ly bring ener­gy ser­vices to the rur­al and urban poor. Mini-grids and prod­ucts for indi­vid­ual user end-use such as solar home sys­tems have ben­e­fit­ted from dra­mat­ic price reduc­tions and per­for­mance advances in sol­id state elec­tron­ics, cel­lu­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nolo­gies, elec­tron­ic bank­ing, and in the dra­mat­ic decrease in solar ener­gy costs2. This mix of tech­no­log­i­cal and mar­ket inno­va­tion has con­tributed to a vibrant new ener­gy ser­vices sec­tor that in many nations has out­paced tra­di­tion­al grid expansion.


The com­par­i­son between the util­i­ty mod­el of cen­tral-sta­tion ener­gy sys­tems and this new wave of dis­trib­uted ener­gy providers is instruc­tive. Tra­di­tion­al dynamo gen­er­a­tors and arc light­ing per­form best at large scale, and they became the main­stay of large-scale elec­tric util­i­ties. The clas­sic util­i­ty mod­el of a one-way flow of ener­gy from pow­er plant to con­sumers is now rapid­ly chang­ing.   The com­bi­na­tion of low-cost solar, micro-hydro, and oth­er gen­er­a­tion tech­nolo­gies cou­pled with the elec­tron­ics need­ed to man­age small-scale pow­er and to com­mu­ni­cate to con­trol devices and to remote billing sys­tems has changed vil­lage ener­gy. High-per­for­mance, low-cost pho­to­volta­ic gen­er­a­tion, paired with advanced bat­ter­ies and con­trollers, pro­vide scal­able sys­tems across much larg­er pow­er ranges than cen­tral gen­er­a­tion, from megawatts down to frac­tions of a watt3.


The rapid and con­tin­u­ing improve­ments in end-use effi­cien­cy for sol­id state light­ing, direct cur­rent tele­vi­sions, refrig­er­a­tion, fans, and infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy (ICT, as seen in Fig­ure 1) have result­ed in a ‘super-effi­cien­cy trend’. This progress has enabled decen­tral­ized pow­er and appli­ance sys­tems to com­pete with con­ven­tion­al equip­ment for basic house­hold needs. These rapid tech­no­log­i­cal advances in sup­port­ing clean ener­gy both on- and off-grid are fur­ther­more pre­dict­ed to con­tin­ue. This process has been par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant at the indi­vid­ual device and house­hold (solar home sys­tem) lev­el, and for the emerg­ing world of vil­lage mini-grids3.


Diverse Tech­nol­o­gy Options to Pro­vide Ener­gy Ser­vices for the Unelectrified:

With these tech­no­log­i­cal cor­ner­stones, aid orga­ni­za­tions, gov­ern­ments, acad­e­mia, and the pri­vate sec­tor are devel­op­ing and sup­port­ing a wide range of approach­es to serve the needs of the poor, includ­ing pico-light­ing devices (often very small 1 – 2 watt solar pan­els charg­ing lithi­um-ion bat­ter­ies which in turn pow­er low-cost/high effi­cien­cy light emit­ting diode lights), solar home sys­tems (SHS), and com­mu­ni­ty-scale micro- and mini-grids. Decen­tral­ized sys­tems are clear­ly not com­plete sub­sti­tutes for a reli­able grid con­nec­tion, but they rep­re­sent an impor­tant lev­el of access until a reli­able grid is avail­able and fea­si­ble. They pro­vide an impor­tant plat­form from which to devel­op more dis­trib­uted ener­gy ser­vices. By over­com­ing access bar­ri­ers often through mar­ket-based struc­tures, these sys­tems pro­vide entire­ly new ways to bring ener­gy ser­vices to the poor and for­mer­ly un-con­nect­ed people.


Meet­ing peo­ples’ basic light­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion needs is an impor­tant first step on the ‘mod­ern elec­tric­i­ty ser­vice lad­der’ 4. Elim­i­nat­ing kerosene light­ing from a house­hold improves house­hold health and safe­ty while pro­vid­ing sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er qual­i­ty and quan­ti­ties of light. Fuel based light­ing is a $20 bil­lion indus­try in Africa alone, and tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ties exist to both reduce ener­gy costs for the poor, and to improve the qual­i­ty of ser­vice. Charg­ing a rur­al or vil­lage cell phone can cost $5 – 10/​kWh at a pay-for-ser­vice charg­ing sta­tion, but less than $0.50 cents/​kWh via an off-grid prod­uct or on a mini-grid.


This invest­ment frees income and also tends to lead to high­er rates of uti­liza­tion for mobile phones and oth­er small devices. Over­all, the first few watts of pow­er medi­at­ed through effi­cient end-uses lead to ben­e­fits in house­hold health, edu­ca­tion, and pover­ty reduc­tion. Beyond basic needs there can be a wide range of impor­tant and high­ly-val­ued ser­vices from decen­tral­ized pow­er (e.g., tele­vi­sion, refrig­er­a­tion, fans, heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air-con­di­tion­ing, motor-dri­ven appli­ca­tions) depend­ing on the pow­er lev­el and its qual­i­ty along with demand-side efficiency.


Expe­ri­ence with the ‘off-grid’ poor con­firms the excep­tion­al val­ue derived from the first incre­ment of ener­gy service—equivalent to 0.2–1 Wh/​day for mobile phone charg­ing or the first 100 lumen-hours of light. Giv­en the cost and ser­vice lev­el that fuel-based light­ing and fee-based mobile phone charg­ing pro­vide as a base­line, sim­ply shift­ing this expen­di­ture to a range of mod­ern ener­gy tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions could pro­vide a much bet­ter ser­vice, or sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings over the life­time of a light­ing prod­uct (typ­i­cal­ly 3–5 years).


Mir­ror­ing the ear­ly devel­op­ment of elec­tric util­i­ties, improve­ments in under­ly­ing tech­nol­o­gy sys­tems for decen­tral­ized pow­er are also being com­bined with new busi­ness mod­els, insti­tu­tion­al and reg­u­la­to­ry sup­port, and inte­grat­ed infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy sys­tems5, 6. His­tor­i­cal­ly, the non-tech­ni­cal bar­ri­ers to adop­tion have been imped­i­ments to wide­spread adop­tion of off-grid elec­tric­i­ty, and in some cas­es they still are. A lack of appro­pri­ate invest­ment cap­i­tal also ham­pers the estab­lish­ment and expan­sion of pri­vate sec­tor ini­tia­tives. Fur­ther­more, com­plex and often per­verse pol­i­cy envi­ron­ments impair entry for clean tech­nolo­gies and entrench incum­bent sys­tems. Sub­si­dies for liq­uid light­ing fuels can reduce the incen­tive to adopt elec­tric light­ing. In addi­tion, the preva­lence of imper­fect or inac­cu­rate infor­ma­tion about qual­i­ty can lead to mar­ket spoil­ing4 and is also man­i­fest­ed by a lack of con­sumer under­stand­ing and aware­ness of alter­na­tives to incum­bent light­ing technology.


Test­ing lab­o­ra­to­ries that rate the qual­i­ty of the light­ing prod­ucts and dis­sem­i­nate the results are an invalu­able step in increas­ing the qual­i­ty and com­pet­i­tive­ness of new entrants into the off-grid and mini-grid ener­gy ser­vices space. The Light­ing Glob­al (https://​www​.light​ing​glob​al​.org) pro­gramme5 is one exam­ple of an effort that began as an indus­try watch­dog, but has now become an impor­tant plat­form that pro­vides mar­ket insights, steers qual­i­ty assur­ance frame­works for mod­ern, off-grid light­ing devices and sys­tems, and pro­motes sus­tain­abil­i­ty through a part­ner­ship with industry.


An Action Agen­da for Ener­gy Access:

The diver­si­ty of new ener­gy ser­vice prod­ucts avail­able, and the rapid­ly increas­ing demand for infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices, water, health and enter­tain­ment in vil­lages world­wide has built a very large demand for reli­able and low-cost ener­gy7. Com­bin­ing this demand with the dri­ve for clean ener­gy brings two impor­tant objec­tives that were for many years seen as in direct com­pe­ti­tion with align­ment around the suite of new clean ener­gy prod­ucts that can pow­er vil­lage ener­gy services.


To enable and expand this process, a range of design prin­ci­ples emerge that can form a roadmap to clean ener­gy economies:



  • Estab­lish clear goals at the local lev­el: Uni­ver­sal ener­gy access is the glob­al goal by 20307, but estab­lish­ing more near-term goals that embody mean­ing­ful steps from the present sit­u­a­tion will show how what is pos­si­ble and at what lev­el of effort. Cities and vil­lages have begun with audits of ener­gy ser­vices, costs, and envi­ron­men­tal impacts. A num­ber of tools are often cit­ed as excel­lent start­ing points, includ­ing the cli­mate foot­print assess­ment tools like http://​cool​cli​mate​.berke​ley​.edu, and the HOMER soft­ware pack­age (http://​www​.home​ren​er​gy​.com) used by many groups to design both local mini-grids and to plan and cost out off-grid ener­gy options


  • Empow­er vil­lages as both design­ers and as con­sumers of local­ized pow­er: Vil­lage solu­tions nec­es­sar­i­ly vary great­ly, but clean ener­gy resource assess­ments, eval­u­a­tion of the need­ed infra­struc­ture invest­ment, and, most often neglect­ed but most impor­tant, the social struc­tures around which suf­fi­cient train­ing exists to make the vil­lage ener­gy sys­tem a suc­cess.   In a pilot in rur­al Nicaragua, once the assess­ment was com­plete8 move­ment from eval­u­a­tion to imple­men­ta­tion quick­ly became a goal of both the com­mu­ni­ty and a local com­mer­cial plant.


  • Make equi­ty a cen­tral design con­sid­er­a­tion: Com­mu­ni­ty ener­gy solu­tions have the poten­tial to lib­er­ate women entre­pre­neurs and dis­ad­van­taged eth­nic minori­ties by tai­lor­ing user-mate­ri­als and ener­gy plans to meet the cul­tur­al and lin­guis­tic needs of these com­mu­ni­ties. Nation­al pro­grammes often ignore busi­ness spe­cial­ties, cul­tur­al­ly appro­pri­ate cook­ing and oth­er home ener­gy needs. Think­ing explic­it­ly about this is both good busi­ness and makes the solu­tions much more like­ly to be adopted.


Ref­er­ences & Fur­ther Reading: 

  1.  Alstone, Peter, Ger­shen­son, Dim­it­ry and Daniel K. Kam­men (2015) Decen­tral­ized ener­gy sys­tems for clean elec­tric­i­ty access, , , 305 – 314.
  2. Alstone, Peter, Ger­shen­son, Dim­it­ry and Daniel K. Kam­men (2015) Decen­tral­ized ener­gy sys­tems for clean elec­tric­i­ty access, Nature Cli­mate Change, 5, 305 – 314.
  3. Zheng, Cheng and Kam­men, Daniel (2014) An Inno­va­tion-Focused Roadmap for a Sus­tain­able Glob­al Pho­to­volta­ic Indus­try, Ener­gy Pol­i­cy, 67, 159–169.
  4. Daniel Schnitzer, Deepa Shinde Louns­bury, Juan Pablo Car­val­lo, Ran­jit Desh­mukh, Jay Apt, and Daniel M. Kam­men (2014) Micro­grids for Rur­al Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion: A crit­i­cal review of best prac­tices based on sev­en case stud­ies (Unit­ed Nation­al Foun­da­tion: New York, NY). http://​ener​gy​ac​cess​.org/​i​m​a​g​e​s​/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​M​i​c​r​o​g​r​i​d​s​R​e​p​o​r​t​F​I​N​A​L​_​h​i​g​h​.​pdf
  1. Casil­las, C. and Kam­men, D. M. (2010) The ener­gy-pover­ty-cli­mate nexus, Sci­ence, 330, 1182
  2. Azeve­do, I. L., Mor­gan, M. G. & Mor­gan, F. (2009) The tran­si­tion to sol­id-state light­ing. Pro­ceed­ings of the IEEE 97, 481–510 (2009).
  3. Mil­e­va, A., Nel­son, J. H., John­ston, J., and Kam­men, D. M. (2013) Sun­Shot Solar Pow­er Reduces Costs and Uncer­tain­ty in Future Low-Car­bon Elec­tric­i­ty Sys­tems, Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence & Tech­nol­o­gy, 47 (16), 9053 – 9060.
  4. Sova­cool, B. K. The polit­i­cal econ­o­my of ener­gy pover­ty: A review of key chal­lenges. Ener­gy for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment 16, 272–282 (2012).
  5. SE4ALL. (2013) Glob­al Track­ing Frame­work (Unit­ed Nations Sus­tain­able Ener­gy For All, New York, NY).


Tiny House in My Backyard

Tiny House Competition

This event is open to all col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties in Cal­i­for­nia. Par­tic­i­pa­tion pro­motes an inter­est in ener­gy con­ser­va­tion, ener­gy effi­cien­cy and green build­ing and solar tech­nolo­gies. The Ener­gy & Tech­nol­o­gy Cen­ter and Com­mu­ni­ty Solar are proud to spon­sor this event.

The Tiny House Com­pe­ti­tion – Build Small and Win Big” is a new com­pe­ti­tion in the Sacra­men­to region, chal­leng­ing col­le­giate teams to design and build net-zero, tiny solar hous­es. The event is antic­i­pat­ed to be held in the fall of 2016 and is spear­head­ed by SMUD’s Ener­gy & Tech­nol­o­gy Cen­ter and Com­mu­ni­ty Solar®program.

The Com­pe­ti­tion
This event is mod­eled after the U.S. Depart­ment of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. An edu­ca­tor or oth­er school admin­is­tra­tor will men­tor each team. Dur­ing the two years lead­ing up to the event, stu­dents will design and build the ener­gy-effi­cient hous­es. A stipend between $3,000 — $6,000 will be provided.

Dur­ing the week of com­pe­ti­tion, stu­dents will exhib­it their hous­es to the pub­lic, judges and the media. The ten cat­e­gories of the decathlon include archi­tec­tur­al design, liv­abil­i­ty, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, afford­abil­i­ty, ener­gy effi­cien­cy and bal­ance, appli­ance load, technology/​electrical and mechan­i­cal sys­tems, trans­porta­tion, sus­tain­abil­i­ty and doc­u­men­ta­tion. On the last day, teams will be award­ed tro­phies and mon­e­tary prizes.

Dead­line to apply
The dead­line to apply for the 2015 com­pe­ti­tion has passed.

Work­shop date
A Tiny House Work­shop is sched­uled for Novem­ber 14 & 15, 2014

Suzette Bien­v­enue, Ener­gy & Tech­nol­o­gy Center

Brent Sloan, Com­mu­ni­ty Solar


Avila, Nkiruka

Nkiru­ka Avi­la is a grad­u­ate stu­dent in the Ener­gy and Resources Group at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. She grad­u­at­ed with Sum­ma cum Laude hon­ors in Petro­le­um Engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Okla­homa. She has worked in var­i­ous sec­tors of the ener­gy indus­try, from engi­neer­ing design and pro­duc­tion to end-use dis­tri­b­u­tion and mar­ket­ing. Her cur­rent research inter­ests include renew­able ener­gy inte­gra­tion, sus­tain­able ener­gy devel­op­ment and rur­al electrification.

Nahas, Anthony

Tony served as man­ag­er of  Phase I of the EcoBlock project, which end­ed in 2018.

The EcoBlick is an urban sus­tain­abil­i­ty exper­i­ment in Oak­land, CA. The project brings togeth­er a mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary team of urban design­ers, engi­neers, social sci­en­tists, and pol­i­cy experts from UC Berke­ley, Lawrence Berke­ley Nation­al Labs, NASA Ames Research Cen­ter and Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, as well as local grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions, non-prof­its, local util­i­ties PG&E & EBMUD, the City of Oak­land and the State of California.


The goal is to EcoBlock demon­strate inte­grat­ed solu­tions that dra­mat­i­cal­ly reduce home and neigh­bor­hood GHG emis­sions, dra­mat­i­cal­ly cut water con­sump­tion, recy­cle waste­water, enable organ­ic urban food sys­tems, and pro­mote invest­ment in jobs, renew­ables and green infrastructure.

Tony received his under­grad­u­ate edu­ca­tion at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty and Paris-IV Sor­bonne in His­to­ry and Anthro­pol­o­gy. He pur­sued grad­u­ate work in medieval Mid­dle East­ern his­to­ry at the Sor­bonne, the Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty of Cairo and Colum­bia, research­ing the eco­nom­ic his­to­ry and admin­is­tra­tion of the irri­ga­tion sys­tems in the agri­cul­tur­al lands between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers dur­ing the late Sas­sanid (5th-7th CE) and Abbasid (8th-11th CE) empires.


Tony holds an MBA from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chicago’s Booth School of Busi­ness and worked in cor­po­rate finance in the City of Lon­don for JP Mor­gan, Bar­clays and ING Bar­ings before trans­fer­ring to Bryan Gar­nier in Paris. There­after, he estab­lished his own Invest­ment Fund spe­cial­iz­ing in alter­na­tive assets. In 2013, he tran­si­tioned from Finance to Sus­tain­abil­i­ty with a par­tic­u­lar inter­est in the con­ver­gence of eco­nom­ics and the envi­ron­ment. He was a Research Affil­i­ate at the Pre­sidio Grad­u­ate School dur­ing the 2014 aca­d­e­m­ic year.

Lipman, Timothy

Tim­o­thy E. Lip­man is an ener­gy and envi­ron­men­tal tech­nol­o­gy, eco­nom­ics, and pol­i­cy researcher and lec­tur­er with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia — Berke­ley. He is serv­ing as Co-Direc­tor for the cam­pus’ Trans­porta­tion Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Research Cen­ter (TSRC), based at the Insti­tute of Trans­porta­tion Stud­ies, and also as Direc­tor of the U.S. Depart­ment of Ener­gy Pacif­ic Region Clean Ener­gy Appli­ca­tion Cen­ter (PCEAC). Tim’s research focus­es on elec­tric-dri­ve vehi­cles, fuel cell tech­nol­o­gy, com­bined heat and pow­er sys­tems, bio­fu­els, renew­able ener­gy, and elec­tric­i­ty and hydro­gen ener­gy sys­tems infrastructure.

Lip­man received his Ph.D. degree in Envi­ron­men­tal Pol­i­cy Analy­sis with the Grad­u­ate Group in Ecol­o­gy at UC Davis (1999). He also has received an M.S. degree in the tech­nol­o­gy track of the Grad­u­ate Group in Trans­porta­tion Tech­nol­o­gy and Pol­i­cy, also at UC Davis (1998), and a B.A. from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty (1990). His Ph.D. dis­ser­ta­tion titled “Zero-Emis­sion Vehi­cle Sce­nario Cost Analy­sis Using A Fuzzy Set-Based Frame­work” received the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia Trans­porta­tion Cen­ter’s ‘Char­lie Wootan’ Ph.D. dis­ser­ta­tion award for 1999. He is also a 2005 Cli­mate Change Fel­low with the Woods Insti­tute at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, and he also received a 2004 Insti­tute of Trans­porta­tion Engi­neers ser­vice award, a 1998 NSF IGERT teach­ing fel­low­ship, a 1997 Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia Trans­porta­tion Cen­ter Dis­ser­ta­tion Grant, a 1996 ENO Foun­da­tion Fel­low­ship, a 1995 Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia Trans­porta­tion Cen­ter Dis­ser­ta­tion Grant, and a 1994 Chevron Foun­da­tion Fel­low­ship. A native of Gold­en, Col­orado, he grad­u­at­ed Cum Laude from Col­orado Acad­e­my in 1986.

Asfaw, Solomon Abede

Research Inter­ests:
Solomon’s cur­rent research inter­ests include: grid inte­gra­tion of inter­mit­tent renew­able ener­gy resources (PV and Wind); stor­age require­ments for very high grid pen­e­tra­tion of Renew­able; load-side man­age­ment analy­sis for high grid pen­e­tra­tion; employ­ment of SWITCH for the East African Pow­er Pool con­sor­tium of utilities.
Solomon received his under­grad­u­ate degree in Physics from Bahir Dar Uni­ver­si­ty, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia; an M.Sc. degree in Physics from the Nor­we­gian Uni­ver­si­ty of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy, Trond­heim, Nor­way; a sec­ond M.Sc. and PhD degree spe­cial­iz­ing in ener­gy sys­tem analy­sis from Ben-Guri­on Uni­ver­si­ty of the Negev, Sede Boqer, Israel. He was was a Philo­math­ia post­doc­tor­al fel­low at Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia — Berkeley.
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