Sergio Castellanos is a Berkeley Energy & Climate Institute – Tecnológico de Monterrey (BECI–ITESM) Energy Fellow working at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab with Prof. Dan Kammen. His research focuses on expanding an optimization model –SWITCH– to Mexico to determine the optimal investments in new generation and transmission assets. Through his research, he also analyzes the manufacturing capacity of photovoltaic solar technologies in Mexico. Previously, in his Ph.D. studies (Mechanical Engineering ’15, MIT) he characterized the electrical impact of structural defects in silicon-based solar cells. He enjoys reading, exploring new hobbies, and learning more about the intersection of technology, business, and policy in renewable energy.
Prior to Berkeley, he was a research associate with Stanford University’s Program on Energy and Sustainable Development from 2008 to 2010.
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.
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.
A Tiny House Workshop is scheduled for November 14 & 15, 2014
Suzette Bienvenue, Energy & Technology Center
Brent Sloan, Community Solar
My research is driven by an interest in the broad-based environmental and social impacts of energy technologies and policies. This work seeks to make explicit the trade-offs that are often present between energy security, climate, and other important social and environmental objectives. In particular, I have worked on issues at the water/energy nexus, evaluating the “water footprints” of a range of energy technologies. Water and energy are inextricably linked, with electricity generation second only to agriculture in total global water withdrawals. This connection is particularly acute for bioenergy, as it is by far the most water-intensive of all energy types. My research has employed life cycle assessment (LCA), agro-climatic modeling, and GIS tools to show that biofuels routinely require several orders of magnitude more water than petroleum fuels while often providing only modest climate benefit.
I approach my research with an eye toward implementation. This has led me to work with California regulatory agencies on fuel policy formulation and to serve as vice-chair of the Geneva-based Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. Prior to coming to HSU, I worked in Rome for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. While there, I provided support to the governments of Indonesia and Colombia in evaluating the environmental and social impacts of their biofuel industries, and in formulating policies to address those impacts.
Kammen speaking in Managua on an ECAP sponsored trip to facilitate community energy initiatives on the RAAS (Region Autonoma de Atlantico Sur).
Visiting Kaka Creek, clean energy and biodiversity research and eco-tourism site in the RAAS.
Energy efficiency, renewable energy, and smart systems integration provides a rapid path away from local and globally polluting energy systems. This general assessment is particularly true for impoverished areas or those impacted by conflict. This is the case because the mixture of energy efficiency and renewable energy can generally be deployed far more rapidly and in more distributed a fashion than traditional, centralized, energy systems.
Kosovo is particularly in need, and particularly amenable to this sort of “rapid and green” development plan. This project, started to identify and quantify opportunities to choose a clean path instead of an ongoing fixation on coal, has now spread to examine both national and regional opportunities in Southeast Europe.
Madison K. Hoffacker is a full-time Sustainable Energy Research Specialist jointly with the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley and the Center for Conservation Biology at UC Riverside. Madison graduated from Chapman University with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy, and previously worked for the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science (Stanford, California).
Hernandez RR, Hoffacker MK, Field CB (2015) Efficient use of land to meet sustainable energy needs. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE2556 [PDF] Featured in: The Washington Post, ECNmag.com, Grist.org, ComputerWorld.com, and GreenTechMedia.com
Hernandez RR, Hoffacker MK, Field CB (2014) The Land-Use Efficiency of Big Solar. Environmental Science and Technology, doi: 10.1021/es4043726. [PDF]
Funk JL, Hoffacker MK, and Matzek V (2014) Summer irrigation, grazing and seed addition differentially influence community composition in an invaded serpentine grassland. [PDF]