Archive of Topic: Energy Policy

Laos Energy Modeling and Policy Analysis (LEMPA) Project

Meet the Laos Energy Mod­el­ing and Pol­icy Analy­sis (Under­grad­u­ate!) Team:

The focus of this inter-​​disciplinary and inter-​​university research group is to develop sus­tain­able energy, water, and land-​​use sce­nar­ios for Laos, and to work with local stake-​​holders on the costs and ben­e­fits for com­mu­ni­ties, the nation, and the regional com­merce in energy, water, food, tim­ber and other commodities.

Aadi­tee Kudrimoti

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 8.21.05 AMBio: Aadi­tee is a fourth-​​year at UC Berke­ley study­ing polit­i­cal sci­ence and pub­lic pol­icy with a con­cen­tra­tion in energy, devel­op­ment, and inter­na­tional rela­tions. Aadi­teeis orig­i­nally from Tuc­son, Ari­zona, where she began to develop an inter­est in inter­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal affairs. At UC Berke­ley, Aadi­teeis work­ing on projects in the polit­i­cal econ­omy of Chi­nese devel­op­ment finance, rural elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, and col­lec­tive action. Aadi­tee­has become espe­cially inter­ested in how the rise of renew­able tech­nol­ogy is influ­enc­ing energy diplo­macy around the world. She hopes to pur­sue a career in acad­e­mia and pub­lic pol­icy and work on gov­er­nance tools to build the bar­gain­ing capac­ity of LDCs against MNCs, for­eign state-​​owned enter­prises, etc. on the sub­ject of FDI and other types of invest­ment. She sees SWITCH-​​Laos as hav­ing the poten­tial to serve as a crit­i­cal tool in assist­ing the increase of the Lao people’s bar­gain­ing power over FDI in the energy sec­tor and thus their auton­omy in deter­min­ing their own eco­nomic devel­op­ment. Out­side school, Aaditee’s inter­ests include dance, food jour­nal­ism, and cooking.

 

Alex Lathem

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 8.20.29 AMBio: Alex Lathem is a third-​​year under­grad­u­ate at Yale Uni­ver­sity. He is a physics major with sev­eral years of expe­ri­ence using pro­gram­ming lan­guages, includ­ing Python SQL, C, and Bash, to ana­lyze sci­en­tific data. Pre­vi­ous research projects Alex has worked on include astrom­e­try of near-​​Earth aster­oids and the cre­ation of a Hub­ble curve through the analy­sis of Type Ia super­novae. Alex spent the sum­mer of 2019 work­ing on the SWITCH model for China, and is very excited to apply the skills he learned there to a ver­sion for Laos. Out­side of research, Alex is also inter­ested in music, video game design, lin­guis­tics, and history.

 

Ash­ley Yip

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 8.19.15 AMBio: Ash­ley is a second-​​year under­grad­u­ate study­ing envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence with an empha­sis in global pol­i­tics. She moved to New Mex­ico, where she devel­oped an inter­est in envi­ron­men­tal affairs. At UC Berke­ley, she is involved in a pre-​​law asso­ci­a­tion that helped her explore her inter­est in law and how she may inte­grate that into envi­ron­men­tal­ism. Off cam­pus, she is work­ing on a sex edu­ca­tion reform project in Sin­ga­pore with the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion. She is con­stantly explor­ing the inter­sec­tion between pol­icy, edu­ca­tion, and the envi­ron­ment. She hopes to return home to Sin­ga­pore and pur­sue a career in inter­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal pol­icy or law within South­east Asia. Ash­ley chose to work on SWITCH-​​Laos not only because green­ing ASEAN’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment is essen­tial to tack­ling cli­mate change, but also because she is famil­iar with the demo­graphic. She has done research in regards to both urban and rural agri­cul­ture in Asia and the US, and led research for envi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment in busi­ness oper­a­tions. Out­side of school, her inter­ests include climb­ing, hik­ing, piano, and camper vans.

Rachel Ng

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Bio: Rachel is a second-​​year Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence and Data Sci­ence major. A Singapore-​​native, Rachel describes that SWITCH-​​Laos extremely impor­tant to her because it is an impor­tant step towards the energy secu­rity of South­east Asia. She believes that the sus­tain­able elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of South­east Asia is key to regional grid sta­bil­ity and energy trade. She is pur­su­ing SWITCH-​​Laos as crit­i­cal in lead­ing the way towards sus­tain­able elec­tri­fi­ca­tion. Rachel is inter­ested in the inter­sec­tion­al­ity between cli­mate change and com­mu­nity, explor­ing how com­mu­nity based issues caused by cli­mate change can be alle­vi­ated through data. Fur­ther­more, Rachel is cur­rently con­cerned about equal access to edu­ca­tion and vol­un­teers weekly as a men­tor to ele­men­tary school stu­dents. In the future, she hopes to return to Sin­ga­pore and guide envi­ron­men­tal change through cre­at­ing an ecosys­tem of sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses. Her hob­bies include dance, rock climb­ing and water sports.

Patel, Serena

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.”

Jiang, Kelly

As an under­grad­u­ate Kelly was invited to work as a GSR to com­pile data on decen­tral­ized renew­able energy (DRE) in part­ner­ship with Power for All (P4All) as part of a larger effort to research and to build the case for uni­ver­sal elec­tric­ity access by 2025 through dis­trib­uted renew­able energy.  In this project Kelly is work­ing with Dr. Rebekah Shirley and Pro­fes­sor Dan Kam­men of UC Berke­ley Energy and Resources Group.

In the Spring of 2018 Kelly is also a Vis­it­ing Stu­dent and mini-​​grid research stu­dent at the State Key Lab­o­ra­tory of Trans­mis­sion Equip­ment and Sys­tem Secu­rity and New Tech­nol­ogy at Chongqing Uni­ver­sity where she is super­vised by Pro­fes­sor Minyou Chen of the School of Elec­tri­cal Engineering.

Castellanos, Sergio

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.

The Platform for Energy Access Knowledge

The Plat­form for Energy Access Knowl­edge (PEAK) is a project part­ner­ship between RAEL and Power for All,  a global cam­paign to accel­er­ate the market-​​​​based growth of decen­tral­ized renew­ables as the key to achiev­ing uni­ver­sal energy access. The cam­paign, estab­lished in 2014, serves as a col­lec­tive voice for busi­nesses and civil soci­ety focused on off-​​​​grid renew­able solu­tions. The research prod­ucts of this part­ner­ship will pro­vide crit­i­cal evi­dence needed to sup­port wide­spread adop­tion of dis­trib­uted technologies.

PEAK is an inter­ac­tive infor­ma­tion exchange plat­form designed to help aggre­gate and repack­age the best research and infor­ma­tion on energy access into com­pelling data-​​​driven sto­ries for a range of tar­get audi­ences to ensure max­i­mum vis­i­bil­ity, usabil­ity and dis­cov­er­abil­ity of that infor­ma­tion by indi­vid­u­als, orga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­ni­ties work­ing to make energy ser­vices acces­si­ble to all.

The Power for All Cam­paign is directed by Kristina Skierka. PEAK research is directed by Dr. Rebekah Shirley, cur­rent Post­doc­toral Researcher at RAEL.

See PEAK’s Launch Press Release, March 2016

See PEAK prod­ucts here and look out for our web por­tal soon to come.

Recently, PEAK con­ducted a quan­ti­ta­tive analy­sis that exam­ines the poli­cies of five high-​​growth mar­kets striv­ing to achieve uni­ver­sal energy access — India and Bangladesh in Asia, and Kenya, Tan­za­nia and Ethiopia in Africa — and high­lights areas for pol­icy pri­or­i­ti­za­tion in Low Energy Access coun­tries. Our research is cur­rently under peer-​​review. See an unpub­lished, draft/​working ver­sion of our man­u­script and look out for more infor­ma­tion soon.

Low Carbon Solutions for Sustainable Islands

The Sus­tain­able Islands group at RAEL is involved in under­stand­ing the scope for renew­able energy and energy effi­ciency in the Small Island Devel­op­ing State (SIDS) con­text. We are involved in a num­ber of projects that involve fea­si­bil­ity analy­sis, resource opti­miza­tion and energy sys­tem mod­el­ling. We con­duct assess­ments and build deci­sion sup­port tools for pol­icy mak­ers and indi­vid­u­als — to sup­port the build out of sus­tain­able, low car­bon island economies. Some of our past projects are listed here:

 

Energy Sec­tor Trends in the Caribbean

Pro­fes­sor Kam­men and grad­u­ate stu­dent Rebekah Shirley recently pub­lished an arti­cle on the his­tory of energy sec­tor devel­op­ment in the Caribbean. The paper also looks at a num­ber of cur­rent renew­able energy projects in the region, per­forms cost ben­e­fit analy­sis and dis­cusses oppor­tu­ni­ties for future renew­able pen­e­tra­tion in the region. Our work is high­lighted in Nature Cli­mate Change.

Shirley, R. and Kam­men, D. (2012). Renew­able energy sec­tor devel­op­ment in the Caribbean: Cur­rent trends and lessons from his­tory. Energy Pol­icy. Vol­ume 57, June 2013, Pages 244–252

 

Energy Effi­cient Low Income Hous­ing, French Polynesia

The RAEL Sus­tain­able Islands group was invited to col­lab­o­rate with researchers from the UC Berke­ley Gump Sta­tion in Moorea and the Poly­ne­sian Hous­ing Office to con­duct a inte­grated study on the sus­tain­abil­ity of low income hous­ing pro­to­types based on mate­ri­als and ther­mal per­for­mance. Our team con­tributed the car­bon foot­print assess­ment to this study. Check out the final report above.

 

Car­bon Foot­prints and Green-​​Job Poten­tial in the USVI

Pro­fes­sor Kam­men and grad­u­ate stu­dent Rebekah Shirley were invited to par­tic­i­pate in the NREL Energy Devel­op­ment in Island Nations Ini­tia­tive, launched in St. Thomas, USVI in 2010. Since then they have col­lab­o­rated with NREL and var­i­ous agen­cies in the ter­ri­tory to develop a house­hold car­bon cal­cu­la­tor and green jobs esti­ma­tor used as tools in pub­lic edu­ca­tion and deci­sion mak­ing. Kam­men and Shirley also col­lab­o­rated with NREL and the OAS to pre­pare a sur­vey of the sta­tus of Energy Pol­icy in var­i­ous Caribbean Islands.

Shirley, R., Jones, C. and Kam­men, D. (2012). A house­hold car­bon foot­print cal­cu­la­tor for islands: Case study of the United States Vir­gin Islands. Eco­log­i­cal Eco­nom­ics. Vol­ume 80, August 2012, Pages 8–14

U.S. DOE (2011). Energy Pol­icy and Sec­tor Analy­sis in the Caribbean 2010 — 2011.

Shirley, R. and Kam­men, D. (2012). Esti­mat­ing the Poten­tial Impact of Renew­able Energy on the Caribbean Job Sec­tor. RAEL Report 2012.1.

 

Green Jobs in Grenada

RAEL col­lab­o­rated with the UN Depart­ment of Eco­nomic and Social Affairs (DESA) on a road map for sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth in Grenada. Pro­fes­sor Kam­men and grad­u­ate stu­dent Rebekah Shirley pre­pared a chap­ter on green job poten­tial while ERG alumni Dan Prull pre­pared a chap­ter on future energy options. The report was pub­lished for the Rio +20 Sum­mit.

UN DESA (2012). Road Map on Build­ing a Green Econ­omy for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment in Car­ri­a­cou and Petite Mar­tinique, Grenada.

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.

 

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Email: ergdeskb@berkeley.edu


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