Archive of Topic: Energy Policy

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.

 

Countercyclical energy and climate policy for the U.S.

Con­tin­u­a­tion of the U.S.s his­tor­i­cal pat­tern address­ing energy prob­lems only in times of cri­sis is unlikely to cat­alyze a tran­si­tion to an energy sys­tem with fewer adverse social impacts. Instead, the U.S. needs to bol­ster sup­port for energy inno­va­tion when the per­ceived urgency of energy-​​related prob­lems appears to be reced­ing. Because of the lags involved in both the energy sys­tem and the climate sys­tem, decar­boniz­ing the econ­omy will require extra­ordinary per­sis­tence over decades. This need for sus­tained com­mit­ment is in con­trast to the last several decades, which have been marked by volatil­ity and cycles of boom and bust.  In con­trast to the often –repeated phrase that one should never let a good cri­sis go to waste, the U.S. needs to most actively fos­ter energy inno­va­tion when aspects of energy and cli­mate prob­lems appear to be improv­ing. We describe the ratio­nale for a coun­ter­cycli­cal approach to energy and cli­mate pol­icy, which involves pre-​​commitment t o a set of poli­cies that go into effect once a set of trigger con­di­tions are met.
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