Sustainable Islands

             Wigton Windfarms, JamaicaRAEL Graduate Students installing a solar system with GRID Alternatives, CADomestic Solar Water Heating, Tahiti, French Polynesia

           From Left: (a) Wigton Windfarm, Jamaica; (b) Lab member Rebekah installing panels in Oakland, Ca; (c) Solar water heaters in French Polynesia.  

Graduate Student Researcher: Rebekah Shirley 

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 the projects we work on are listed below:

  • Sustainable Energy Systems for Latin America: Building low-carbon economies in Latin America and the Caribbean requires the use of interdisciplinary tools. 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 as a speaker panel for the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley

Fusion report of the Panel Discussion

Center for Latin American Studies: full video  

Switching to Sustainability: Published in the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Spring 2014 

(pdf article here and link to full Review here)

  • Sarawak, East Malaysia., Working with a consortium of NGOs, the RAEL team is conducting an energy feasibility study for the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. This is one of the most ecologically sensitive regions of the country, also with the lowest rate of rural electrification. Our study looks at the potential for village communities to sustain energy needs through local energy resources. 

Report: Kampung Capacity (under peer-review)

Articles, Reviews and References of our Sarawak project:

World Rivers Review June 2014 (page 5 excerpt)

IHA Guest Blog

Bruno Manser Fonds New Article, 23 April, 2014

The Daily Express, 22 September, 2014

  • 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, finding them to be cost effective and insightful for future renewable penetration in the Caribbean. 

Paper published in Energy Policy, February 22, 2013

Our research was featured by Nature Climate Change:

and by Renewable Energy Global Innovations

  • Moorea, 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.  

Final Report: Sustainable Housing in French Polynesia (June 2013)

  • St. Thomas, USVI., Professor Kammen and graduate student Rebekah Shirley were invited to participate in the NREL Energy Development in Island Nations Virgin Islands initiative, launched in St. Thomas 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: 

Paper published in Ecological Economics, May 28, 2012

Article in the Virgin Islands Daily News, June 17, 2010

Online tool: A Household Carbon Calculator for the USVI

Published Report: Estimating the Impact of Renewable Energy on Caribbean Islands' Job Sector 

  • Carriacou and Petite Martinique, 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 Dan Prull prepared a chapter on future energy options. The report was published for the Rio +20 Summit.

UN DESA Article 

2012 Road Map on Building a Green Economy for Grenada

  • Professor Kammen and graduate student Rebekah Shirley collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to perform a survey of the status of Energy Policy in various Caribbean Islands. 

Energy Policy and Sector Analysis in the Caribbean, 2010 - 2011

Clean Energy Solutions Center Announcement

  • Sabah, East Malaysia., Professor Kammen along with students Tyler McNish and Benjamin Gutierrez conducted an energy resource study commissioned by environmental advocacy groups in Malaysia to explore viable energy alternatives to a new coal plant. This research was pivotal in helping to halt federal coal expansion plans. Read all about the struggle and the study here: 

Replacing Coal with Renewables in Malaysia

  • Necker Island, BVI., Professor Kammen and former graduate student Dan Prull were contracted by Richard Branson to design a low carbon microgrid system for his resort island in the Atlantic, which is currently being implemented. See a news article from the New Yorker and a few of D. Prull's presentations on this and other projects here: 

Article in the New Yorker, May 14, 2007

Necker Island Work

Tetiaroa Energy Storage Systems 

Diesel Battery Control Option

Learn about our various talks and seminars on sustainable energy systems in the Caribbean and Pacific Regions:

Energy Policy_Shirley and Kammen .pdf448.91 KB
Diesel_Battery Control Options.ppt530 KB
Tetiaroa_Energy_Storage_System_7_26.pdf854.88 KB
Rebekah_Shirley_Oakland_Grid_Alternatives_Installation1.22 MB
Shirley Kammen Energy Policy Vol 57.pdf406.75 KB
OPF Final Report 19.6.2013.pdf8.84 MB
LCCC_Report_Final_May2012.pdf3.76 MB
June 2012 Road Map.pdf5.13 MB
wrr_june_2014_7 5.pdf418.15 KB
RAEL_Report_2014.pdf892.54 KB