News Archive:

Dan Kammen and Researchers Urge More Aggressive Action Against Climate Change

In a new study done by ERG’s Dan Kammen and a team of researchers, analysis shows that global warming crisis is worse than previously thought. However, their research also shows how it is completely possible for countries to achieve an increased and sustainable rate of decarbonisation through more aggressive policies against climate change.

“What we need now is a renewed and co-ordinated effort to represent these developments in influential global climate and energy systems models. Doing so is critical to saving trillions of dollars, while achieving stringent climate mitigation outcomes,” Kammen says.

Read the complete article here.

ERG Student Zeke Hausfather Leads Study on the Accuracy of Climate Models

Zeke Hausfather, a current ERG student, led a comprehensive study on the accuracy of past and present climate models; the results revealed that these older climate models were actually considerably accurate at determining the rate and severity of global warming. Furthermore, this vital study highlighted a critical point that these older models were “accurately simulating the relationship between temperatures and greenhouse gases after all—it’s just that their assumptions about future carbon emissions didn’t match up with the emissions that were actually produced in the following years”.

“If you went back and reran that model with the actual levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and methane and chlorofluorocarbons, you would have gotten a value that was indistinguishable from the warming that we’ve actually observed,” Hausfather said.

Click to read the complete article here.

Remembering Jack Hollander, Distinguished Scientist and ERG Emeritus

ERG emeritus professor Jack M. Hollander passed away on November 10, 2019 at age 92. He was a professor in ERG from 1980-83.

The New York Times obituary, November 24, 2019:

HOLLANDER–Jack M., well-known nuclear scientist, died peacefully at his Berkeley, California home on November 10, 2019. He was 92. Jack Hollander will be remembered for a long and distinguished career in nuclear- structure physics, energy, environmental research, and academic administration. Born in Youngstown, Ohio on April 13, 1927, Dr. Hollander authored over 100 publications and 20 books, including his popular memoir, “My Lunch with Shostakovich”. A graduate of The Ohio State University (B.S. Chemistry, 1948) The University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. in Nuclear Chemistry, 1951) and recipient of two Guggenheim fellowships, Dr. Hollander co- founded the environmental research program at The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (1968) and became the Director of its Energy and Environment Division (1973-1976). In Washington, he directed the National Academy of Science CONAES energy study (1976-1978). In Berkeley, he became the first Director of the University of California’s Energy Institute (1979-1983) and co-founder of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. In Stockholm, he served as Chairman of the Beijer Institute of Energy and Human Ecology (1976-1988). Dr. Hollander was founding editor of the international book series Annual Review of Energy (1976-1992) and served as Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies at The Ohio State University (1983-1989). Preceded in death by his stepdaughter, Jennifer Polk, Dr. Jack Hollander is survived by his wife, Sharon Mann, three children, Judy, Jeffrey and Allan Hollander, stepson Andrew Polk, and six grandchildren.

Kammen and RAEL Address the Racial Inequalities in Solar Deployment on The Beam

ERG’s Dan Kammen and RAEL investigate how the benefits of solar energy is not distributed equally among individuals, and how there are racial disparities especially in rooftop solar PV deployment in the United States. This article, published on The Beam, provides numerous statistical and graphic evidence supporting the need for more inclusive energy infrastructure policy.

“When correcting for homeownership, black- and Hispanic-majority census tracts have installed less rooftop PV compared to no-majority tracts by 61% and 45%, respectively, while white-majority census tracts installed 37% more,” the article states.

Read the complete article here.

Kammen on the Increasing Normalization of Power Shutoffs on KCBS Radio

On this edition of KCBS “In Depth, Daniel Kammen discusses how power shutoffs and evacuations may become the the new normal as climate change continues to spark deadlier wildfires year after year. Not only does Kammen and other professional scholars and directors discuss what these circumstances mean for future Californian residents, but also how changes to California’s energy grid might decrease the need for evacuations and electricity shutoffs.

“We expect these every year, we know the Santa Ana winds will reoccur, so it is something we certainly should be planning for. But the risks of climate change and passing through this threshold of more and more severe events is something inherently uncertain… The real question is how we can make our infrastructure more resilient to these risks,” Kammen states.

Listen to the full broadcast here: Power Shutoffs, Evacuations the New Normal? Maybe.

Alumna Alexandra von Meier on Multi-Customer Microgrids to Combat Wildfires

Alexandra “Sascha” von Meier, an ERG Alumna and director in the California Institute for Energy and Environment’s Electric Grid program area, discusses how locally sourced power, compared to shutting off power, can better prevent wildfires. She specifically focuses on multi-customer microgrids, and its potential on becoming a more efficient solution while ensuring individuals still have electricity during such power shut offs.

To read more about some of the prominent issues the current energy grid has when it comes to providing electricity during these electricity shut offs, check out the full article here: Our energy grid is vulnerable. Locally sourced power may be the answer.

ERG Student Patricia Hidalgo-Gonzalez Receives 2020 Siebel Scholars Award

Patricia Hidalgo-Gonzalez, a current ERG Student, has recently been awarded the prestigious 2020 Siebel Scholars Award by the Siebal Scholars Foundation. Patricia’s new title as a Siebel Scholar demonstrates her ability as an exceptional student, and she is to join 93 other scholars to form the Siebel Scholars Foundation’s Class of 2020.

“‘Every year, the Siebel Scholars continue to impress me with their commitment to academics and influencing future society. This year’s class is exceptional, and once again represents the best and brightest minds from around the globe who are advancing innovations in healthcare, artificial intelligence, the environment and more,’ said Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman of the Siebel Scholars Foundation. ‘It is my distinct pleasure to welcome these students into this ever-growing, lifelong community, and I personally look forward to seeing their impact and contributions unfold.'”

Read the full official press release here: Siebel Scholars Foundation Announces Class of 2020

Kammen to Speak at Climate of Action in Napa Valley

Climate of Change is an event dedicated to empowering action on climate change; twelve experts, including Daniel Kammen, were invited to speak on the behalf of such a pressing issue. Hosted at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center, these speakers will discuss a wide range of topics that dedicate to the overarching theme of this event: to find “bold solutions for climate change and everyday actions that you, your business, and our Napa Valley cities and county can take today to lead the efforts to win the battle against climate change”. More specifically, Kammen’s speech will be covering how “The Green Energy Revolution is finally here”.

If you would like to learn more about this event, visit the website here: Climate of Action offers solutions, ideas on Oct. 12

ERG Alum Jonathan Mingle Examines Air Pollution in the New York Review of Books

Jonathan Mingle, an ERG Alumni, published his work reviewing five different publications concerning the critical issue of air pollution. In “Our Lethal Air”, Mingle dissects a novel or letter, emphasizing the increasingly harmful health effects that air pollution has on the human body. He leaves no room for scrutiny on government policy relating to air quality and delves into how each work indicates the rising danger of the air pollution.

Read the complete work of Our Lethal Air here.

On Science— Kammen Explores the Industrial Drivers of a Low-carbon Economy

In an recent article on Science, Kammen contributes insight on the possibilities of harnessing renewable energy through various technological advances.

“…Several utility-scale solar and wind projects already meet one benchmark, delivering power at or below 4 cents/kWh, and the cost of renewables continues to decline,” Kammen notes.

Read the complete article here: Can the world make the chemicals it needs without oil?