News Archive:

Berkeley Lab and ERG Dan Kammen Agree That Electrifying Trucking Proves To Be More Cost-Efficient

In a recent Daily Cal article, ERG professor Dan Kammen was featured discussing a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finding that commercial trucking is capable of undergoing major electrification. The researchers determined that “not only is electrifying regional and long-haul trucks a possibility, but it could offer a cost-effective energy supply for the commercial trucking sector. They also found that electrification could aid efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,” the article states.

“Electrified vehicles are just simply much cheaper to own and operate,” Kammen states in the article. “And it means that the path to zero carbon is just further clarified.”

Read the full article here.

ERG Alumni Deshmukh, Phadke and Professor Callaway Suggest India Double Down on Renewables

ERG alumni Ranjit Deshmukh, Amol Phadke and associate professor Duncan Callaway recently had their research, “Least-cost targets and avoided fossil fuel capacity in India’s pursuit of renewable energy” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their analysis on India’s power usage, weather patterns and energy infrastructure was featured in the The Current, and suggests that the country is “well positioned to take advantage of green energy sources”.

Read their full report here, and the feature in The Current here.

Over Half of Americans Are Covered by Net Zero Target ERG PhD Student Kate Cullen Reports

ERG PhD student Kate Cullen recently published a US net zero policy report on Net Zero Climate examining the quantity and quality of targets. With colleagues at the University of Oxford and Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, Cullen led an analysis of US subnational and corporate net zero targets and co-authored a global stocktake of net zero targets.

“In the US report, our findings are cautiously hopeful: we find that more than half of Americans (53%) are covered by net zero target. US companies accounting for at least $5.2 trillion in yearly sales have also committed to net zero. But we also find that the quality of net zero targets vary widely; some are shy on scope, most don’t mention equity, few have clear restrictions on offsetting. We call for a four-pronged federal strategy to ensure the US achieves its climate ambitions, together, and in a just, equitable and cost-effective way,” Cullen stated in an email.

Read the full US report here, and the full global report here.

ERG Dan Kammen Addresses Texas’ Recent Electric Grid Failure

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, titled “Why the massive power outages in Texas are so much worse than California’s summer blackouts,” features ERG professor Dan Kammen discussing how such energy outages have highlighted a similarity between California and Texas.

“What is so interesting here is that like in California — extreme weather (for us, fires) — has stressed an old, outdated and ‘not smart’ grid,” Kammen stated. “Without well-integrated solar, wind, AND energy storage our grids are vulnerable.”

Read the full article here.

Bloomberg Features ERG Professor Callaway on Electric Power and Stock Market Crashes

A recent article in Bloomberg News, titled “The Electrical Power Crash Is Just Like a Stock Market Crash,” features ERG associate professor Duncan Callaway. The article discusses the state-wide electrical grid failure in Texas, and how the record cold snap caused plants to fail all at once.

Callaway suggests that building more connections between the electricity grid of Texas and the two other man grids that cover the rest of the contiguous 48 states could pose as a potential solution. “If Texas were interconnected with other parts of the U.S., this certainly would not have been as bad,” he states.

Read the full article here.

ERG Professor David Anthoff Provides a “Social Cost of Carbon” Roadmap

ERG assistant professor David Anthoff in a team of researchers recently published new analysis in the journal Nature, listing a series of measures the Biden administration should consider in recalculating the social cost of carbon (SCC).

“Economic analysis is at the heart of the regulatory process in the U.S. and will therefore play a major role in shaping and informing the ambitious climate goals from the new administration,” Anthoff stated. “Our recommendations offer a roadmap for how this can be done in a way that is both scientifically rigorous and transparent.”

Read a feature by the Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources here, and the full publication here.

Earthweek Features ERG Professor Margaret Torn’s Lead Research on Net-Zero Emissions

ERG adjunct professor Margaret Torn was recently featured in Earthweek for her leading research in how the U.S can reach zero net emissions of carbon dioxide in 2050 by shifting energy infrastructure to operate mainly on renewable energy.

“It means that by 2050 we need to build many gigawatts of wind and solar power plants, new transmission lines, a fleet of electric cars and light trucks, millions of heat pumps to replace conventional furnaces and water heaters, and more energy-efficient buildings,” Torn states.

Read the full feature here.

Adaptation for Climate Change Impacts Researched by ERG Student Szinai and Professor Jones

ERG PhD student Julia Szinai and assistant adjunct professor Andrew Jones were recently featured in AGU news for their research on evaluating cross-sectoral impacts of climate change and adaptations on the energy-water nexus.

“How we adapt to climate change in the water sector can exacerbate or offset impacts on the grid,” Szinai states. “And so those interactions shouldn’t be ignored in planning.”

Read the full article here, and the research paper here.

ERG Alums Williams, Farbes, and Professor Torn Reveal US Can Achieve Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050

A new article, “Carbon-neutral pathways for the United States,” published in the open-access journal AGU Advances by ERG alums Jim Williams, Jamil Farbes, ERG alum and adjunct professor Margaret Torn, and others found that “reaching zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from energy and industry by 2050 can be accomplished by rebuilding U.S. energy infrastructure to run primarily on renewable energy, at a net cost of about $1 per person per day.” This study was featured in several news sources, including the Berkeley Lab, Daily Californian, Pv Magazine, and Clean Technica.

“The decarbonization of the U.S. energy system is fundamentally an infrastructure transformation,” Torn states in the Berkeley Lab article. “It means that by 2050 we need to build many gigawatts of wind and solar power plants, new transmission lines, a fleet of electric cars and light trucks, millions of heat pumps to replace conventional furnaces and water heaters, and more energy-efficient buildings – while continuing to research and innovate new technologies.”

Read the American Geophysical Union (AGU) paper here, full feature in the Berkeley Lab here, the Daily Californian here, the Pv Magazine here, and the Clean Technica here.