News Archive:

Margaret Torn Recognized for Exceptional Scientific Achievement by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

ERG Associate Professor Margaret Torn was recently granted LBNL’s 2017 Director’s Award for Exceptional Achievement in the Scientific category.

“The Director’s Awards program recognizes significant achievements of Lab employees. Each year, these awards are given for accomplishments, leadership, collaboration, multi-disciplinary science, cross-divisional projects, and commitment to excellence in support of the Lab’s mission and strategic goals.”

View the announcement here.

Featured Image: Flickr, ‘Advanced Light Source’ – Lawrence Berkeley Nat’l Lab – Roy Kaltschmidt

UC Wins Excellence in Green Power Use Award from EPA

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the University of California system with the Excellence in Green Power Use Award for its investments in renewable energy, and continued progress toward reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The EPA aims to recognize organizations that “both exceed the minimum benchmark requirements for green power usage and ‘demonstrate a distinct market impact through innovation, communications, and stakeholder engagement.'”

Quoted on UC Berkeley’s sustainability efforts, Dan Kammen added, “Berkeley has led the way in doing building energy efficiency audits and using this data to design better building control systems.”

Read the Daily Californian article here.

Read about EPA’s Green Power Leadership Awards here.

Featured image: Chou Hall in the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, which aims to be the first zero-waste building on campus by 2018 (photo: Kevin Chan –  The Daily Californian Staff)

Kammen on Energy in Africa: Why Renewables Will Give More People Access to Energy than Coal

ERG Professor Dan Kammen was quoted in CarbonBrief this week, reinforcing the International Energy Agency’s assertion that renewable energy is emerging as a cheaper and more socially responsible alternative to coal in providing electricity to the 1.1 billion people who still lack energy access.

“Coal doesn’t even deliver the thing for which it’s really been touted for, and that is, bringing people out of poverty because somehow it’s this least-cost fossil fuel source…I really cringe a bit when I see people touting mega fossil fuel projects as the obvious, first thing to look at…Distributed clean energy, time and time again today, has proven to be better, cheaper, more socially and environmentally positive.” – Dan Kammen

Read the full article here.


Lessons from Fracking in the USA and Mexico – ERG’s Kammen, Ponce de Leon, and Marsters Examine Mexico’s Energy Future

Last week, Dan Kammen, Diego Ponce de Leon, and Peter Marsters published their analysis of the environmental, social, economic, and community impacts of the shale industry on Mexico. The team also discussed lessons that can be learned from the recent ‘shale boom’ in the United States.

The analy­sis seeks to inform mainly Mex­i­can pol­icy mak­ers, but also aca­d­e­mics, non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions, and the pub­lic in gen­eral, about the main con­cerns regard­ing hydraulic frac­tur­ing activ­i­ties, and the impor­tance of reg­u­la­tory enforce­ment and com­mu­nity engage­ment in advanc­ing sus­tain­abil­ity.

To read more and access the study, visit the Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory website.

Image: Mark A. Wilson, 2007

Wind and Solar Energy Potential in The Democratic Republic of Congo – New ERG Study

Image: Renewable Riches: How Wind and Solar Could Power DRC and South Africa (2017)

Ana Mileva, Ranjit Deshmukh, and Grace Wu discuss The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) position to harness reliable renewable energy.

“In the analysis Renewable Riches, researchers from the University of California’s Energy and Resources Group modeled the DRC’s best wind and solar sites.

According to the report, the country’s wind and solar potential, measured at 85GW, could address the country’s chronic power shortages and would far surpass the output of the planned 4.8GW Inga 3 Dam on the Congo River. 60GW of that energy could be installed at less than $0.07 per kWh, which makes it competitive with conventional power options, says the report.”

Read the ESI Africa article here, and the full study: Renewable Riches: How Wind and Solar Could Power DRC and South Africa.

ERG Student Jose Daniel Lara Joins UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative as a 2017 Fellow

Jose Daniel Lara was recently selected to represent UC Berkeley as a fellow for the University of California’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI). Jose will foster communication about UC-wide goals to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability through his research on the use of biomass feed stocks to generate electric power.

To learn more about the Carbon Neutrality Initiative and Jose Daniel Lara’s project, follow these links:

Carbon Neutrality Initiative

2017 CNI Fellows

Jose Daniel Lara

Featured Photo: EcoAffect 2015

Dan Kammen: Renewable Energy, the Effects of Climate Change on Tropical Storms, and his Science Envoy Resignation

Photo: Lizette Kabré

After a few hectic weeks in the news, Energy and Resources Professor Dan Kammen reflects on his resignation as State Department Science Envoy and highlights the continued importance of renewable energy sources.

Read his most recent statements to UC Berkeley News and Vox.

Kammen has also commented on the effects of climate change on tropical storms, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Find his full statements at the links below:

Democracy Now!

KQED Radio

Town Hall – Congresswoman Jackie Speier


ERG Professor David Anthoff Receives Hellman Faculty Award

David Anthoff joins previously awarded ERG Professors Isha Ray and Duncan Callaway as a 2017 Hellman Fellowship recipient for his work on the Social Cost of Carbon Estimation for Climate Policy.

For more information about the Hellman Fellows Program, visit the Founders page.

DACA Rescinded – Information for Undocumented Students and Prospective Applicants

Photo: Adrienne Shih – The Daily Californian

Following President Trump’s decision on Tuesday morning to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and UC President Janet Napolitano announce the UC system’s continued support for undocumented students. For more, read Carol Christ and Janet Napolitano‘s statements.

Further resources for undocumented students regarding DACA can be found here.

Kammen Resigns State Department Science Envoy post, Adds Plug for Impeachment

ERG Professor Dan Kammen resigned as US State Department Science Envoy on Wednesday morning, August 23. His letter is attached below.

Read more about his resignation at the following links:

UC Berkeley News
The Washington Post
Scientific American
USA Today
Highlight Hollywood
Sacramento Bee
KQED Radio
The Guardian
Teen Vogue
SF Gate
Business Insider

Many other news and media outlets have covered this story.