Energy & Environment

Santiago Miret Transportation: Land of Cleantech Opportunity

Over 95% of the 1 billion cars in the world are parked at any given time and 95% of the energy consumed by a car is spent on moving the vehicle forward, not the person it is transporting. The many shortcomings of the modern transportation that have left tremendous opportunities … More >

Ethan Elkind The futility of an international climate treaty

Call it Kyoto Syndrome, but each year for the past few decades we hear hopeful things about the upcoming negotiations for the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” These discussions usually take place in some far-flung world capital, but they seem to always result in a nothing sandwich. In … More >

Steven Weissman Electric-utility reinvention: ‘The grid is always greener …’

It seems to be an undeniable part of human nature. When we consider making changes – whether it has to do with the place where we live, the business we are in, or the partner we choose – we tend to compare the flaws of the thing we know to … More >

Dan Farber Guess who’s coming to dinner? Feeding our billions without plowing the entire planet

Who’s coming for dinner? The answer, in case you’re wondering, is “two billion more people.”  That’s the population increase predicted for 2050.  How are we going to feed those people?

One method is to cut down a lot of the world’s remaining forests and plow the world’s remaining grasslands. That’s a bad … More >

Santiago Miret How To Build A Microgrid

While developed countries have enjoyed access to reliable electricity for nearly a century, energy access across the world remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. Globally, over 1 billion people still live without access to electricity today, putting them at a major developmental disadvantage. It has been shown … More >

Meredith Fowlie One university’s attempt to reduce energy waste at work

If you work outside your home, chances are you don’t pay (directly) for the energy you use at work. At my place of work, the UC Berkeley campus, most employees never see – let alone pay – their energy bills.

Of course, there are plenty of pro-social reasons to be conscientious … More >

Ethan Elkind ‘Moving Dollars’ puts California’s transportation spending in focus

California spends approximately $28 billion on transportation infrastructure each year.  But are we spending that money as cost-effectively as possible?  And given the major impact that transportation investments have on our land use patterns and the amount of driving we need to do, are we spending this money in ways … More >

Santiago Miret The Promise of Energy Storage

In spite of its critical importance to modern technologies and infrastructures, electricity has remained a transient resource that has virtually no shelf-life. Once electricity is generated from an energy reservoir, which can supplied by any type of energy sources, the electric current has to be used instantaneously by an electricity consuming … More >

David Zilberman Keystone Pipeline and the Carbon Tax: A shotgun marriage that can work

We recently learned that Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) suggested amending a bill that approves the building of the Keystone pipeline and abolishes the corn ethanol mandate. This is a very unwise proposal. If Congress needs a face-saving way to approve the Keystone pipeline, it should be … More >

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