Energy Systems and the Environment
Professor D. Kammen directs the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, which is a unique new research, development, project implementation, and community outreach facility based at the University of California, Berkeley. RAEL, housed in Etcheverry Hall with a solar roof laboratory atop Wurster Hall focuses on designing, testing, and disseminating renewable and appropriate energy systems. The laboratory’s mission is to help the technologies realize their full potential to contribute to environmentally sustainable development in both industrialized and developing nations while also addressing the cultural context and range of potential social impacts of any new technology or resource management system.
Despite the fundamental importance of energy systems, uiversity laboratories devoted to this issue are rare, and RAEL is essentially alone in its focus on renewable and appropriate energy technologies and applications. A university laboratory focused on use-inspired basic and directly applied energy research is crucial, however, if renewables are to become a mainstream energy option. Many talented individuals wishing to work on renewable energy and environmental issues have little or no opportunity to train, examine and innovate with these energy systems. The faculty and students affiliated with RAEL are also involved in developing teaching exercises that include: battery performance and energy storage for stand-alone, micro-grid, and grid-connected renewable energy systems; efficiency and emissions optimization from biomass stoves and biogas digestion systems; design of vertical versus horizontal-axis wind turbines; management of solar concentrator systems for small-scale industrial applications; and the design of fuel cell vehicles. Kammen also serves on the US Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Research and Advisory Committee to look at the next generation, "Gen IV", of nuclear power plants.
The RAEL is a hub for training, public-private sector collaboration, and the development of tools and materials to support sustainable energy policies and practices. RAEL facilitates research and development (R&D), as well as demonstration and commer-cialization (D&C) projects in addition to wider work on the sociology of energy management. The laboratory emphasizes research on the both basic and applied questions surrounding grid extension and the integration of renewable energy sources that will be of interest to a range of groups. The emphasis is on integration, and not isolation of renewables, and will therefore be of use to electric utilities as well, both in providing new services in developed nations, and in increasing the type and diversity of energy services in developing nations. The focus will be on applications in both developing and industrialized nation
Supported Research Projects
2000-2005 Technical Advisor to the East Bay Municipal Utility District on energy issues California Energy Commission, Core Management Team, Public Interest Environmental Research-Environmental Area (PIEREA)
2003 – 2005 “Resources Policy Internship Program”, California Public Utilities Commission
2003 – 2004 “Technology Dissemination in India”, Faculty CoR Research Grant
2003 – 2004 California Energy Commission/Public Interest Energy Research Grant, “Wind-hydrogen hybrid systems and applications”.
2003 – 2004 Kirsch Foundation, “Hydrogen Vision Statement”.
2003 – 2004 Sandia National Laboratory, #8220;Modeling hydrogen power parks”.
2003 - U. S. Department of Energy/California Energy Commission Combined Heat and Power Application Center.
2003 - 2004 “A Review of Approaches to Advanced Power Technology Programs in the United States and Abroad Including Linked Mobile and Stationary Sector Developments”, California Air Resources Board.
2002 – 2003 “Evaluation of Hydrogen Energy Stations” DaimlerChrysler.
1999 - “Research, education and outreach on energy and sustainable societies” The Energy Foundation, (San Francisco, CA).