Energy & Climate
Faculty and researchers at UC Berkeley and the Berkeley Lab are developing renewable and sustainable energy sources, advancing new technologies to help curb energy demand, understanding the implications for climate change and the environment, and formulating appropriate and timely policy responses.
The Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI), directed by Paul Wright, provides a coordinating hub for all of Berkeley's energy and climate efforts to ensure the integration of science, engineering, social science, market, and policy research. Signature programs include the Philomathia Center and the Cal Energy Corps.
Many other research centers and institutes around the campus focus on specific challenges, such as biofuel research at the Energy Biosciences Institute, the largest public-private partnership of its kind in the world; energy-efficiency programs at CITRIS and its i4Energy Center; or policy-oriented research at the Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business. See below for more information on research institutes, centers, and programs:
Areas of Focus
- SupplyAs the world's need for energy grows, research focuses on developing clean fuel initiatives to make the most of traditional fossil fuels while investing in cutting edge research to develop sustainable technologies which can be produced from diverse sources, including biofuels, wind and solar energy.
- DemandDeveloping energy efficient technologies for buildings, homes, transportation, power systems and industry is a key component of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Researchers at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab work on bringing clean, reliable and affordable energy technologies to the marketplace; and making a difference in the everyday lives of consumers by enhancing their energy choices and their quality of life.
- EnvironmentEnergy technologies can have profound consequences for the environment both over the long term, as evidenced by the global climate change from fossil fuel carbon emissions, and immediately, as was made vividly clear by the historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sustainable energy technologies will carry their own environmental impacts that must be understood before widespread implementation.
- PolicyEven the most innovative and effective technologies cannot solve the world’s energy and climate problems without commensurate changes in public policy. Understanding the potential social and economic impacts of sustainable energy technologies will be critical to their success.