North American Perspective on the Global Energy Landscape: 2050 and Beyond

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Wilson A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Daniel M. Kammen, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
With the rapid cost decline and expansion in the production volume globally of solar energy, and the prospect for similar evolution in energy storage, and in smart energy management and control technologies, a new ‘can do’ perspective is emerging on decarbonization.  The SWITCH systems modeling effort in my laboratory ( provides examples of viable pathways across North America, China, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere.  This talk will focus on the challenges to these decarbonization efforts where approaches beyond renewable energy deployment are needed.  First, methane leakage from the remaining or vestigial fossil fuel sector requires both a concerted measurement and practical deployment effort to address technically, and via the carbon caps take up in an increasing number of states and nations.  Second, the energy needs of marginalized, off-grid and under-served communities warrants the same level of attention industrialized regions are now receiving.   We present a new framing across scales to use emerging clean energy and information rich systems to decarbonize more fully both these sectors.