The US has the largest economy and one of the highest rates of carbon dioxide emissions and energy use per capita in the world with significant dependence on imported oil that could compromise its energy security. India, on the other hand, is one of the fastest growing economies with sharply rising energy demand, acute shortages of electricity supply, and an unhealthy dependence on imported oil. India and the US share some of the largest reserves of coal in the world, which when used can lead to significant impact on global climate change. The US and India also share many common features: the two largest democracies with enormous diversity of people, geography, climate and natural resources. The goal of BIJLEE is to spark innovations in policy as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that could transform the path India and the US adopt in the future.
The BIJLEE partnership works at three levels:
• Policy and market transformation mechanisms for reducing energy demand and introducing non-carbon based renewable energy supply
• Technology development that addresses these market needs
• Basic science and engineering R&D to overcome fundamental technological barriers and those that are transformative to create new markets and change policy
The interplay between policy, technology and science and engineering R&D is critical for market transformation in the area of energy and environment. Berkeley is ideally poised to address these issues.
The co-location of a national energy laboratory and a top research university makes Berkeley a unique place to address research, development and deployment (RD&D) at all three levels. Berkeley’s contributions to energy and environment span more than six decades, starting with the birth of nuclear energy and the Manhattan Project, continuing with the technology and policy innovations over the last three decades in energy efficiency and its leadership in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and more recently with the creation of the Helios Project for converting solar energy to fuels, as well as HiPerBRIC and the Seibel Challenge focused on reducing energy consumption in buildings. The use of advanced information technology and clean energy is a key element of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) as well as the Richard Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley. The Center for South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley provides the knowledge and awareness of the human and social dimensions in India and neighboring countries, which are important constituents of BIJLEE’s transformative goals. These, combined with Silicon Valley’s culture of technological innovation and market transformation, make Berkeley an ideal location for innovations in energy efficiency and renewable energy that will have global impact.
BIJLEE will formalize and expand research relevant to India that has been ongoing for 20 years with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, State Department, EPA, and AID, international institutions, and philanthropic foundations with the support of the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, California utility companies and other institutions. This research has been conducted in partnership with several Indian research and academic institutions including the Delhi School of Economics, Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institutes of Technology, International Institute for Energy Conservation, International Institute of Information Technology, Jadavpur University, Prayas Energy Group, The Energy Research Institute. Other partners include the Confederation of Indian Industry, ITC Ltd., Satyam Computers, Tata Power, Reliance Energy, MSEDCL, BEST, and other utility and private companies. The work of these Indian institutions has received financial and in-kind support from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Environment and Forests, and other national and state agencies. In addition to the aforementioned supportes, BIJLEE’s future efforts in India will be supported by the Chatterjee Group in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology, Infosys and other private companies, and international philanthropic foundations.
BIJLEE will initially conduct RD&D in three areas:
• policies for demand-side management (DSM) in electric utilities, product standards and labels, and benchmarking
• design and operation of energy-efficient buildings
• energy conversion and storage technologies such as batteries, photovoltaics, and thermoelectrics.
The DSM, standards, benchmarking, and buildings work will draw upon LBL’s decades of experience in policies for codes, standards and financing for energy efficiency in lighting, windows, cool roofs, HVAC systems, integrated design and technology for super-efficient buildings, and software for building design and simulation. The energy conversion and storage technologies will rely on the science and engineering foundations created by UC Berkeley faculty and LBNL scientists over the last four decades. As BIJLEE evolves, its efforts will be expanded into other complementary areas spanning supply and demand sides of the energy economy as well as the interplay between energy and water.