UCSD & UC Davis Form California Solar Energy Collaborative To Help Boost Solar Energy Use

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD), in collaboration with UC Davis will use a two-year, US $700,000 grant from the California Energy Commission to expand the development and use of solar energy in the state. The new California Solar Energy Collaborative will analyze existing solar research, facilitate research in gap areas where existing data are insufficient and develop consensus among key solar stakeholders based on this research by tracking the evolving landscape of solar technology development and use in California.

This new collaborative is also intended to help California achieve an ambitious target of installing 3,000 MW of solar in California by 2017. Much of the solar research at UC San Diego is being led by the Jacobs School of Engineering.

“As a constant reminder that our campus is actively engaged in developing green technologies, we installed a public LED display by the Charles Lee Powell Structural Engineering Laboratory to make students, faculty, staff, and other passersby aware of the daily generation and consumption of energy on campus,” said Jacobs School Dean Frieder Seible. “With about 1 MW of photovoltaic capacity, and 1.4 more MW coming online later this year, the UC San Diego campus currently generates and manages more photovoltaic energy than any other campus in the UC system.”

One of the Solar Collaborative’s goals is to help establish comprehensive energy policy for the State of California, including the development of roadmaps for introducing solar technologies to the state. UCSD and UC Davis will also work to determine which solar technologies will be most efficient by evaluating market and growth trends, as well as regulatory, economic and financial constraints and barriers.

The California Solar Energy Collaborative falls under the California Energy Commission’s California Renewable Energy program, which includes three other existing collaboratives focused on biomass, geothermal and wind energies. The total funding for all four initiatives, including the Solar Energy Collaborative, is US $3 million.

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