Energy Efficiency Trailblazer Rosenfeld Inspires Next Generation
Regarded as a prophet in his own time, Arthur H. Rosenfeld drove California to become a global leader in energy efficiency and now, through an award named in his honor, his legacy inspires new generations of graduate student energy pioneers at Berkeley. In the 1970s, he provided energy regulators with data needed to enact some of the toughest efficiency standards in the world, believing that conserving energy is cheaper and smarter than building more power plants. Former Governor Jerry Brown calls Dr. Rosenfeld “the guru of efficiency.”In 2010, Dr. Rosenfeld was honored with an energy unit named for him: One Rosenfeld is the energy and emissions savings equal to avoiding one 500 MW coal plant, which amounts to 3 billion kWh/year and 3 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide saved per year.Dr. Rosenfeld’s efforts have delivered huge energy savings for Californians and have been copied by cities, states, and countries worldwide.
- The 2021 Application can be found on the California Institute for Energy and Environment website. The 2021 award amount is $10,000 and the application deadline is March 14, 2021.
The Art Rosenfeld Award supports UC Berkeley graduate students whose work will follow in the footsteps of this renowned physicist, Berkeley Professor, and former California Energy Commissioner. One of our recent winners, Susanna Berkouwer, used her award to spend almost 3 months in Kenya this summer to study energy efficiency adoption by low-income households in Nairobi. On her experiences, she wrote:
“The Art Rosenfeld Award came at exactly the right time for me. I used the award to travel to Kenya to meet with research partners and develop my research on the behavioral barriers to energy efficiency uptake in Kenya. Because the award was unrestricted, I was able to use it precisely where I had gaps in other funding sources. The Art Rosenfeld Award was a catalyst for me: I was later awarded $31,000 from the Weiss Fund for Research in Development Economics and $24,000 from the International Growth Centre to support this research. The project is currently being implemented in Kenya, and we look forward to publishing the results later in 2019.”
Another scholarship recipient, Nkiruka (Nikky) Avila, used her award for fieldwork in Lagos City, Nigeria. There, she will look at ways to improve unreliable power grids in what is now Africa’s fastest growing metropolitan area, nearing 21 million people.
“This award allowed me to solidify my research plans to examine the power system in Lagos City, how it works and is used, and the energy decisions made by the Nigerian government.” explains Nikky. “I am interested in ethical. public health and economic issues in sustainable energy development and renewable energy. I couldn’t do this without the Rosenfeld Award.”
She chose Berkeley for graduate school specifically to work with the Energy Resources Group (ERG), well regarded for interdisciplinary research. “Berkeley teaches you to ask the questions that can change the world,” continues Nikky
Nikky is the third student to benefit from the Art Rosenfeld Award for Energy Efficiency. The award was established by the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute and the Graduate Division with support from multiple contributors in order to promotes research and scholarship related to energy efficiency and to award students with demonstrated passion for pursuing scientific discoveries, policy changes, and/or the implementation of energy efficiency technologies in the world at large.
Recipients demonstrate a commitment to reducing the life-cycle cost of energy service delivery, taking into account environmental and carbon footprints at the local and global level.
The first two Rosenfeld recipients, Veronica Jacome and Noah Kittner are featured in the video above, and echo Nikki in sharing both gratitude and a sense of honor for their efforts to follow in Art’s footsteps.
If you think that global warming is a threat then you better do everything that you can.
— Arthur H. Rosenfeld