Research Initiatives

Wild Energy

The Wild Energy Initiative facilitates impartial research and education on interactions between energy development and Earth, including its systems and species, to address exigent sustainability issues. Wild Energy produces basic and actionable research that promotes better understanding of the ecology of energy for human use, including ecological effects, trade-offs, and synergies of energy systems. The Wild Energy Initiative is led by Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez and Dr. Steven M. Grodsky and serves as a research bridge between the Energy and Efficiency Institute and the Muir Institute.

Empower Procurement Product Evaluation Hub

With funding from the California Energy Commission, UC Davis is developing the Empower Procurement Product Evaluation Hub. This Hub will improve adoption rates of distributed energy resources by providing comprehensive product reviews compiled in an on-line Buyer's Guide targeted to the needs of institutions and their procurement staff. The research team, led by UC Davis, includes Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, UC Berkeley, and Energy Solutions.

Consumer Energy Interfaces (cEnergi) Lab

cEnergi studies the potential for eco-feedback—information about resources and impacts of consumption relayed back to the consumer—to increase consumer awareness, the ability to make informed decisions, and motivation to use resources more responsibly. cEnergi designs and evaluates eco-feedback interfaces in a wide variety of applications, including in-vehicle displays to encourage fuel-efficient driving, smart home technologies that offer feedback and enable demand response, and web tools that promote electric vehicle adoption and lower emissions air travel choices.

Industrial Energy Efficiency

Industry is responsible for approximately one-third of all energy consumption in the United States, more than any other sector of the economy. UC Davis is working with academic and industry partners to research, identify, develop and demonstrate promising technologies and solutions that improve industrial processes, in particular those that involve heating, cooling, and treating liquids and gases.

Rural Electric Cooperatives

Electric cooperatives serve over 40 million consumers in the United States and have a rich history. The Institute is working with Dr. Keith Taylor, an expert on cooperatives in UC Davis' Community Regional Development department, to examine how local communities can leverage the institutional structure of cooperative organizations to create local jobs, retain local capital resources, and increase investment in renewable energy infrastructure.

Office of Naval Research Collaboration

UC Davis is supporting the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) in its efforts to conduct energy research and train military personnel as part of the Navy Enterprise Partnership Teaming with Universities for National Excellence (NEPTUNE) program. NEPTUNE aims to help the Navy and Marine Corps discover ways to improve energy conservation, generate renewable energy, and implement energy-efficient technologies, while giving active duty military, military students, and veterans the chance to immerse themselves in university-level research.

Climate Neutrality and Sustainability

UC Davis is leading the way among the 10 campuses within the University of California, proactively making efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality. The UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute is working with Dr. Kurt Kornbluth of the Program for International Energy Technologies on advancing the Leading the Way to Climate Neutrality Initiative. This Initiative builds on the successful track record of partnership among faculty, students, staff and industry to make UC Davis a zero-carbon campus by 2025.

Food-Water-Energy Nexus

As the nation's largest food processing state, California has many opportunities for recovering both waste heat and water in food processing operations. UC Davis researchers are advancing efforts to understand the interconnections between food-water-energy systems and identify opportunities to improve efficiency in the delivery and use of these critical resources.