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 faculty director Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez and serves as a critical research bridge between the Energy and Efficiency Institute and the Institute of the Environment.

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.

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.

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.