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    Support BERC during this year’s Big Give campaign, 11/17

    BERC is a huge part of the Berkeley experience for those of us who get involved while at school. We want to continue to create a community that is memorable and that forms ties that last long after leaving Berkeley, that is what the “BERC effect” means for us.

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    Let’s Teach Kids to Ignore Nuclear Lies

    Unfounded fears of radiation lead to fears of nuclear power, which in turn limit the potential to increase our utilization of the densest source of emissions-free energy. We’re teaching kids to recognize truths about radiation.

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    Water and Energy Intersect at the 2016 BERC Resources Roundtable

    BERC is pleased to present the 2016 Resources Roundtable, The Water-Energy Nexus. UC Berkeley is a recognized leader in innovative water resources research and management in finding solutions and new technologies to solve the growing water crises of the 21st Century.

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    Early Stage Cleantech Funding – If VCs won’t do it, who will?

    In the past year, Venture capital (VC) funding for early-stage cleantech companies seems to have mostly dried up. The good news is that other cleantech investors are stepping up to fill the void- including UC Berkeley through the Cleantech University Prize.

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    Pioneering the future of nuclear energy innovation

    For two weeks this August, students from around the world gathered at UC Berkeley for the first ever Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp. The goal? To train the next generation of nuclear professionals to generate ideas and solve problems with significant real-world impact.


From the Blog

13 February 2017

Lessons from the Field – Building Hybrid Microgrids in Lebanon

During the winter break, I had the opportunity to travel to Lebanon and help to troubleshoot three hybrid microgrids in Lebanon. These sites were commissioned as part of the UNDP program CEDRO IV, and the project MED-Solar. Lebanon produces most of its electricity from fossil fuels, and the generation stations were easy to spot as […]

View of UC Berkeley from Cal Memorial Stadium
6 February 2017

10 Reasons to Be Excited for the BERC Energy Summit (Feb. 23-24)

The 11th annual BERC Energy Summit is on Thursday and Friday, February 23rd and 24th and I cannot wait! Each year, BERC brings together 600 people from across academia, cleantech, the public sector, and more to connect about energy issues at our flagship conference. Under this year’s theme, The Path Forward: Building our Energy Future […]

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BERCU Co-Pres. Brooke Maushund authors report, Speaks at COP22

I always tell my younger friends when they’re thinking about getting involved with BERC that it’s been one of the best parts of my time at Cal, and not just professionally. Getting to just hang out, and pick the brains of the graduate students in BERC, and having people to nerd out with about energy […]


Tomorrow’s Energy Leaders Call for Leadership From Trump Today

BERC has joined a coalition of student energy clubs from across the country in urging the Trump administration to demonstrate leadership on clean energy, and promote support for an industry critical to future American prosperity. In an open letter addressed directly to President-Elect Trump, student leaders highlight the continued and burgeoning success of the clean energy industry, its importance to American infrastructure […]


Should we engage or disengage consumers about their energy usage?

Should we be engaging consumers about their energy behaviors and giving them choice or reducing choice and helping them automate and disengage? While these two objectives seem to compete with one another, I’d argue that maybe they aren’t as opposed as they at first seem.

KAWAMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - JUNE 8  A "creuseur," or digger, climbs through the mine in Kawama, Democratic Republic of Congo on June 8, 2016. The cobalt that is extracted is sold to a Chinese company, CDM. Cobalt is used in the batteries for electric cars and mobile phones. Working conditions are dangerous with no safety equipment or structural support for the tunnels. The diggers are paid on average US$2-3/day.  (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)
29 November 2016

Where does cobalt used in smartphone batteries come from?

Cobalt is the most expensive raw material used for building lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are used in smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. In the past year, the price of refined cobalt has been above $20k. Also, in the past 5 years the demand for this element from the battery sector has tripled and is projected to double again by 2020.