UC Berkeley Merges Programs into Energy Institute

The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, is launching The Energy Institute at Haas, which will address the rising need for research and the growing student interest in the markets, policy, and technology for sustainable energy. Berkeley and Haas have long held a leadership position in this field. The institute will advance related research and teaching, and offer a variety of events and initiatives for the community.

The institute is the result of a merger of two highly successful programs: the UC Energy Institute's Center for the Study of Energy Markets and the Haas School's Center for Energy and Environmental Innovation.

The Haas School will celebrate the creation of its Energy Institute with a launch event on Oct. 30. Matt Rogers, senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, will discuss Department of Energy's strategies for addressing the country's energy and climate change challenges.

"Sustainable energy is an area of tremendous growth and opportunity; it is also an area in need of new technologies and business models," says Haas School Dean Rich Lyons. "Our Haas School has long provided deep competency in this area -- our depth and breadth are unsurpassed at any other business school. We're proud to expand even further with our new Energy Institute at Haas."

Haas School Professors Severin Borenstein, the E.T. Grether Chair in Business Administration and Public Policy, and Catherine Wolfram, a Barbara & Gerson Bakar Faculty Fellow, will serve as the Energy Institute's faculty directors.

"We have a tremendously active and committed group of students interested in clean energy solutions," says Professor Wolfram. "The more we can put them in touch with the great scientific research being done on energy on the Berkeley campus and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the greater opportunity we have to bring real solutions to the marketplace."

Among the Institute's activities are:

  • The Energy and Environmental Markets course, which has been taught since 1999. The course now includes state-of-the art computer simulation games in electricity markets and carbon trading.
  • Cleantech to Market (C2M), a partnership between graduate students and scientists to bring clean energy technologies to market. Initially created by Berkeley MBA students, this project has been expanded into a major program and a graduate course within the Institute. Solar technology researcher Cyrus Wadia, who won the MIT Technology Review Young Innovator Award this fall, and Beverly Alexander, former vice-president of Pacific Gas & Electric, serve as C2M's co-program directors.
  • For the first time, Haas will offer an undergraduate course in energy markets.
  • The Energy Institute will continue to host the POWER Conference and the Policy Conference, which bring together researchers and industry representatives. The Renewable Energy Speaker Series will regularly bring policy and industry experts to campus.
  • Three courses in non-degree, executive education include Economic Fundamentals of Electricity Regulation and Markets, Economics of Energy and the Environment, and Advanced Energy Economics.
  • A regular newsletter disseminates the latest research findings.
The institute's expertise is strengthened by its close collaboration with science and engineering departments at UC Berkeley and affiliated institutions, including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; the Energy Biosciences Institute; CITRIS – the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society; and the Joint BioEnergy Institute, a San Francisco Bay Area scientific partnership.

"Among top business schools, Haas has the broadest curriculum and most active student body in energy and environmental business," says Severin Borenstein. "The Energy Institute at Haas will solidify our strength in this area."

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