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Interview with Daniel Merson Kammen, 2007 Nobel Prize winner

Interview with Daniel Merson Kammen, 2007 Nobel Prize winner
08 . Jul . 2021

Daniel Merson Kammen is Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering. He was appointed the first Environment and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA) Fellow by Secretary of State Hilary R. Clinton in April 2010. Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, and Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. Kammen has served as a contributing or coordinating lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1999. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Are companies that invest in renewables more likely than others to emerge from the crisis and why?

Yes, the financial market for clean energy is improving day-by-day, and so these companies are well positioned post-COVID, even if the amount of recovery stimulus investment in this sector has – so far – been disappointing worldwide.

In your opinion, which countries in the world invest and will invest more in innovative technologies, with focus on renewables, for the energy transition?

The most active countries so far have been Austria, China, New Zealand, South Korea and now the United States with the plans for a $3 trillion green stimulus/recovery and infrastructure package.

To what extent are the decarbonization goals really achievable in light of the structure of the current world energy markets?

Decarbonization is completely achievable. The 100% clean energy plan for the US (100% clean electricity by 2035) can be done, and if the largest economy can do so, most anywhere can. There are now many roadmaps and plans for a fully clean energy sector.

Again about recovery, what kind of fiscal and / or financial measures and policies could come to help energy technological innovation?

There are many critical steps that engaged governments can launch. These include:

  • Utilizing a social cost of carbon in all government decision-making;
  • 100% clean energy federal procurement, including only purchasing EV and H2 vehicles;
  • Investing in weatherization and energy efficiency for low-income families (energy and climate justice).

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