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UC Davis leads drive for regional clean energy jobs, progress

May 12, 2010

Photo: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger chats with GSM Dean Steven Curall

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger chats with GSM Dean Steven Currall about the future of green jobs. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo)

UC Davis today is launching an effort to establish a clean energy hub in the greater Sacramento-San Francisco Bay Area -- a network of researchers, government, corporations and investors united to drive innovations out of laboratories and into the marketplace.

"Our objective is nothing less than helping our regional community, from San Francisco to the Sierra foothills, rise to global leadership in clean energy, the Earth's most important technology revolution," said UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.

"We intend to build momentum and promote action to move California and the nation to a future characterized by economic prosperity, new jobs and a greener future grounded in innovation and entrepreneurship."

The effort kicks off with an afternoon forum, "E3: Economic Prosperity, Energy and the Environment," that features California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Chevron Technology Ventures President Desmond King, PG&E Senior Vice President Nancy McFadden, and other regional and national leaders.

"California has led the way in enacting ambitious policies and programs to combat climate change, reduce our dependency on foreign oil and grow our green economy," said Schwarzenegger.

"UC Davis' commitment to clean energy and economic prosperity will help move our state further down the road to a more prosperous and sustainable future and lead to more jobs. It is programs like this one that show what is good for the environment, is also good for the economy."

Since her arrival on the UC Davis campus last summer, Katehi has  promoted a vision of the university as an incubator for innovations that support social responsibility and a sustainable global environment.

This Sustainable 2nd Century initiative at UC Davis builds on the university's academic excellence and international impact on issues from clean cars and green wineries to energy-efficient air conditioning and streetlights.

The E3 forum is the first major event of that initiative. Today's discussions will help shape the agenda of a larger clean technology summit to be held in November, said Steven Currall, the dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

"I believe the technology breakthroughs in energy use, generation and storage occurring along the I-80 corridor from San Francisco to Sacramento have the potential to drive a global economic recovery," Currall said. "But we must work together to move those ideas out of the lab and into the market and to ensure that public policy supports such innovations."

Other events on the UC Davis campus this week that illustrate the depth and breadth of the university's commitment to high-impact energy research include:

  • Five forums, one for each of the University of California Renewable Energy Collaboratives based at UC Davis: wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and integrated systems. In each, presenters are addressing topics of energy efficiency, clean fuels and power, environmental implications and transformation to a sustainable energy system. Attendees include university, government and industry leaders in sustainable energy development and policy. May 10-13. (http://www.dateline.ucdavis.edu/dl_detail.lasso?id=12636.)
  • A meeting of the Green Energy Canada-California Consortium, with presentations on biofuels production and markets, and on educating environmentally aware biofuel scientists and engineers. May 12. (http://www.cifar.ucdavis.edu.)
  • A daylong conference on "Improving Energy, Water and Waste Management in Food Processing" by the California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research at UC Davis. This university-industry exchange will highlight new technologies to help brewers, winemakers and food processors be more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient. May 13. (http://www.cifar.ucdavis.edu.)
  • A daylong symposium featuring 10 new energy faculty members, to introduce them and their research interests to their colleagues. May 14. (http://ei.ucdavis.edu/local_resources/Symposium%20Notice.pdf.)
  • The debut of the campus's 2009 annual report website, "Sustaining the Promise," which highlights the university’s academic reach into all aspects of sustainability, and the physical campus's emergence as a model for sustainable change.  (http://annualreport.ucdavis.edu)


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