The Energy Transition
How to replace the primary energy sources in our global economy to help address climate change is a critical problem facing humanity and is inseparable from our environment. UC Davis is a global leader in understanding how to ensure a successful transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy — a transformation that will require a new cadre of interdisciplinary, solutions-oriented environmental scholars. The Institute's Energy Transition pillar leverages the globally ranked environmental prowess at UC Davis to successfully make this transition.
The UC Davis Institute of the Environment supports a wide breadth of interdisciplinary research informing the world’s move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The Davis Energy Economics Program (DEEP) and the Wild Energy Center, both housed within the Institute of the Environment, lead cutting-edge research that moves our world toward a sustainable energy future.
DEEP is an intellectual hub where researchers and students from multiple disciplines, the Davis energy economics community, industry, and policymakers gather and exchange ideas, research, and information on the challenges and opportunities facing today’s energy sector. The program supports economic research on all aspects of the energy industries, spanning fuels markets, energy consumption, electricity regulation and deregulation, vehicle markets, and emissions trading.
Wild Energy facilitates impartial research and education on interactions between energy development and Earth, including its systems and species, to address urgent sustainability issues. The center's scientists seek to answer the question: How will we meet a rapid, renewable energy transition while maintaining our goals for conservation and food security?
Current projects include evaluating how future scenarios of renewable energy development overlap with climate change-induced range shifts, how floating photovoltaic solar energy impacts water quality, and how ground-mounted solar energy development can be coupled with soil carbon sequestration.
Wild Energy also works closely with its community and Indigenous partners, NGOs, and industrial stakeholders to close implementation gaps between science to action. Ensuring a just transition to renewable energy requires knowing exactly how renewable energy infrastructure impacts Earth and its ecosystems.
Energy powers our world, and the Institute of the Environment is supporting research and training the next generation workforce that will move our world from a carbon-centered society to one based on renewable sources of energy that are scalable for widespread adoption.