If you think that global warming is a threat then you better do everything that you can, both in energy efficiency and new sources.

—Arthur H. Rosenfeld

Regarded as a prophet in his own time, Arthur H. Rosenfeld drove California to become a global leader in energy efficiency. In the 1970s, he provided energy regulators with data needed to enact some of the toughest efficiency standards in the world, believing that conserving energy is cheaper and smarter than building more power plants. Governor Jerry Brown calls Dr. Rosenfeld “the guru of efficiency.” His efforts have delivered huge energy savings for Californians and have been copied by states and countries worldwide.

The Art Rosenfeld Award supports graduate students whose work will follow in the footsteps of this renowned physicist, Berkeley Professor, and former California Energy Commissioner.

For example, Nkiruka (Nikky) Avila, the 2016 Rosenfeld recipient, plans to use her award for fieldwork in Lagos City, Nigeria. There, she will look at ways to improve unreliable power grids in what is now Africa’s fastest growing metropolitan area, nearing 21 million people.

“This award allows me to see how the power system works there, how it is used, and the energy decisions made by the government,” explains Nikky. “I couldn’t have done this without the Rosenfeld Award. It solidified my research plans.”

She chose Berkeley for graduate school specifically to work with the Energy Resources Group (ERG), well regarded for interdisciplinary research. “Berkeley teaches you to ask the questions that can change the world,” continues Nikky.

“There are so many perspectives to consider when implementing change,” she says. “Since Nigeria depends on natural gas, I am interested in ethical, public health, and economic issues as I explore sustainable energy development and renewable energy there.”

Learn more about Art Rosenfeld’s inspiring legacy as a path-bending leader for energy efficiency by reviewing the video below, compiled for the 2011 National Medals of Science & Technology Laureate Gala in February 2013.

Categories: August 2016, Headlines
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About Lisa Harrington