Professor Dan Kammen: A Recognized Leader in Energy Policy

Professor Dan Kammen featured on Renewable Energy Global Innovations

Dan Kammen, Professor of Energy

University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Kammen is the Class of 1935 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. He has founded or is on the board of over 10 companies, and has served the State of California and US federal government in expert and advisory capacities.

Dr. Kammen was educated in physics at Cornell and Harvard, and held postdoctoral positions at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard. He was Assistant Professor and Chair of the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Program at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University before moving to the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Kammen has served as a contributing or coordinating lead author on various reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1999.  The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.  He serves on the Advisory Committee for Energy & Environment for the X-Prize Foundation.  Kammen is the Lead Scholar for the Fulbright NEXUS program, supporting partnerships between scholars from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

During 2010-2011 Kammen served as the World Bank Group’s Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. He was appointed to this newly-created position in October 2010, in which he provided strategic leadership on policy, technical, and operational fronts. The aim is to enhance the operational impact of the Bank’s renewable energy and energy efficiency activities while expanding the institution’s role as an enabler of global dialogue on moving energy development to a cleaner and more sustainable pathway.

He has authored or co-authored 12 books, written more than 300 peer-reviewed journal publications, testified more than 40 times to U.S. state and federal congressional briefings, and has provided various governments with more than 50 technical reports. Dr. Kammen also served for many years on the Technical Review Board of the Global Environment Facility. He is a frequent contributor to or commentator in international news media, including Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Financial Times. Kammen has appeared on 60 Minutes (twice), Nova, Frontline, and hosted the six-part Discovery Channel series Ecopolis.  Dr. Kammen is a Permanent

Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society. In the US, he has served on a number of National Academy of Sciences boards and panels.

Program Innovation, Design and Leadership

Kammen has developed a number of state, national and internally known policy tools, including:

  • Design and writing (with Alex Farrell and Alex Schwartz) of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (State Executive Order S-7-01)
  • Co-inventor (with Cisco DeVries) of Property Assessed Clean Energy, which was signed into law in 16 states; Kammen was a founding board member of Renewable Funding, a company focused on implementing PACE programs in the U. S. and overseas.
  • Co-author with colleagues at UC Berkeley and UC Davis of the Feebate Policy for California Low-carbon transportation.
  • Crafting of the World Bank policy (Lucio Monari and Masahaki Kojima) on carbon emissions life-cycle analysis as a business requirement, and of eliminating coal investments in middle-income nations.

Organizational Leadership – Academic

Laboratory Directorship – RAEL (

As the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (1999 – present), Kammen manages an annual budget for this team of $2 – $4 million.  RAEL has a student, visiting scholar, and start-up industry membership of 20 – 30 individuals.

Co-Director, Transportation Sustainability Research Center (

Kammen is the co-director of the University of California, Berkeley’s TSRC, a 30 person research and applications center that focused on hybrid, fuel-cell and electric vehicles, and maintains a fleet of over 10 fuel cell vehicles, 10 electric vehicles, and one of only two rapid H2 fueling stations in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Kammen oversees the annual TSRC budget of about $6 million/year, including DOT TIGER funds. Kammen has served as the co-director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, Chair of the Energy and Resources Group, and as Chair of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at Princeton University.

Organizational Leadership – Governmental

State of California Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee (

Kammen has served on the Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee (2006 – 2008), to which he was appointed by California Governor Schwarzenegger, which developed the Cap and Trade System in place in California today.

California Carbon Challenge (

Kammen serves as the director for the California Energy Commission of the CCC project, which develops innovative capacity expansion models of the electricity system for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (which includes the 20 western U. S. states, northern Mexico, Alberta and British Colombia).  The SWITCH model, which Kammen developed, is now in use or under development to examine the energy systems of China, India, Chile, Mexico, and the East African Power Pool. SWITCH is also an integrative modeling platform for transportation fuel evaluation, including petroleum products, biofuels, and electrified transportation.

International Institutions

 Coordinating Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (

Dr. Kammen has served since 1999 as a contributing or coordinating lead author on various reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1999.  The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

 Chief Technical Specialist, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, The World Bank

Kammen served as the first Chief Technical Specialist, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (2010 – 2011) where he worked across all member institutions of the World Bank Group, designing and evaluating projects to leverage multinational funds.

Kammen engaged in efforts to: design and disburse the first major transportation loan to China for the 10-fold expansion of electric vehicle uses in pilot cities; organization and approval of a $1.26 billion transmission project linking renewable energy resources in Kenya and Ethiopia, including the negotiation of linked feed-in tariffs in both nations; liaison with the C40 and R20, urban and regional initiatives promote regional low-carbon transportation in mega-cities around the world.  The annual investment portfolio Kammen managed in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency was over $5.2 billion in direct World Bank funds.

Organizational Leadership – Public-Private Partnerships

Energy Biosciences Institute (

Kammen served on the core development and drafting team that won the $500 million BP sponsored competition to bring a biofuel research and outreach institute to the University of California, Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2007 – 2017).  The Energy and Biosciences Institute is a hub for university-based and corporate research on advanced, ‘second generation’ biofuels.  Kammen served on the Executive Committee after the launch of the institute.  EBI has a cross-campus staff of over 300.

The Great Energy Challenge – National Geographic & Shell International, Inc. (  Kammen serves as a director of the Shell Inc. supported Shell-National Geographic partnership on energy options that is the Great Energy Challenge grant program, blog, and international roundtable on key energy issues, including the recent meetings on Biofuels (Washington, DC, April 2013) which Kammen chaired, and the meeting on Energy and the Arctic (London, UK, September 2013)

Federal and State Testimony
Kammen has testified to U. S. Senate and House committees over 30 times, and has testified  over 40 times to state committees in California, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.

Private Sector Leadership
Kammen has been a founder or initial board member of a number of companies that have gone public (Enphase Energy, Inc.; ENPH; Renewable Funding; RENF; Energie du Portugal Renovables; EDPR), or attracted significant venture capital (Streetlight Data, Inc.).

Sample publications (from 300+ journal publications):
Sager, J., Apte, J. S., Lemoine, D. M. and Kammen, D. M. (2011) “Reduce growth rate of light-duty vehicle travel to meet 2050 global climate goals,” Environ. Res. Lett. 6, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/2/024018

Schewel, L. and Kammen, D. M. (2010) “Smart Transportation: Synergizing Electrified Vehicles and Mobile Information SystemsEnvironment, September/October, 24 – 35.

Hertel, T., Golub, A., Jones, A. D., O’Hare, M., Plevin, R. J., and Kammen, D. M. (2010) “Effects of Maize ethanol on global land use and greenhouse gas emissions: Estimating market mediated responses”, BioScience, 60 (3), 223 – 231.

Gopal, A. R., and Kammen, D. M. (2009)  “Molasses for ethanol: The economic and environmental impacts of adding a new pathway to the lifecycle greenhouse gas analysis of sugarcane ethanol”, Environmental Research Letters, 4, 1 – 5.

Farrell A. E., Plevin, R. J. Turner, B. T., Jones, A. D. O’Hare, M. and Kammen, D. M. (2006) “Ethanol can contribute to energy and environmental goals”, Science, 311, 506 – 508.

Selected books:
Lynette I. Millett, Deborah L. Estrin, Alan Borning, David Culler, Thomas Dietterich, Jennifer Mankof, Daniel M. Kammen, Roger Peng, and Andreas Vogel (2012). Computing Research for Sustainability – Committee on Computing Research for Environmental and Societal Sustainability, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (National Academy of Science: Washington, DC).

 Cruetzig, F. S. and Kammen, D. M. (2010) “Getting the carbon out of transportation fuels”, in Global Sustainability: A Nobel Cause, Schellenhuber, H.-J., Molina, M., Stern, N., Huber, V., and Kadner, S. (eds). (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK), 307 – 318.

Kammen, D. M. and Hassenzahl, D. M. Should We Risk It?  Exploring Environmental, Health and Technological Problem Solving, in press, Princeton University Press.  ISBN 0-169-00426-9, 406 pages, 77 tables, 82 illustrations.  Book Club Selection: Library of Science.  Reviewed in Science, Risk Analysis, Scientific American, WholeEarth.

 Major media coverage:
PBS NOVA “Power Surge”, first air date, April 20, 2011

Ecopolis” a five-part television series on the Discovery Channel (initial air date: December 2008).  Darlow-Smithson Productions (London, UK).  Kammen is the host/energy czar of the show.

The ethanol solution”, 60 Minutes, interview with Dan Rather, May 7, 2006.

Powered by coal”, 60 Minutes, interview with Scott Pelley, April 23, 2009.

Heat”, Frontline, interview with Martin Smith, October 21, 2008

Teaching and advising:
Since 1999 Kammen has taught ‘Energy and society’ ( an integrated undergraduate and graduate interdisciplinary course on energy that has an annual enrollment of ~ 250, making it the largest energy course at the University of California, Berkeley.  Kammen has been the advisor to over fifty doctoral students over 100 masters students, and over thirty undergraduate advisees.




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