Many rural energy systems are ineffective because they do not correctly address community energy needs and lack viable financial models.
In order to understand the value of microgrids, researchers are creating “smart grid” metering hardware that can both collect data and provide support for grid operations. In addition, the team plans to carry out a randomized evaluation of the impacts of electric power on rural households.
The TIER (Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions) research group is developing IT and metering hardware, working alongside two startups with roots in the Bay Area who are deploying grid infrastructure technology. The pilot projects are in India and Kenya. Social scientists and economists at Berkeley are conducting a rigorous analysis of demand and use of rural off-grid electricity.
Prof. Eric Brewer, Computer Science
Prof. Edward Miguel, Economics
Prof. Catherine Wolfram, Business
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