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To speed the transfer of renewable-energy advances from research laboratories to homes and industries, the California Energy Commission (CEC) plans to award the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), $3 million to coordinate the efforts of four statewide programs.

The new California Renewable Energy Collaborative (CREC) will become the administrative center for three existing programs focused on biomass, geothermal and wind energy, as well as a new fourth program that will focus on solar energy. Other renewable energy sources, such as hydropower and ocean energy, may be addressed in the future.

"Establishing a central collaborative home will help coordinate critical research and policy missions among the state's agencies, industries and the public for meeting the challenges facing California in the transition to a more secure and sustainable energy sector," says UC Davis engineering professor Bryan Jenkins, who is director of the UC Davis Energy Institute and will lead the new CREC.

Funding for the new, unified CREC comes from the CEC's Public Interest Energy Research Program.

The collaborative's chief objective is to help California focus on the most promising and cost-effective renewable energy initiatives by:

- assessing resources and technologies;

- identifying barriers and opportunities that affect commercial success, and regulatory, economic and financial constraints;

- advising the CEC on strategic planning for renewable energy development; and

- disseminating best practices and research findings through Web sites, public forums and other methods.

Each collaborative is governed by a board, with representatives from commercial trade associations, utilities, private industry and investors, and noncommercial representatives from universities, state and federal agencies, local government, public interest associations and environmental groups.

SOURCE: UC Davis




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