Thursday, May 29, 2014

Electric Vehicles making 'in-roads' in the Philippines (get it?!)

The City of Tacloban on Leyte
Hi everyone! I just got back to California from a 2 month research trip around Southeast Asia. One of the most powerful experiences was visiting the island in the Philippines that was completely decimated by the Typhoon last November. Some of you might remember seeing it in the news. Anyway I wrote a blog about my time there and it got picked up by my school. I wanted to share with you guys because the solutions that people are coming up with to restore and rebuild just blow my mind. Take a read!

Here are some more pictures from my trip: 

Guys rebuilding stuff.
Ships stranded inland!
I was told this mall was brand new, it had just opened a week before Yolanda. Now complete rubble.

A typical ejeepney. It's like our mini bus in the Caribbean except not air conditioned and sometimes people ride on top too if its really full. iCSC has assembled an electric version of this which runs well in Manila and they are bringing a new fleet to Tacloban to help with the transportation strain.
A wonderful group of undergraduate social work students I met from University of the Philippines. They are doing a socio-psychological impact assessment. They joked with me that the stories they hear are so stressful someone needs to assess them for secondary trauma! I am so glad to see young people dedicating their time to something so important. Often we forget about the emotion involved in a crisis like this. These students are amazing! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Fulbright Nexus Program

Today I am posting about a fantastic opportunity I had this year to be a research assistant in the Fulbright Nexus Scholars Program 2012/2013.

Here is a media piece from the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) about our final meeting where we presented final project results.

...and here is a more formal media release from the U.S. Department of State:

Find out details about the Scholars here:

Also check this groovy NEXUS Video on youtube, and of course, look out for yours truly :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Renewable Energy Opportunities in the Caribbean

Hey guys check out this post I wrote for the Energy and Resources Group, my department here at Berkeley. It's about Renewable Energy (RE) developments in the Caribbean. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Alternative Energy Scenarios and Friendship in Mayan Mexico

Check out this blog that I wrote with some fellow graduate students from the Energy and Resources Group. We went on a trip to Mexico to work with a small business called Systema Biobolsa, which installs biogas digesters in rural communities all over Mexico. It was a fantastic trip and we got our hands really dirty! Mexico is a gorgeous country and probably the best food I've had in my life. Take a read!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Generating Long-Term Savings for Families in Need

Hi folks today I participated in another Solar Photovoltaic Installation right here in San Francisco. I installed the inverter, AC/DC disconnect and a bunch of conduit for a new solar system on a house in SF! I did this project with GRID Alternatives and Black and Veatch, a popular local SF Energy Consulting Group. It's great getting your hands dirty and refreshing to remember that stuff is way different from the text book! Ah might start a company soon allyuh!

Here is a link to a different install we did in 2011. I really enjoy working with Grid Alternatives, as you can tell by how much I post about them. True hands-on training, got to love it!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Installing Solar Panels with GRID Alternatives

I recently participated in a solar installation with a bunch of friends and a super cool non-profit, GRID Alternatives. They did a short blog about it and posted a link to the picasso album, so have a read and take a look at the pics! 
A little more info:
This semester I took part in a special event sponsored by my department, the UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group (ERG). In early March, we had the opportunity to work with a great group called GRID Alternatives to install solar energy systems on low-income houses in the Bay Area community. I raised over $600 for the project thanks to my wonderful family and friends! You guys rock!!! 
So the goal of this project and the GRID Alternatives program is to provide qualifying low-income homeowners with access to solar systems to decrease electricity usage and bills without increasing monthly household expenses. In addition to providing low-income homeowners with reduced electricity bills, the program also benefits communities by providing local green-job training and workforce development.
The solar system we installed was a 2.3 kW system, which is projected to have the following environmental and economic impacts for the family and the community:
- 129,017 lifetime kWh production
- $21,485 value of energy generated this system over its lifetime (direct savings to family)
- 73 tons of Green House Gas emissions prevented (the equivalent of planting 208 trees
Wicked! Thanks again to everyone who came out and to everyone who contributed! You all make the world go round. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Reflections on Graduation

This past May I graduated from the Master's Program at the Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley. I am so thankful for having completed this phase of my academic career and I look forward to my days as a PhD Student. I came to the Energy and Resources Group to learn at the most dynamic energy network in academia today, but I could have never predicted the leaps and bounds by which ERG would surpass that expectation. I remember during my first week here two years ago feeling overwhelmed by the floodgates of knowledge that had been unleashed over me. Over the course of my time here that once intimidating torrent of learnedness has come to be a true source of inspiration.

ERG is so much more than the classes I thought I came here to take - it is a community, almost a living thing, a unique way of thinking, of seeing below the surface of a problem and constructing opinions, asking questions, a way of developing arguments. It is a curiosity that never tires, an enigmatic place and people, like nothing I have ever come across before. I am beholden to the Admissions gods above for the opportunity to have experienced such a thing, to have learned from both renowned experts and simply talented students who successfully rise to the challenge of using innovative and cross disciplinary methods to tackle issues of global importance. I am constantly amazed by the achievements of my cohort and I feel blessed knowing that every day I get to share laughs and good times with people who are indeed changing the world. 

Hailing from the West Indies and with environmental science as my background, I’ve fostered a strong interest in the plight of island nations and the role that energy plays in their development. I hope one day to contribute to this field by learning about the barriers and solutions related to integrating renewable energy resources into small grid systems and with the good people of ERG behind me, I have never been more confident in my ability to make that difference. For this alone I am forever indebted.