World Bank Appoints Renewable Energy Specialist

The World Bank last week announced the creation of a new position to provide strategic leadership on the policy, technical, and operational issues concerning renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Daniel M. Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley will serve as the first Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

The World Bank said the position will improve the operational impact of its 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.

The appointment comes amid unprecedented demand from developing countries for World Bank support in their efforts to address development and climate change as interlinked challenges. This includes responding to the challenges in providing energy services to the one-and-a-half billion people who remain without access to clean, reliable, and affordable modern energy services.

Kammen has worked for 25 years on the technical, analytic tools and policies that play a central role in enabling a low-carbon energy and wider sustainable economic systems.

“I am captivated and motivated by the need to respond to the immense clean energy needs of countries around the world to address quality of life and economic empowerment, address problems of inequity, and respond to the challenges of climate change,” Kammen said. “As researchers and development professionals, we must refine what we are currently doing, as well as develop new tools, to provide more low-cost, high quality, clean energy worldwide.”

Currently, Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he holds appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering. The focus of his work is on the science and policy of clean, renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, the role of energy in national energy policy, international climate debates, and the use and impacts of energy sources and technologies on development, particularly in Africa and Latin America.

The World Bank has come under intense scrutiny recently for its willingness to fund coal-fired power projects in South Africa and elsewhere; and for its palm oil strategy.

The Bank is also responsible for dispersing some of the funds promsied to developing nations in international climate change negotiations.

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