Governor Schwarzenegger Joins the California Clean Energy Fund and UC Davis to Launch Premier Energy Efficiency Center

Apr 12, 2006, 01:00 ET from CalCEF

    DAVIS, Calif., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger came
 to UC Davis today to celebrate a $1 million grant from the California Clean
 Energy Fund to establish the world's leading university center of
 excellence in energy efficiency. The new center is dedicated to speeding
 the transfer of new energy-saving products and services into the homes and
 lives of Californians.
     Schwarzenegger joined officials of CalCEF and UC Davis, with other
 government, industry and environmental leaders, in a new campus building
 featuring state-of-the-art, energy-efficient design and construction.
     The new UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center will bring together leaders
 in academia, industry, and the investment community to advance innovation
 in energy efficiency -- the state's most critical energy resource. The
 center will also reinforce California's standing as a national and
 international leader in energy efficient practices that benefit both the
 environment and the California economy.
     CalCEF awarded the grant to UC Davis because of its exceptional
 commitment to developing and bringing energy efficient technology to the
 marketplace. UC Davis will match CalCEF's grant with $1.3 million in
 operating and research funds, faculty time, and office and laboratory
     "Increasing energy efficiency is our state's best hope to minimize the
 impacts of climate change, improve our energy security and reduce the cost
 of reliable energy services," said Michael R. Peevey, president of the
 California Public Utilities Commission and chairman of CalCEF.
 "Establishing this center could be a transformative step in meeting the
 state's clean energy goals, by drawing together the wealth of expertise at
 UC Davis in a framework that emphasizes bringing innovative technologies to
 market quickly."
     CalCEF is a non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to making
 equity investments in clean energy companies. Established in 2004 via the
 PG&E bankruptcy settlement, CalCEF supports companies developing a wide
 range of clean energy technologies that will bring economic and
 environmental benefits to California, and assist the state in meeting its
 aggressive clean energy goals.
     The Energy Efficiency Center's founding director will be Andrew
 Hargadon, an associate professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of
 Management who is an expert on innovation in business and technology
 transfer. Hargadon was an engineer and product designer before earning a
 doctorate in organizational behavior.
     "We want this center to bring together the people who devise new ways
 to save energy, those who finance their development, the manufacturers who
 make the products, and the industries and consumers who buy and benefit
 from them," Hargadon said. "The effective management of energy costs is
 increasingly important as companies strive to maintain a competitive edge.
 The center looks forward to helping California businesses measure and
 mitigate these costs, and manage the competitive risks associated with
 energy price volatility."
     PG&E Corp. also pledged significant funding support for the new center
 -- $500,000 over five years for critical start-up needs such as funding for
 fellowships to attract and educate outstanding students, and for a major
 conference that will convene world-wide energy efficiency experts. Said
 PG&E Corp. chairman, CEO and president Peter Darbee: "California is the
 nation's undisputed leader in energy efficiency. PG&E has been proud to
 play a significant role in building this track record. Our contribution
 will help ensure the early prominence and success of the new UC Davis
 Energy Efficiency Center, and will further demonstrate to our customers
 that PG&E's commitment to reducing energy usage and protecting the
 environment is as strong as ever."
     Ralph Cavanagh, director of the energy program at the Natural Resources
 Defense Council (NRDC) and member of the CalCEF Board of Directors, noted
 that "CalCEF is greatly impressed by UC Davis' position as an emerging
 global leader in energy studies, and with the university's innovative and
 entrepreneurial approach to designing the Energy Efficiency Center. The
 center's multidisciplinary approach and its emphasis on key sectors of the
 California economy place it at the forefront in meeting the energy
 challenge today: moving clean technologies out of the laboratory rapidly,
 accelerating their acceptance, and meeting California's aggressive clean
 energy goals. We look forward to supporting UC Davis in this vital
 leadership role for America's cheapest, cleanest and fastest source of
 energy solutions."
     Added CalCEF president Lisa Bicker: "According to the California Energy
 Action Plan, energy efficiency is the state's highest priority resource,
 and with good reason. But too little attention has been paid to energy
 efficiency by universities across the nation. Successful investment models
 are needed to accelerate the commercialization of energy efficiency
 products. CalCEF designed this grant opportunity to harness the power of
 academia and the private sector to address key issues such as technology
 development, building design, and advancing investment strategies to tap
 efficiency's potential quickly. CalCEF is a catalyst. The establishment of
 this center demonstrates our creative approach to supporting innovation as
 we move toward a clean energy economy."
     UC Davis officials have designated energy research and education as top
 campus priorities. The campus values interdisciplinary research and
 teaching, and 32 faculty members from 11 departments have signed on to the
 new Energy Efficiency Center. UC Davis also plans to recruit 12 new faculty
 members in the energy field during the next several years. The Energy
 Efficiency Center joins the Institute of Transportation Studies
 (ITS-Davis), the Biomass Collaborative and the Wind Collaborative, as well
 as the California Lighting Technology Center as prime examples of UC
 Davis-led public-private partnerships geared toward solving the state's
 core energy challenges.
     Today's announcement was made in Gladys Valley Hall, the first building
 at UC Davis (and only the second in the University of California system)
 designed and built to achieve certification under the U.S. Green Building
 Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating
 system. It is expected to use one-third less energy than a standard design,
 plus conserve water, provide better indoor air quality and incorporate
 natural materials. The building is a tangible example of the innovations
 that will be emphasized the Energy Efficiency Center. Less energy is
 consumed for lighting by employing natural light, photo sensors and motion
 detectors. Natural ventilation, evaporative cooling and radiant floor slabs
 are used to reduce cooling energy.
     When construction is finished in June, Gladys Valley Hall will become
 the instructional heart of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
 campus. The building is named for the late Gladys Valley in recognition of
 the long- standing generosity of the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation.
     About CalCEF
     The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) is an independent $30 million
 nonprofit public benefit investment fund. Formed in 2004, CalCEF makes
 equity investments in clean energy technologies that show
 market-transforming potential, can assist California in reaching its
 aggressive energy goals, and can bring sustainable economic benefits to the
 state. Investment returns will be reinvested in the Fund, increasing
 CalCEF's ability to serve as a key linkage connecting clean energy policy,
 technology and finance. More information: .
     About the University of California, Davis
     The University of California is one of the world's foremost research
 and teaching institutions, and UC Davis is the University of California's
 flagship campus for environmental studies. UC Davis is a global leader in
 environmental studies relating to air and water pollution; water and land
 use; agricultural practices; endangered species management; invasive plants
 and animals; climate change; resource economics; information technology;
 and human society and culture. One in six of UC Davis' 1,500 faculty
 members specializes in an environment-related subject. More information: .