The Energy Institute helps create a more economically and environmentally sustainable energy future through research, teaching and policy engagement.
To support current and future energy sector leaders in making important decisions, the Energy Institute’s approach is to focus on business and policy challenges:
- Train the business and policy leaders of tomorrow on market, policy, and technology commercialization challenges in the energy industry.
- Produce research and analysis backed by rigorous empirical evidence and the frontiers of economic research so that energy and environmental policy and business decisions are based on sound economic and business principles.
The Energy Institute was founded in 1978 as the Universitywide Energy Research Group on the Berkeley campus. In 1994, it became the University of California Energy Institute (UCEI), a multicampus research unit of the University of California. UCEI was established to foster research and educate students and policy makers on energy issues that are crucial to the future of California, the nation, and the world. The Energy Institute continues this focus today.
In the 1990s, regions around the world started to restructure their power markets. Competitive market structures were introduced in place of traditional vertically integrated utilities. Our researchers were at the forefront of analysis on how these markets work and what could go wrong. This work led to the establishment of the Center for the Study of Energy Markets (CSEM), funded in part by the California Energy Commission. CSEM produced 94 research and policy working papers, expanded the annual POWER Conference on Energy Research and Policy, held numerous policy conferences and academic seminars and convened energy economists to discuss new research ideas. UCEI became the premier research organization of energy economists in the country.
In 2009 we changed our name to the Energy Institute at Haas in recognition of our new affiliation with Berkeley Haas, a leading business school for students pursuing careers in energy and clean technology. In 2009 we also launched the Center for Energy and Environmental Economics (UCE3), in partnership with the Bren School of Environmental Management at UC Santa Barbara. UCE3 built a strong and vibrant research community across all UC campuses in the growing field of energy and environmental economics.
In 2015 we strengthened our ties with UC Berkeley’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) in the College of Natural Resources by co-locating in their building. This move fostered greater collaboration with our affiliated research faculty and PhD students in ARE.
We have continued to add faculty and PhD students. The focus of our research has also continued to evolve. Our traditional focus on energy and environmental markets has expanded into research on energy efficiency, energy and inequality, energy in developing countries, transportation and climate change.