Dan Kammen on His 'Gigaton Throwdown'

$10,000+ price premium on plug-in cars will dampen their ability to make meaningful contributions to reducing carbon emissions by 2020.

Published: 17-Jul-2009

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- UC-Berkeley professor of energy Dan Kammen is well-known around the country and throughout the world for his work in renewable energy science and policy.

Recently, he and a team of academics, entrepreneurs, business leaders and policymakers released a 141-page report, 18 months in the making, called "The Gigaton Throwdown" that outlines a path for a dramatic expansion in the development and deployment of renewable and low-carbon energy. The team focused on what it would take for nine different technologies to reduce the annual emissions of carbon dioxide and equivalent greenhouse gases by a least 1 billion metric tons, or one gigaton, by 2020. A copy of the report has been widely distributed on Capitol Hill, and has been presented to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a colleague of Kammen's.

The San Jose Mercury News talked to Kammen about the report, some of its conclusions and whether it can have an impact on U.S. energy policy. The interview was edited for clarity.

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