University of California President Janet Napolitano, along with Mexican Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, recently announced new funding of $10 million to be used toward energy efficiency research projects in Mexico. The funding will span a length of four years and the projects will be led by Mexican universities as well as other private research institutions in Mexico.
Veronique Rorive, assistant director of the Mexico Initiative, defined the project as, “A bi-national faculty identified topic areas for collaboration and provided a mandate of five areas: energy, education, environment, health and arts and culture. Since energy usage is a common interest and an area of concern for the future, it was an important issue at our workshops and discussions.”
Mexico’s research proposals will focus on the energy efficiency of urban systems. The Mexican Ministry of Energy’s funding will be utilized in project proposals that will increase energy efficiency in buildings and cities through lighting technology, energy and water efficiency, smart buildings and future electric grids.
“The idea of working more with less can be applied to energy consumption. When these projects have a heavy emphasis on buildings, their focus can be on a variety of concepts from the generation aspect, transmission, distribution, storage to management,” said Dr. Alfredo Martinez-Morales, who is a member of the research faculty of the Center for Environmental Research and Technology.
Director for the UC Institute for Mexico and the United States and UCR Professor of Ecology Exequiel Ezcurra, stated, “this research focus in applied directed research for urban sustainability brings attention to Mexico and the fact that it is an intellectual powerhouse in both the arts and the science. There is a lot to be gained by maintaining an intellectual community in North America as opposed to creating an isolationist attitude.”