Accelerate Access to Reliable and Clean Energy

This solution addresses lack of reliable and clean energy in Berkeley, California, USA for local communities

Problem Description

Major disasters have the ability to disrupt the power grid, which cause loss of power and inadequate access to backup power and lead to a cascading set of impacts that impede delivery of essential services for people in need, disrupt the economy, and hamper disaster recovery. The energy grid is also at the nexus of climate change and air pollution. Energy consumption in buildings accounts for nearly half of Berkeley’s community-wide greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are affected by both the amount and the sources of the energy we consume. Berkeley is uniquely capable of taking action that can both advance energy reliability and reduce emissions while also keeping more dollars in the local economy and creating local jobs in the clean energy and energy services sectors.

Building Blocks


"Accelerate Access to Reliable and Clean Energy" is 1 of 6 goals of Berkeley’s Resilience Strategy. From natural disasters to wildfires, drought and flooding from climate change to racial inequity, Berkeley’s strategy recognizes that the city’s challenges and opportunities are complex and interconnected. At its core, Berkeley’s Resilience Strategy will focus on multi-stakeholder, multi-benefit problem solving grounded in stronger connections and engagement within the community and across the region. And this strategy fits into a larger focus throughout the Bay Area on building urban resilience to the various threats posed by urban growth, seismic threats, a changing climate, and rising seas. The goals and actions identified in this strategy are grounded in community input, members of our community contributed their insights and ideas through a combination of an online survey, public workshops, City Council meetings, City Commission meetings, and events.


  • Berkeley’s Resilience Strategy

    Berkeley’s Resilience Strategy – the first in the Bay Area – is designed to advance community preparedness for some of Berkeley’s most pressing physical, social, and economic challenges.

Organisations Involved

Contributed By

  • Dee Williams Ridley, City Manager, Berkeley Resilience Team
  • Timothy Burroughs, Chief Resilience Officer, Berkeley Resilience Team
  • Katie Van Dyke, City of Berkeley

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
Developing and testing3
Mix of design and implementation skills
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Service, product and process design
  • Co-design
  • User-design
  • Light-touch evaluation
  • Cost-benefit modelling
  • Randomised control trials
  • High failure rate should be an explicit expectation
  • Visible senior leadership essential
  • Grants, convertible grants/loans
A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users
Demonstration that the idea works, or evidence to support a reworking of the idea

Key Details