UCLA Grand Challenges

January 12, 2015
Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles -- UCLA Grand Challenges

In UCLA's Grand Challenges video, President Barack Obama states in a 2013 speech that "making solar as cheap as coal" and "making electric vehicles as affordable as the ones that run on gas" are "ambitious goals, but they're achievable". The President goes on to encourage companies, research universities and other organizations to help identify and solve society's most pressing issues. The video showcases several UCLA faculty who are participating in UCLA's first Grand Challenges project "Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles," which seeks to achieve 100% sustainability in energy, water and biodiversity by 2050. Dr. Rajit Gadh, director of the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center (SMERC), is one of these participants and he believes that an energy-sustainability solution lies in "using solar energy to power electric vehicles, storing the energy at night when not in use, and feeding it back to the grid in the daytime." Dr. Gadh and SMERC will participate in the first Grand Challenge by leveraging their experience in developing smart grid technologies to address the energy generation and storage component.

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