University of California, Riverside

Center for Environmental Research & Technology

Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy



One of the greatest scientific opportunities of our time is to learn to efficiently harvest, convert, store, and utilize solar energy. The sun is the most abundant, sustainable sources of energy, providing over 150,000 terawatts of power to the Earth. Today’s global demand for energy is approximately 15 terawatts and is growing rapidly. Conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels cannot meet the demand and energy prices have soared. In addition the climate impacts of the continued burning of petroleum could be extremely harmful.

Researchers, governments, companies, investors, and individuals have all developed tremendous interest in making solar energy affordable. Now there is a need for a reliable resource that can help government agencies, utility companies, end-users, and the technology community make the right decisions about how to apply solar power economically and efficiently. In the long term, there will be a need for training in operations, maintenance, and eventually decommissioning and recycling of solar installations. SC-RISE will be that resource.

The vision of the So Cal Research Initiative for Solar Energy is to serve as the “honest broker” for information about all aspects of solar energy. This is a well-established role for CE-CERT, which has built a reputation as a trusted resource for analysis of controversial technologies for reducing air pollution and improving energy efficiency. The Bourns College of Engineering is engaged in cutting-edge solar energy research including high-performance solar cells, low-cost organic solar energy collectors and large-area solar cells using nanowire arrays.

The Center has entered into a collaborative relationship Tohoku University in Japan, global leaders in solar research, as well as the City of Riverside and Riverside Public Utilities.

Five-year goals for the Center include establishment of a testbed facility with at least one megawatt of installed solar panels, an on-line database repository, and accreditation credentials to certify photovoltaic, concentrated PV and solar thermal technologies. Other goals involve advancing solar thermal storage techniques and design of an intermediate-scale thermal electricity plant to be demonstrated at the CE-CERT complex.


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Center Information

Center for Environmental Research & Technology
1084 Columbia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92507
Directions to CERT

Tel: (951) 781-5791
Fax: (951) 781-5790

Related Links