Ardeth Barnhart

Program Director, Renewable Energy Network (UAREN)

Ardeth directs the UA Renewable Energy Network (UA-REN), an initiative to connect the public, industry, and government to the UA’s research and education in renewable energy. The goal is to support the expanded regional, national, and global use of abundant, clean, and economical solar-based renewable energy. Her work includes the development of a UA renewable energy policy program focusing on economic and policy development for innovation. She specializes in the design and implementation of strategies for the adoption of renewable energy, both in Arizona and nationally, through increased support for trans-disciplinary research and analysis of renewable energy systems that integrate and synchronize, from their initial stages, policy design and technology development. Her research also focuses on the effects of renewable energy on the environment using an interdisciplinary approach to test the feasibility of providing solar power as a sustainable energy source for water desalination and electricity generation with an initial pilot project on the Navajo Nation.
Prior to her appointment at the Institute of the Environment in 2010, Ardeth was the co-director of the Arizona Research Institutefor Solar Energy (AzRISE) at the UA. While there, she advised on the strategic direction of the institute and evaluated solar energy programs worldwide, with an emphasis on the economics of these programs and the underlying public policy decisions that impact their growth, sustainability, and interaction with technology development.

Before joining the UA she provided strategic advising on renewable energy and policy development for the business and government sectors, and organizations involved inrenewable energy and information systems in developing countries. Prior to earning her master’s degree, she spent 10 years in the technology development, innovation and information systems sector introducing new technologies for commercial use.