December 17, 2014
By Claudia Doblinger, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program (STPP)/Energy Technology Innovation Policy (ETIP) research group; 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, STPP/ETIP, 2014–2015 and Kavita Surana, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program
"Getting individuals to take responsibility for their energy consumption is not just an issue of building short-term awareness of a cause. Rather, these campaigns require changes to long-standing habits, perhaps through constant reminders that emphasize individual action. Climate action therefore raises questions of both the desired intensity and frequency of messages in promoting behavioral change."
December 12, 2014
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
Professor of Practice Matthew Bunn gave a presentation on Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation, a volume that he co-edited, at Carnegie Mellon University.
December 12, 2014
Each year, the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School welcomes new pre- and post-doctoral fellows and visiting researchers to a select team of scholars exploring the critical role that science and technology play in everyday life.
Belfer Center Newsletter
By Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications
Robert Stavins and the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements research the best architecture for an agreement that will help prevent catastrophic climate change, a new book by Laura Diaz Anadon, Matthew Bunn, and Venkatesh (Venky) Narayanamurti takes on the challenge of transforming energy innovation in the United States—the world’s largest economy—to help provide secure, affordable energy without causing major damage to the environment and the climate.
By Scott Moore, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2014
This discussion paper examines the development of water markets as a solution to water scarcity in China, with particular focus on Water Rights Trading (WRT). Water scarcity is an issue of growing concern for China, particularly in the north, where a combination of limited water supplies, economic growth, and population increases are increasingly straining water resources. The Chinese government has moved enthusiastically toward an embrace of market mechanisms to address water scarcity, with WRT being the preferred policy instrument in the agricultural sector, which accounts for the majority of water use in China. This discussion paper proposes several policy recommendations to improve the development of water markets in China, in particular by lowering the transaction costs to establishing markets and improving policy coordination.
By Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Valentina Bosetti, Gabe Chan, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2015, Gregory Nemet, Former Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, January–June 2011 and Elena Verdolini
Characterizing the future performance of energy technologies can improve the development of energy policies that have net benefits under a broad set of future conditions. In particular, decisions about public investments in research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) that promote technological change can benefit from (1) an explicit consideration of the uncertainty inherent in the innovation process and (2) a systematic evaluation of the tradeoffs in investment allocations across different technologies. To shed light on these questions, over the past five years several groups in the United States and Europe have conducted expert elicitations and modeled the resulting societal benefits. In this paper, the authors discuss the lessons learned from the design and implementation of these initiatives.
The Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Market Mechanisms to Achieve a Low-Carbon Future for China explored both the opportunities and challenges for market-oriented climate, technology, and water resources policy in China. The workshop convened prominent members of the academic and policy communities from China, the United States, and Europe at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on June 3-4, 2014.
Nature Climate Change, volume 4
China committed itself to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy (the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP) by 40–45% during 2005–2020. Yet, between 2002 and 2009, China experienced a 3% increase in carbon intensity, though trends differed greatly among its 30 provinces. Decomposition analysis shows that sectoral efficiency gains in nearly all provinces were offset by movement towards a more carbon-intensive economic structure.
September 29, 2014
By Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy, Science, Technology, and Pubic Policy Program
Some of America's most distinguished leaders in academia, science, and technology gathered at Harvard September 19 and 20 to celebrate the 75th birthday of renowned Harvard scientist Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti — and to discuss the future of innovation in America.
Environmental Science and Technology
By Chao Zhang, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–July 2013, Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Hongpin Mo, Zhongnan Zhao and Zhu Liu, Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
The energy sector is increasingly facing water scarcity constraints in many regions around the globe, especially in China, where the unprecedented large-scale construction of coal-fired thermal power plants is taking place in its extremely arid northwest regions. As a response to water scarcity, air-cooled coal power plants have experienced dramatic diffusion in China since middle 2000s. By the end of 2012, air-cooled coal-fired thermal power plants in China amounted to 112 GW, making up 14% of China's thermal power generation capacity. But the water conservation benefit of air-cooled units is achieved at the cost of lower thermal efficiency and consequently higher carbon emissions intensity.