December 24, 2014
The Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program is seeking a new colleague to manage, coordinate, and conduct research for a major research project. The project examines a wide range of issues focusing on innovations, climate mitigation, and sustainable energy alternatives in China, the United States, and the European Union.
"Electricity Technology Investments under Solar RD&D Uncertainty: How Interim Learning and Adaptation Affect the Optimal Decision Strategy"
By Nidhi R. Santen, Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
The authors present a new modeling framework for studying optimal generating capacity and public RD&D investments in the electricity sector under decision-dependent RD&D uncertainty and learning.
December 19, 2014
By Leonardo Maugeri, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program/Geopolitics of Energy Project
In 2012, when many energy experts argued that oil production had peaked, Leonardo Maugeri published “Oil: The Next Revolution,” which forecast a glut of oil and collapsing prices in the next several years. His prediction proved prescient. Now, as analysts look past today’s oil-market drama to a near future of robust liquefied natural gas exports, Maugeri is again challenging conventional wisdom. The long-hoped-for and hyped-up gas market, he concludes, will disappoint.
“Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports” details the new findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now an associate with the Geopolitics of Energy project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
December 17, 2014
By Claudia Doblinger, Former Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2014–2015 and Kavita Surana, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy 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."
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, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 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.
October 6, 2014
Columbia Journalism Review
By Cristine Russell, Senior Fellow, Environment and Natural Resources Program
The first American case of Ebola, diagnosed last week in Dallas, TX, was a real-time test for government officials seeking to quell public fears about the prospect of a major outbreak here—and for journalists reporting the story at the local, national, and international levels. By and large, both public health experts and mainstream media get good marks in terms of clear communication about the Texas Ebola case, despite some medical mishaps in Dallas and cable news hyperbole.
Nature Climate Change, volume 4
By Dabo Guan, Stephan Klasen, Klaus Hubacek, Kuishuang Feng, Zhu Liu, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Kebin He, Yong Geng and Qiang Zhang
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.