Energy Research & Social Science
By Kathleen Araújo, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy/Project on Managing the Atom
Energy transitions are an unmistakable part of today's public discourse. Whether shaped by fuel price flux, environmental and security concerns, technology change, or goals to improve energy access, attention turns to ways in which to improve energy pathways. Yet what is understood about energy system change is still emerging. This article explores the evolving field of energy transitions with an aim to connect and enlarge the scholarship.
March 26, 2014
By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
Influential economic ideas first advanced in 1911 — stressing innovation and entrepreneurialism as the fundamental generators of growth and wealth — were deemed inappropriate for developing countries, stunting progress in many parts of the world throughout the 20th century, says a distinguished Harvard academic.
June 15, 2014
"Energy Saving Alignment Strategy: Achieving Energy Efficiency in Urban Buildings by Matching Occupant Temperature Preferences with a Building's Indoor Thermal Environment"
Applied Energy, volume 123
Existing strategies for residential energy savings through physical renovation or motivating occupant energy conservation behavior can be costly and/or have transitory effects. Focusing on multi-family dwellings, an important subset of the urban residential sector, the authors propose an Energy Saving Alignment Strategy (ESAS) that has advantageous cost-effectiveness and a long-lasting influence. By aligning the distribution of residents' thermostat preferences with the indoor temperature, ESAS aims to maximize thermal comfort and, accordingly, energy savings in multi-family buildings where indoor temperatures vary between apartments as a function of apartment orientation and floor level.
"Assessing Future Water Availability in Arid Regions Using Composition and Salience of Decision Criteria"
By Afreen Siddiqi, Visting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Farah Ereiqat 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
Water resources development options are usually selected on a least-cost basis. While economic considerations are dominant in choosing projects, there are also a mix of other factors including social demands, political expediency, social equity, and environmental considerations that impact final decisions and development of water supply systems. Understanding local priorities in water resource management decisions can allow for forming expectations of future regional water availability. In this research, the authors propose that future water availability in arid regions may be assessed by considering key projects that have been identified or planned by regional experts.
March 25, 2014
By Ariane Tabatabai, Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"Are the nuclear talks are an adequate platform for those human-rights concerns that remain? Probably not. The nuclear talks are complex enough without the addition of an extremely complicated and largely separate issue."
March 24, 2014
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
Harvard Kennedy School Professor of Practice Matthew Bunn was interviewed on PBS NewsHour about the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague and Japan’s announcement at the Summit that it will hand over to the United States its supplies of weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium on Monday, March 24, 2014.
"Compulsive Policy-making—The Evolution of the German Feed-in Tariff System for Solar Photovoltaic Power"
By Joern Hoppmann, Former Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, April–August 2013; Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, September 2012–March 2013, Joern Huenteler, Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group and Bastien Girod
This article shows how complex interdependencies and the uncertain nature of technological change shape the process of targeted policy interventions in socio-technical systems. Toward this end, the authors analyzed the evolution of the German feed-in tariff (FIT) system for solar photovoltaic power, a highly effective and widely copied policy instrument targeted at fostering the diffusion and development of renewable energy technologies.
By Scott Moore, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
This brief looks at the so-far inadequate responses of the Chinese government and makes the case that new institutions are needed to allow China to meet this growing challenge.
March 18, 2014
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom, Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom and William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
In the lead-up to the nuclear security summit in The Hague, Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals outlines what was accomplished in a four-year effort launched in 2009 to secure nuclear material around the globe—and what remains to be done.
March 16, 2014
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Mansour Salsabili, Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
'...[T]he missile program is an outgrowth of legitimate defensive needs. Historically it is a remnant of two things that occurred during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war: the Iraqi use of Scud missiles against Iranian cities, and the US arms embargo. During the war, the Iranian air defense system had the ability to intercept Iraqi airplanes and warn of their imminent attacks. Iraq’s long range-missiles, however, could escape such interception. Hence Iraqi missile strikes had the effect of surprise, large-scale terrorist attacks on major urban centers."