This paper assesses how certification programs adopted by EU countries have affected biofuel development in Brazil, and identifies some of the lessons learned in designing future certification programs. The paper challenges the idea of the central importance of market benefits as the driving force behind private regimes for environmental and social governance.
By Erik Mielke, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2010–2011, Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Director, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
This paper provides an overview of water consumption for different sources of energy, including extraction, processing, and conversion of resources, fuels, and technologies. The primary focus of this paper is to summarize the consumptive use of water for different sources of energy. Where appropriate, levels of water withdrawals are also discussed, especially in the context of cooling of thermoelectric power plants.
By Robert Lawrence, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
This paper argues that the growing list of concerns about the impact of biofuel targets and mandates are the predictable result of a failure to follow the basic principles of good policy-making. Good policy-making requires developing a policy goal or target (i.e., reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing oil consumption, or increasing rural economic development) and designing an instrument to efficiently meet that particular goal. The more precise the goal, the better. In addition, for each target, there should be at least one policy instrument. You cannot meet two goals with only one instrument. This paper argues that the current U.S. biofuels mandates do not represent the most efficient or precise instrument to meet any of the policy's stated goals.
April 14, 2010
The Dominican Republic is well positioned to benefit from the development of an ethanol industry. It has adequate land resources and, under favorable market conditions, can produce ethanol cost-competitively for both domestic consumption and export. The circumstances of the Dominican Republic are common to many developing nations considering biofuels development. The framework approach used in this paper and its conclusions may be applicable to biofuels initiatives in other developing nations.
January 13, 2010
In a discussion paper released by Harvard University's Sustainability Science Program and the Belfer Center's Environment and Natural Resources Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, Ricardo Hausmann and Rodrigo Wagner lay out five organizing principles for maximizing the development impact of a global biofuel market.
A disproportionately large amount of the world's agronomic potential for the production of bio-ethanol is concentrated in a subset of developing countries. To develop that potential, countries need both the existence of an appropriate local business ecosystem and reliable global demand. The creation of a global market for green biofuels, however, is affected by a constellation of diverse and sometimes conflicting policy goals, which tend to complicate policy discussion. In this paper we compile a set of principles to guide the design of a global market for green biofuels.
Liquid biofuels can provide a substitute for fossil fuels in the transportation sector. Many countries have mandated the use of biofuels, by creating targets for their use. If not implemented with care, however, actions that increase biofuel production can put upward pressure on food prices, increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and exacerbate degradation of land, forest, and water sources. A strong global biofuels industry will not emerge unless these environmental and social concerns are addressed.
May 16, 2008
"Biofuels and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program: The Statute, Policy Issues, and Alternatives"
By Gustavo Collantes, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy Research Group/Enviroment and Natural Resources Program, 2007-2008
This paper investigates the relationship between the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program and the supply of biofuels in the United States.
February 29, 2012
By Kelly Sims Gallagher, Senior Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group and Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Director, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
This document contains February 2012 updates to our database on U.S. government investments in energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment (ERD3) through the Department of Energy. The database, in Microsoft Excel format, tracks DOE appropriations from FY 1978–2011 and the FY 2012 and 2013 budget requests and includes funding for ERD3 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It also includes several charts.
Journal Article, Energy Policy, issue 13, volume 34
By Ambuj D. Sagar, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Debyani Ghosh, Former Research Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy Research Group, 2002-2005 and V.V.N. Kishore
Biomass energy accounts for about 11% of the global primary energy supply, and it is estimated that about 2 billion people worldwide depend on biomass for their energy needs.
September 25, 2008
Magazine or Newspaper Article, Harvard Gazette
"Acting on Time on Energy" conference, held at Harvard on 18–19 September 2008, brought together business leaders, investors, academics and government officials, to discuss energy pollcy for the next U.S. Administration. Click here for photos.