The promise, prospects, and public policy trade-offs related to second-generation biofuels in road transport were addressed in an executive session convened at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, on April 7 and 8, 2015. The workshop brought together twenty-eight of the world's leading experts from the fields of policy, science, and business for an intensive two-day session. This report is a summary of the main points and issues raised over the two days. It has been reviewed by all the participants. The summary is intended to reflect the breadth of the discussion, rather than to suggest any form of overall consensus among the participants.
January 4, 2015
Op-Ed, Financial Times
By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor
The case for carbon taxes has long been compelling, writes Lawrence Summers. "With the recent steep fall in oil prices and associated declines in other energy prices it is overwhelming. There is room for debate about the size of the tax and about how the proceeds should be deployed. But there should be no doubt that starting from the current zero tax rate on carbon, increased taxation would be desirable."
December 10, 2014
In this installment of “Inside the Middle East: Q&A,” Dr. Abbas Al-Mejren, Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar at the Middle East Initiative and Professor of Economics at Kuwait University, discusses economic development plans in Kuwait and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including poverty alleviation and rationalizing subsidies.
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.
China has ambitious goals for developing and deploying electric vehicles (EV). The stated intention is to “leapfrog” the auto industries of other countries and seize the emerging EV market. Since 2009, policies have included generous subsidies for consumers in certain locations, as well as strong pressure on local governments to purchase EVs. Yet four years into the program, progress has fallen far short of the intended targets. China has only about 40,000 EVs on the road, of which roughly 80% are public fleet vehicles such as buses and sanitation vehicles.
By Pinar Akcayoz De Neve, Project Manager, Environment and Natural Resources Program
This policy brief is based on the discussion paper "Leapfrogging or Stalling Out? Electric Vehicles in China" by Sabrina Howell, Henry Lee and Adam Heal, published by the Belfer Center in June 2014.
November 25, 2013
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.
November 5, 2013
"Regional Water Implications of Reducing Oil Imports with Liquid Transportation Fuel Alternatives in the United States"
Journal Article, Environmental Science and Technology, issue 21, volume 47
By Sarah Jordaan, Former Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy (ETIP) research group, April–August 2012; Former Research Fellow, ETIP, February 2011–March 2012, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Erik Mielke, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2010–2011 and Daniel Schrag, Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is among the cornerstone policies created to increase U.S. energy independence by using biofuels. Although greenhouse gas emissions have played a role in shaping the RFS, water implications are less understood. We demonstrate a spatial, life cycle approach to estimate water consumption of transportation fuel scenarios, including a comparison to current water withdrawals and drought incidence by state. The water consumption and land footprint of six scenarios are compared to the RFS, including shale oil, coal-to-liquids, shale gas-to-liquids, corn ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass.
October 18, 2013
Op-Ed, Power & Policy Blog
By Kathleen Araújo, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP)/Project on Managing the Atom (MTA), July–August 2014; Former Research Fellow, STPP/MTA, 2013–2014; Former Research Fellow, STPP, 2012–2013
"If countries have learned anything, it is that they can protect themselves and become more resilient if they adopt policies and programs that increase their energy self-sufficiency. It turns out that this can be done much more quickly than anyone thought, if they build on what they have."
October 22, 2013
The Harvard Kennedy School is pleased to announce the Fall 2013 funding cycle for the Kuwait Program Research Fund.