August 4, 2016
By Daniel Poneman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
In this report, American Nuclear Diplomacy: Forging a New Consensus to Fight Climate Change and Weapons Proliferation, Former Deputy Secretary of Energy and Belfer Center Senior Fellow Daniel Poneman writes that we face two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Each, he says, stems from human origins. Both must be fought aggressively.
"Multiple studies confirm the grim truth that, even if all nations fulfill their Paris Climate Agreement emissions pledges, the world will still far overshoot the 2°C warming limit scientists say we must not exceed to prevent devastating climate impacts. Carbon-free nuclear energy can help close the gap. But can we expand its environmental benefits without increasing the risks of nuclear terror?"
Poneman outlines a diplomatic strategy and tough-minded, bipartisan policies to get us there.
July 5, 2016
Op-Ed, The Washington Post
By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project
Senior Fellow of the Future of Diplomacy Project, David Ignatius examines the Navy’s energy diet that began seven years ago with an edict from newly appointed Secretary Ray Mabus, who issued five goals for radically changing how the Navy bought and consumed fuel.
"Driving Force or Forced Transition?: The Role of Development Cooperation in Promoting Energy Transitions in the Philippines and Morocco"
Journal Article, Journal of Cleaner Production, issue 1, volume 128
This article contributes to the understanding of transitions towards low carbon societies in the developing world. While adding extensive empirical insights from the status of energy transitions in two countries faced with major energy challenges, the Philippines and Morocco, the authors contribution enquires what role external actors like international donors in general, and Germany in particular, can play in such transitions.
"Quantifying the Effects of Expert Selection and Elicitation Design on Experts' Confidence in Their Judgments About Future Energy Technologies"
Journal Article, Risk Analysis
By Gregory Nemet, Former Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, January–June 2011, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Elena Verdolini
Expert elicitations are now frequently used to characterize uncertain future technology outcomes. However, their usefulness is limited, in part because: estimates across studies are not easily comparable; choices in survey design and expert selection may bias results; and overconfidence is a persistent problem. The authors provide quantitative evidence of how these choices affect experts' estimates.
6 May 2016
Journal Article, Nature Energy
By Andreas Goldthau, Associate, The Geopolitics of Energy Project
Many energy consumers, and even analysts and policymakers, confront and frame energy and climate risks in a moral vacuum, rarely incorporating broader social justice concerns. Here, to remedy this gap, we investigate how concepts from justice and ethics can inform energy decision-making by reframing five energy problems — nuclear waste, involuntary resettlement, energy pollution, energy poverty and climate change — as pressing justice concerns.
May 3, 2016
Op-Ed, The New York Times
By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
"Given the existing low-cost competition in a no-growth market, renewable developers face tough investment challenges absent new policies. A carbon tax could substantially increase market demand for renewable power and encourage the retirement of pollution-intensive coal-fired power plants."
March 30, 2016
By William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP, Pamela Matson and Krister Andersson
Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice, by leading authorities Pamela Matson, William C. Clark, and Krister Andersson, is a concise guide that provides everyone interested in sustainability – students, scholars, and practitioners alike – with a strategic framework and approaches for understanding, analyzing, and effectively engaging in sustainability challenges. While individuals from every realm of society can and need to engage in this, innovations from the research and innovation communities are particularly needed; creating useful knowledge and linking it effectively with decision-making is an urgent need. In educational settings, the book serves as an invaluable primer and companion to research and teaching that deals with sustainability in particular sectors such as energy, food, water, and cities, or in particular regions of the world. In professional settings, it offers a guide to how we all—regardless of profession—can become more effective in the pursuit of sustainability.
This document contains March 2016 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 1978–2016 and the 2017 budget request and includes funding for ERD3 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It also includes several charts.
Journal Article, Climatic Change
In order to make R&D funding decisions to meet particular goals, such as mitigating climate change or improving energy security, or to estimate the social returns to R&D, policy makers need to combine the information provided in this study on cost reduction potentials with an analysis of the macroeconomic implications of these technological changes. The authors conclude with recommendations for future directions on energy expert elicitations.
"Balancing Solar PV Deployment and RD&D: A Comprehensive Framework for Managing Innovation Uncertainty in Electricity Technology Investment Planning"
Journal Article, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, volume 60
By Nidhi R. Santen, Former Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group (ETIP), January 16–30, 2015; Former Project Manager, ETIP, July 2014–January 16, 2015; Former Fellow, ETIP, 2012–2014 and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
This article shows that it is possible to unify several realistic features of the deployment and development problem for the electricity sector to meet sustainability goals into one framework.