Energy

101 Items

Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Increasing Residential Building Energy Efficiency In China: An Evaluation of Policy Instruments

| April 2016

Various policies targeting at building energy efficiency have been promulgated by the Chinese government in the past decade. However, few studies evaluate if China is on the right path to meet its energy goals through these policies by providing an assessment of their effect in reducing energy consumption in residential buildings or the feasibility of such policies to catalyze these reductions. This paper attempts to fill this gap by systematically quantifying (1) the energy savings catalyzed by existing policy instruments; (2) the additional energy savings that could be realized by strengthening these policies; and (3) the relative advantages of each policy.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

Creative Commons

Paper - Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

A Spatiotemporal Exploration of Water Consumption Changes Resulting from the Coal-to-Gas Transition in Pennsylvania

| January 2016

During the early stages of Pennsylvania's coal-to-gas transition, extraction and generation of coal and natural gas contributed to a yearly 2.6–8.4% increase in the state's water consumption. Although some areas experienced no change in water consumption, others experienced large decreases or increases. Consumption variations depended on available natural gas resources and pre-existing power-generating infrastructure. This analysis estimates monthly water consumption associated with fuel extraction and power generation within Pennsylvania watersheds between 2009 and 2012. It also provides the first comprehensive representation of changing water consumption patterns associated with the state's coal-to-gas transition at the sub-basin level.

Paper - Harvard Kennedy School

Making Technological Innovation Work for Sustainable Development

| December 2015

Sustainable development requires harnessing technological innovation to improve human well-being in current and future generations. However, poor, marginalized, and unborn populations too often lack the economic or political power to shape innovation processes to meet their needs. Issues arise at all stages of innovation, from invention of a technology through its selection, production, adaptation, adoption, and retirement.

Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Energy Technology Innovation Policy in the Backdrop of the U.S.-China Emissions Agreement

The Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Tsinghua School of Public Policy and Management convened a workshop at Tsinghua University in Beijing on June 18–19, 2015 to build on the momentum created by the U.S.-China joint emissions agreement and the upcoming Paris negotiations. The objective of the Workshop was to discuss the current state of affairs in China, in the United States, and in selected other countries as well as academic research on: (1) the funding and allocation of government investments in R&D, with a particular focus in energy; (2) the impact of policy on private sector innovation in energy; and (3) the management of publicly funded R&D organizations.

Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

The Future of Low-Carbon Road Transport: What Role for Second-Generation Biofuels?

| June 2015

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.

Report

China's Carbon Emissions Report 2015

| May 2015

The magnitude and growing annual rate of growth of China's carbon emissions make this country the major driver of global carbon emissions and thus a key focus for efforts in emissions mitigations. This report presents independent data on China's carbon emissions from 1950–2012, and provides a basis to support mitigation efforts and China's low-carbon development plan.

Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Commercializing Second-Generation Biofuels: Scaling Up Sustainable Supply Chains and the Role of Public Policy

The promise, prospects, and public policy trade-offs related to the greater use and production of second-generation biofuels were addressed in an executive session convened by the Harvard Kennedy School on November 13 and 14, 2014. The session attracted more than 25 of the world's leading experts from the fields of policy, science, and business for an intensive two day session. The agenda consisted of three sessions focused on (i) the sustainability of cellulosic supply chains, (ii) government policy options to attract investment and (iii) government policy options to ensure that environmental objectives are met.

Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Electricity Technology Investments under Solar RD&D Uncertainty: How Interim Learning and Adaptation Affect the Optimal Decision Strategy

| December 2014

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.

Discussion Paper

Water Markets in China

| October 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.

Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Energy Technology Expert Elicitations for Policy: Workshops, Modeling, and Meta-analysis

| October 2014

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.