Energy

29 Items

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

Rahm Emanuael/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

| June 18, 2018

Early in Richard Rhodes’s new book, “Energy: A Human History,” we hear of a prominent citizen using colorful language to lament the state of his polluted city and urge his government to shut down industry or move it elsewhere: “If there be a resemblance of hell upon earth, it is in this volcano [on] a foggy day.” Though this could easily apply to modern-day Beijing, the speaker here is John Evelyn, a wealthy horticulturalist and one of the founders of the scientific Royal Society of London — and he’s complaining about London in 1659.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

American Nuclear Diplomacy

| August 4, 2016

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.

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.

News - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

DOE Budget Authority for Energy Research, Development, & Demonstration Database

| February 29, 2012

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.

Silhouetted against the sky at dusk, emissions spew from the smokestacks at Westar Energy's Jeffrey Energy Center coal-fired power plant near St. Mary's, Kansas, Sept. 25, 2010.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

What Next on Climate?

| Summer 2011

The effort to address climate change stumbled with the failure to pass cap-and-trade. What should happen now? Five experts, including the Harvard Project's Joe Aldy, discuss the future of U.S. climate and energy policy.

The world's first grid-scale, flywheel-based energy storage plant is being built in Stephentown, N.Y. The plant is being built by Beacon Power Corporation (NASDAQ: BCON) & is supported by a $43 million loan guarantee from DOE.

Beacon Power Corp. Photo

Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Transforming the Energy Economy: Options for Accelerating the Commercialization of Advanced Energy Technologies

"The focus of the workshop was on the demonstration stage of the technology innovation cycle. Current policies do not adequately address the private sector’s inability to overcome the demonstration "valley of death" for new energy technologies. Investors and financiers fear that the technology and operational risks at this stage of the cycle remain too high to justify the level of investment to build a commercial-sized facility."

Conceptual drawing of a single B&W mPower™ nuclear reactor module inside its own independent, underground containment.

Babcock & Wilcox Photo

Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Tranforming the Energy Economy: Options for Accelerating the Commercialization of Advanced Energy Technologies—Framing Statement

"There is broad political consensus that the current energy system in the United States is unable to meet the nation's future energy needs, from the security, environment, and economic perspectives. New energy technologies are required to increase the availability of domestic energy supplies, to reduce the negative environmental impacts of our energy system, to improve the reliability of current energy infrastructure (e.g., smart grid, energy storage), and to increase energy efficiency throughout the economy."

Visitors look at a Intelligent Energy hydrogen fuel cell motorcycle at the 10th Auto Expo in New Delhi, India, Jan. 6, 2010.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Energy Innovation Policy in Major Emerging Countries

New Harvard Kennedy School research finds that energy research, development, and demonstration (ERD&D) funding by governments and 100 percent government-owned enterprises in six major emerging economies appears larger than government spending on ERD&D in most industrialized countries combined. That makes the six so-called BRIMCS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa—major players in the development of new energy technologies. It also suggests there could be opportunities for cooperation on energy technology development among countries.