Energy

27 Items

Testimony

Securing America's Future: Realizing the Potential of the DOE National Laboratories

The Federal Government has many tools at its disposal to advance energy technology innovation. It can signal markets, for example, through energy tax and regulatory policy ("market pull"), and it can advance research, development, and deployment of energy technologies ("technology push"). Both of these kinds of tools can be effective, but the most effective policy portfolio balances a combination of these policies.

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Treaty Design and Duration: Effects on R&D, Participation, and Compliance

    Author:
  • Bard Harstad
| January 2013

Climate policy is complicated. For a treaty to be beneficial, one must think through carefully how it will work, once it is implemented. Crucial questions include the following: How should an international treaty be designed? Should one negotiate commitments for a five-year period, or for much longer? Assuming that the treaty specifies aggregate or country-specific emission caps, what should these caps be and how should they change over time? How should the agreement be updated once policymakers, scholars, and the public learn more about the severity of the climate-change problem, or about the effects of the policy? Can the treaty be designed to encourage investments in "green" abatement technology or renewable energy sources? Finally, how can one motivate countries to participate and comply with such an agreement?

Outside view of the UN building with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) office inside, at the International Center, in Vienna, Austria, June 8, 2012.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Centre for International Governance Innovation

Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA

| June 2012

Published along with the report Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA — the result of more than two years of research  and examining all aspects of the Agency's mandate and operations this policy brief summarizes the report's key findings and policy recommendations for strengthening and reforming the IAEA.

A 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle displayed at Plug-in 2010, a plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles conference and exposition in San Jose, Calif., July 28, 2010. The first mass-market electric cars went on sale in December 2010.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation

The United States needs a revolution in energy technology innovation to meet the profound economic, environmental, and national security challenges that energy poses in the 21st century. Researchers at Harvard Kennedy School undertook a three-year project to develop actionable recommendations for transforming the U.S. energy innovation system. This research has led to five key recommendations for accelerating U.S. energy innovation.

Policy Brief - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Research, Development, and Demonstration for the Future of Nuclear Energy

| June 2011

Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century, or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.

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.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, center, upon his arrival in Bangalore, India, Dec. 4, 2010. Sarkozy arrived on a 4-day visit to sign agreements to set up nuclear power plants in India and jointly develop satellites to study climate change.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Towards a Breakthrough for Deadlocked Climate Change Negotiations

    Author:
  • Akihiro Sawa
| December 2010

With regard to developing a new international framework, developed countries should acknowledge how grave the consequences would be to easily give in to a Kyoto extension. Merely extending the Kyoto Protocol would surely delay mitigation actions on the part of developing countries and discourage the U.S. from making serious efforts to reduce its large energy consumption. In other words, no country should end up being a "climate-killer" in its attempts to avoid being called a "Kyoto-killer."

Arun Vijayakumar and Shoufeng Yang at Planar Energy Devices insert a sample into the vacuum chamber of the company's thin-film deposition system. Planar is developing a buried-anode lithium-ion battery using technology licensed from DOE's NREL.

Courtesy of DOE/NREL

Policy Brief - Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center

U.S. Public Energy Innovation Institutions and Mechanisms: Status & Deficiencies

The United States needs to transform the way it produces and uses energy. This will require the improvement of current technologies and the development of new ones. To achieve the maximum payoff for public investments in energy technology innovation, the United States will need to improve and better align the management and structure of existing and new energy innovation institutions, and better connect R&D to demonstration and deployment. In this policy memo, the authors discuss three general and important recommendations for thinking about different initiatives, and we discuss the merits and challenges of current and new institutions, and the remaining gaps in the U.S. energy innovation system.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo speaks at the High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change, June 17, 2009, at the Asian Development Bank in the Philippines. The bank pledged to double its clean energy investments in the region to $2 billion yearly.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Three Pillars of Post-2012 International Climate Policy

| October 23, 2009

Our proposal for a post-2012 international global climate policy agreement contains three essential elements: meaningful involvement by key industrialized and developing nations; an emphasis on an extended time path of targets; and inclusion of market-based policy instruments. This architecture is consistent with fundamental aspects of the science, economics, and politics of global climate change.

Policy Brief - Consortium for Energy Policy Research

Acting in Time on Energy Policy

| May 20, 2009

This policy brief outlines urgent priorities for U.S. energy policy at the dawn of the Obama administration, and recommends specific steps that the U.S. government should take to address the numerous energy-related challenges facing the United States. It is based on the book, Acting in Time on Energy Policy (Brookings 2009), edited by Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center.

We concentrate on six topics: climate change policy, carbon capture and storage policy, oil security policy, energy-technology innovation policy, electricity market structure, and infrastructure policy. The United States cannot afford to wait any longer to enact long-term policies on these topics. In fact, acting early is clearly in the longer-term interest of the United States.