Economics & Global Affairs

13 Items

Discussion Paper

Leapfrogging or Stalling Out? Electric Vehicles in China

| May 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.

A coal mine near Hailar, northeastern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 13 August 2005.

Herry Lawford Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The South China Morning Post

China's Coal Addiction a Threat to Its Energy Security

| May 14, 2014

"...[U]ntil now, Beijing's response to unmet energy demand has focused primarily on securing resources overseas, and building infrastructure for imports. China now generates more electricity from imported coal than from nuclear, wind and solar combined. Without a strong, coordinated policy shift, the country will depend on fuel imports for most of its energy consumption by the time it becomes a developed country."

Geothermal borehole house in Iceland, 14 March 2008.

Lydur Skulason Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

OPEC Embargo +40: What Have We Learned?

| October 18, 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."

A Chinese worker recharges an electric taxi at an EV charging station in Beijing, China, Jan. 9, 2011.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Energy

Integrated Energy Strategy for the Sustainable Development of China

    Authors:
  • Linwei Ma
  • Pei Liu
  • Zheng Li
  • Weidou Ni
| February 2011

The authors of this article propose, summarize, and present strategic ideas as policy implications for China's decision-makers. In conclusion, they determine that China should enhance strategic planning and regulation from a life cycle viewpoint of the whole society, prioritize energy saving, continuously improve incumbent energy, and rationally develop alternative energy.

Windmills generating electricity for South Africa's electric company Eskom seen near Brackenfell on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa,  Jan 29, 2008.

AP Photo

Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Governmental Energy Innovation Investments, Policies and Institutions in the Major Emerging Economies: Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa

Over the past decade, countries with emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa have become important global players in political and economic domains. In 2007, these six countries consumed and produced more than a third of the world's energy and emitted about 35 percent of total greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. The changing global energy landscape has important implications for energy technology innovation (ETI) nationally and internationally. However, there is limited information available about the investments and initiatives that are taking place by the national governments within these countries. This paper presents the information available on energy RD&D investments in the emerging economies. 

A passerby looks at a coal power plant chimney between two office buildings at the Central Business District in Beijing, Feb. 6, 2009. China, which is heavily dependent on coal to fuel its growing economy, rivals the U.S. in GHG emissions.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Energy Policy

Catalyzing Strategic Transformation to a Low-carbon Economy: A CCS Roadmap for China

| January 2010

China now faces the three hard truths of thirsting for more oil, relying heavily on coal, and ranking first in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Given these truths, two key questions must be addressed to develop a low-carbon economy: how to use coal in a carbon-constrained future? How to increase domestic oil supply to enhance energy security? Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) may be a technological solution that can deal with today's energy and environmental needs while enabling China to move closer to a low-carbon energy future. This paper has been developed to propose a possible CCS roadmap for China.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Breaking the Climate Impasse with China: A Global Solution

| November 2009

A "deal" is proposed in this paper, whereby all major-emitting countries, including the United States and China, agree to reduce emissions through implementation of significant, mutually agreeable, domestic emission-reduction policies. To resolve the competitiveness and equity concerns, a proposed Carbon Mitigation Fund would be created. This proposed fund is contrasted with other existing and proposed mitigation funds and finance mechanisms. 

Book - Brookings Institution Press

Acting in Time on Energy Policy

| May 2009

Energy policy is on everyone's mind these days. The U.S. presidential campaign focused on energy independence and exploration ("Drill, baby, drill!"), climate change, alternative fuels, even nuclear energy. But there is a serious problem endemic to America's energy challenges. Policymakers tend to do just enough to satisfy political demands but not enough to solve the real problems, and they wait too long to act. The resulting policies are overly reactive, enacted once damage is already done, and they are too often incomplete, incoherent, and ineffectual. Given the gravity of current economic, geopolitical, and environmental concerns, this is more unacceptable than ever. This important volume details this problem, making clear the unfortunate results of such short-sighted thinking, and it proposes measures to overcome this counterproductive tendency.

Book Chapter

Oil Security and the Transportation Sector

| May 2009

"This chapter proposes to answer five fundamental questions: What exactly is the oil security problem, and how serious is it going forward? Why has it emerged at this point in time, and why has it been so difficult for the U.S. government to take the actions needed to mitigate it? Finally, what alternative policies are likely to be effective as the United States attempts to improve its oil security in the future?"

Book Chapter

Acting in Time on Energy Policy

| May 2009

"The book's title—Acting in Time—refers to the persistent problem in U.S. energy policy that typically just enough is done to satisfy the short-term political imperatives, but not enough is done to actually solve the underlying problems themselves. As a result, many of the fundamental economic, environmental, and security-related challenges arising from patterns of U.S. energy production and consumption have become more intractable. Some now approach a point of crisis."