Energy

1129 Items

Sovereign Venture Capitalism: At a Crossroad

StockSnap/Pixabay

Analysis & Opinions - The Economist

Sovereign Venture Capitalism: At a Crossroad

| Oct. 03, 2018

What the Iron Man-like character is claiming for his futuristic automotive company is not unheard of. On a systemic basis, mammoth institutional investment—especially from sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)—is flowing into start-ups and technology-oriented publicly traded companies. In this case, Saudi billions would help Mr Musk escape the pressures of being publicly listed. SWFs have invested large sums into high-growth start-ups promising innovation and financial returns. In fact, just this month, Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a US$1bn investment in Tesla’s rival, Lucid, and a US$2bn stake in Tesla. The rise in SWF balance sheets and activity is having ramifications on global efforts to be more Silicon Valley-like, and on Silicon Valley itself.

Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti

Eliza Grinnell/Harvard SEAS

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

"Venky" Narayanamurti Honored with Bueche Award

    Author:
  • Leah Burrows
| Oct. 03, 2018

Professor Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti is the Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy at Harvard University, former dean of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and former director of the Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program. The award is one of the highest honors given by the National Academy of Engineering, and recognizes an engineer who has shown dedication in science and technology as well as active involvement in determining U.S. science and technology policy.

Dr. Arun Majumdar

DOE/Ken Shipp

Journal Article - Research Policy

Simultaneous Pursuit of Discovery and Invention in the US Department of Energy

There is a sharp boundary between basic and applied research in the organizational structure of the US Department of Energy (DOE). In this work, the authors consider a branch of DOE that was designed to operate across this boundary: the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E). They hypothesize that much of energy research cannot be neatly categorized as basic or applied and is more productive outside of the confines of the basic/applied dichotomy; ARPA-E provides an opportunity to test that hypothesis.

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

Max Avdeev/Flikr

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

| May 30, 2018

This month, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressuring Germany to drop its support for a major new Russian gas pipeline if Europe wants to avoid a trade war with Washington, while a senior U.S. diplomat warned that the project could be hit with U.S. sanctions; Russian President Vladimir Putin responded defiantly. This development, sadly, fuels the further politicization of the European gas market—a space that, in many ways, has reflected the triumphs of a depoliticized, pro-market technocracy, which has managed to stimulate competition and lower prices irrespective of changing political trends. Just last year, Trump called on European countries to buy American liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which, for now, remains more expensive than Russia’s pipeline gas. Certainly, the U.S. has much to gain on the global gas market, which has changed drastically over the past decade, as America rapidly transformed from an importer to an exporter. Europe’s gas market, meanwhile, has much to gain from additional supply. But Trump’s approach, especially if the latest reports are true, both alienates Western European partners and feeds into a sensationalist, simplistic portrayal of the new U.S. role’s effect on Russia—as a zero-sum game, in which these new, plentiful U.S. gas supplies serve as an antidote to Russia's “gas dominance” in Europe and hence to Moscow's political leverage.

The Politics of Shale Gas in Eastern Europe: Energy Security, Contested Technologies and the Social License to Frack

Cambridge University Press

Book - Cambridge University Press

The Politics of Shale Gas in Eastern Europe: Energy Security, Contested Technologies and the Social Licence to Frack

| May 2018

Fracking is a novel but contested energy technology – so what makes some countries embrace it whilst others reject it? This book argues that the reason for policy divergence lies in procedures and processes, stakeholder inclusion and whether a strong narrative underpins governmental policies. Based on a large set of primary data gathered in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, it explores shale gas policies in Central Eastern Europe (a region strongly dependent on Russian gas imports) to unveil the importance of policy regimes for creating a 'social license' for fracking. Its findings suggest that technology transfer does not happen in a vacuum but is subject to close mutual interaction with political, economic and social forces; and that national energy policy is not a matter of 'objective' policy imperatives, such as Russian import dependence, but a function of complex domestic dynamics pertaining to institutional procedures and processes, and winners and losers.

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - Oxford University Press

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power

| May 01, 2018

In conclusion, much has been written about the world's energy resources, but only a few books have been able to link energy realities to geopolitics. Windfall provides an important corrective to conventional wisdom on foreign and energy policies—and shows how the US can take full advantage of the new energy landscape. Thus O'Sullivan shows that by looking at both foreign policy and energy markets, businesses will make better investment decisions and policy-makers will make better strategic decisions.

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

Database on U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Budgets for Energy Research, Development, & Demonstration (1978–2019R)

| Mar. 22, 2018

The attached document contains March 2018 updates to our database on U.S. government investments in energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment (ERD3) through the Department of Energy.

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power, by Meghan O'Sullivan. Published by Simon & Schuster on September 12, 2017.

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - Axios

Good Use of Your Holiday Gift Card (Before it Vanishes Behind the Fridge)

| Jan. 02, 2018

During our holiday newsletter hiatus, I finally had time to read Meghan O'Sullivan's book (pictured above) about how the shale boom is shaking up global oil-and-gas markets — a phenomenon that has broad and important geopolitical effects.

The boom benefits U.S. global posture and economy, but O'Sullivan warns that policymakers cannot be complacent and must take steps to harness its geo-strategic benefits while mitigating environmental risks.