In a new article in Daedalus, I explore the motivations behind government policy on renewable energy. How do you explain that some countries are much more supportive of renewables than others? This issue of Daedalus is Volume 2 of a two-issue focus on the alternative energy future in the United States from the point of view of social scientists.
Charlie Wilson, Arnulf Grubler, Greg Nemet and I have a new article in Nature Climate Change that finds that efficient end-use technologies contribute large potential emission reductions and provide higher social returns on investment than energy-supply technologies. Yet, public institutions, policies and financial resources pervasively privilege energy-supply technologies. Citation is: Wilson, C., Grubler, A., K.S. Gallagher, and G. Nemet 2012 “Marginalization of end-use technologies in energy innovation for climate protection” Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, November, pp. 780-788.
This new article in the Summer issue of Issues in Science and Technology emphasizes the social dimensions of energy innovation, especially the question of what makes consumers adopt more efficient energy technologies. Written together with John Randell of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences where I was a Visiting Scholar this spring, this article is part of a special section of the magazine on the social and behavioral dimensions of environmental policy. We argue for increased attention to the social sciences in energy policy.
In a new article in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources my co-authors Arnulf Grubler, Gregory Nemet, and Charlie Wilson and I explore the concept of an energy technology innovation system. This article derives from a chapter we wrote with other co-authors on innovation in the Global Energy Assessment, being released in Fall 2012.
In this opinion piece for the Financial Times, we argue that the preliminary decision to impose dumping tariffs on imports of solar panels from China is short sighted and contrary to U.S. interests. Co-authored with Kevin P. Gallagher of Boston University.
Colleague Laura Diaz Anadon of the Harvard Kennedy School and I have tracked the U.S. energy RD&D budgets for the past several years, building upon earlier work by Paul de Sa, Ambuj Sagar, and John Holdren. We have now updated the data to include the Obama Administration’s budget request for FY13. In the database, we also provide some limited data now on deployment. Notable changes in this year’s request are a significant ramp-down in coal R&D, a ramp up in energy efficiency, and the Obama Administration’s large request for a HomeStar program to accelerate deployment of efficient building technologies. Charts, including the one below, are available within the Excel workbook.
In this recent article, my co-authors Laura Diaz Anadon and Ruud Kempener from the Harvard Kennedy School, and Charlie Wilson from the Tyndall Centre on Climate Change Research and I explore recent trends in government energy RD&D investments in the major emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa, and Mexico, and compare them with the trends in public investments in energy RD&D from OECD countries, as depicted below.