Reports & Papers

337 Items

One of the parabolic mirrors arrays at the Shams-1 concentrated solar power plant in the UAE, January 2015.

IRENA photo, CC by-nc-sa 2.0

Report

Green Ambitions, Brown Realities: Making Sense of Renewable Investment Strategies in the Gulf

| March 2020

Gulf countries have hailed their investments in renewable energy, but some basic questions remain about the extent to which it makes sense for GCC states to invest aggressively in renewables. The sheer magnitude of such investments will require these countries to mobilize significant public resources.  Therefore, such an assessment requires these countries to focus on national interests, not just a desire to be perceived as constructive participants in the global transition away from carbon energy. 

This report starts by identifying four common strategic justifications for investing in renewable energy in GCC countries. Each of these rationales highlights a different aspect of renewable energy investments. In addition, each rationale is based on different assumptions about the underlying drivers of such investments, and each rationale is based on different assumptions about the future of energy. 
 

A photo of electrolysis in action. (Flickr: ca_heckler)

Flickr: ca_heckler / CC by-nc-nd 2.0

Report

Geopolitical and Market Implications of Renewable Hydrogen: New Dependencies in a Low-Carbon Energy World

| March 2020

To accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon economy, all energy systems and sectors must be actively decarbonized. While hydrogen has been a staple in the energy and chemical industries for decades, renewable hydrogen is drawing increased attention today as a versatile and sustainable energy carrier with the potential to play an important piece in the carbon-free energy puzzle. Countries around the world are piloting new projects and policies, yet adopting hydrogen at scale will require innovating along the value chains; scaling technologies while significantly reducing costs; deploying enabling infrastructure; and defining appropriate national and international policies and market structures.

What are the general principles of how renewable hydrogen may reshape the structure of global energy markets? What are the likely geopolitical consequences such changes would cause? A deeper understanding of these nascent dynamics will allow policy makers and corporate investors to better navigate the challenges and maximize the opportunities that decarbonization will bring, without falling into the inefficient behaviors of the past.

A man prepares to charge his electric-powered vehicle parked at a shopping mall in Beijing, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017.

AP Photo/Andy Wong

Paper - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

The Role of Electric Vehicles in Decarbonizing China’s Transportation Sector

| April 2019

This paper focuses on the deep decarbonization of the transportation sector. The first part of the paper provides an assessment of China’s efforts to stimulate the rapid deployment of electric vehicles. The second part analyzes the CO2 equivalent reductions from a 20% electric vehicle deployment scenario. It concludes that under most assumptions, emissions will be reduced, but the total reduction will be less than many people believe due to the carbon intensity of battery manufacturing.

overhead image of Brookhaven National Laboratory

©2016 Landsat / Copernicus, used with permission

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

The Department of Energy National Laboratories

| November 2017

This report recommends policies and actions to improve the return on investment the U.S. government makes in sponsoring research and development (R&D) at the Department of Energy's (DOE) seventeen National Laboratories ("Labs"). While the Labs make a unique and significant contribution to all of the Department of Energy's missions, the authors develop the idea that for the Labs to fully support DOE's energy transformation goals, their R&D management practices need to be updated to better reflect current research into innovation systems and management. They also highlight the necessity of Lab interactions with industry in order to impact the nation's energy infrastructure investment, which is, for the most part, privately held.

Solar panels at sunrise.

Karsten Würth

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

The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy

| June 28, 2017

For a century, the geopolitics of energy has been synonymous with the
geopolitics of oil and gas. However, geopolitics and the global energy economy
are both changing. The international order predominant since the
end of World War II faces mounting challenges. At the same time, renewable
energy is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, the geopolitics of renewable
energy has received relatively little attention, especially when considering
the far-reaching consequences of a global shift to renewable energy.

The paper starts with a discussion of seven renewable energy scenarios
for the coming decades: the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2016, the EIA’s
International Energy Outlook 2016, IRENA’s REmap 2016, Bloomberg’s
New Energy Outlook 2016, BP’s Energy Outlook 2016, Exxon-Mobil’s Outlook
for Energy 2016 and the joint IEA and IRENA G20 de-carbonization
scenario.

Panel: What does Brexit mean for Europe's security architecture?

Thomas Lobenwein

Report

Brave new world? What Trump and Brexit mean for European foreign policy

| Dec. 08, 2016

On 24 and 25 November 2016 experts from politics and academia, including FDP Executive director Cathryn Clüver, discussed the impact of Brexit on several policy areas in a series of workshops at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. All events took place under Chatham House rules.

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Paper

Crafting Usable Knowledge for Sustainable Development

| 2016

This paper distills core lessons about how researchers (scientists, engineers, planners, etc.) interested in promoting sustainable development can increase the likelihood of producing usable knowledge. We draw the lessons from both practical experience in diverse contexts around the world, and from scholarly advances in understanding the relationships between science and society.

Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Energy Technology Innovation Policy in the Backdrop of the U.S.-China Emissions Agreement

The Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Tsinghua School of Public Policy and Management convened a workshop at Tsinghua University in Beijing on June 18–19, 2015 to build on the momentum created by the U.S.-China joint emissions agreement and the upcoming Paris negotiations. The objective of the Workshop was to discuss the current state of affairs in China, in the United States, and in selected other countries as well as academic research on: (1) the funding and allocation of government investments in R&D, with a particular focus in energy; (2) the impact of policy on private sector innovation in energy; and (3) the management of publicly funded R&D organizations.

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Report

The Energy Implications of a Nuclear Deal between the P5+1 and Iran

| July 14, 2015

On June 23 and 24, twenty five experts met at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government under the auspices of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The group, which included experts from academia, the financial sector, government, and the energy industry, spent an evening and the following full day discussing and debating the possible energy implications of a nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran.