Reports & Papers

99 Items

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.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Creating Subnational Climate Institutions in China

| December 2019

This discussion paper (available in English and Chinese) describes the evolution of decentralization over the reform period that began in China in 1978, different theories of institutional change in China, and how the empirical and theoretical literatures help scholars and policymakers understand the development of institutions for governing GHG-emitting activities.

Report - Global Efficiency Intelligence

Deep Decarbonization Roadmap for the Cement and Concrete Industries in California

| September 2019

Cement production is one of the most energy-intensive and highest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitting manufacturing processes. The goal of this study is to develop a roadmap for decarbonization of California's cement and concrete production. In this study, the authors look at the current status of cement and concrete production in California and develop scenarios up to 2040 to analyze different decarbonization levers that can help to reduce CO2 emissions of cement and concrete production in California.

The nuclear archive warehouse outside Tehran (Satellite image via Google).

Satellite image via Google

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

The Iran Nuclear Archive: Impressions and Implications

In mid-January, a team of scholars from the Belfer Center’s Intelligence and Managing the Atom Projects traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel to examine samples of, and receive briefings on, an archive of documents related to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The large cache includes some 55,000 pages of documents and a further 55,000 files on CDs that included photos and videos. A clandestine Israeli intelligence operation spirited the materials out of Iran in early 2018.

The documents that the Belfer group were shown confirm that senior Iranian officials had decided in the late 1990s to actually manufacture nuclear weapons and carry out an underground nuclear test; that Iran’s program to do so made more technical progress than had previously been understood; and that Iran had help from quite a number of foreign scientists, and access to several foreign nuclear weapon designs. The archive also leaves open a wide range of questions, including what plan, if any, Iran has had with respect to nuclear weapons in the nearly 16 years since Iran’s government ordered a halt to most of the program in late 2003. 

This brief report summarizes the group’s conclusions about what the archive reveals about Iran’s program and questions that remain open.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Policy Evolution Under the Clean Air Act

| November 2018

The U.S. Clean Air Act, passed in 1970 with strong bipartisan support, was the first environmental law to give the Federal government a serious regulatory role, established the architecture of the U.S. air pollution control system, and became a model for subsequent environmental laws in the United States and globally. We outline the Act’s key provisions, as well as the main changes Congress has made to it over time. We assess the evolution of air pollution control policy under the Clean Air Act, with particular attention to the types of policy instruments used. We provide a generic assessment of the major types of policy instruments, and we trace and assess the historical evolution of EPA’s policy instrument use, with particular focus on the increased use of market-based policy instruments, beginning in the 1970s and culminating in the 1990s.

A satellite view of the Gansu Dunhuang Solar Park, a photovoltaic power station under construction in Gansu Provence, as seen on June 9, 2018.

DigitalGlobe, CNES/Airbus, Google Earth, used with permission

Report - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy

| September 2018

The Belfer Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University held the fifth annual Tsinghua-Harvard Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy. This event brought together leading experts on climate and energy from academic, business, and government communities in both the United States and China. This year’s workshop focused on electricity systems and renewable energy penetration.

visitors tours the BYD Co. booth displaying an electric vehicle with a charger at the Shanghai International Auto Show

AP/Andy Wong

Paper - SAE International

Recycling-Based Reduction of Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission of China's Electric Vehicles: Overview and Policy Analysis

    Authors:
  • Fuquan Zhao
  • Zongwei Liu
  • Han Hao
| Apr. 03, 2018

Electric vehicles maintain the fastest development in China and undertake the responsibility of optimizing energy consumption and carbon emission in the transportation field. However, from the entire life cycle point of view, although electric vehicles have a certain degree of energy consumption and carbon emission reduction in the use phase, they cause extra energy consumption and carbon emission in the manufacturing phase, which weakens the due environmental benefits to some extent. The recycling of electric vehicles can effectively address the issue and indirectly reduce the energy consumption and carbon emission in the manufacturing phase. China is setting up the recycling system and strengthening regulation force to achieve proper energy consumption and carbon emission reduction benefits of electric vehicles.

Report

Foundations of Decarbonization in China: A Post-2030 Perspective

| July 2017

The Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy is the fourth annual joint workshop between the Harvard Kennedy School’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University. The workshop convened leading experts on climate and energy from the United States and China at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on June 1-2, 2017.

The workshop was divided into five sessions. The first two sessions focused on the scope of the climate problem and the options for addressing it. The following three sessions explored specific options: renewable energy, nuclear power, and air pollution regulation.