Consortium for Energy Policy Research at Harvard

This is an overview of energy and related environmental activites at Harvard from the Consortium for Energy Policy Research. These programs are independently directed and largely independently funded. The Consortium provides partial support for the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, and the Populism and Natural Resources Project. Contact for more information.

The Business and Environment Initiative
Based at Harvard Business School, the Business and Environment Initiative seeks to deepen business leaders’ understanding of today’s environmental challenges and to assist them in developing effective solutions.

The Business and Environment Initiative aspires to help leaders think clearly about the design of economic and political institutions that enable firms and societies to thrive while maintaining the physical and biological systems on which they ultimately depend. (Rebecca Henderson and Forest Reinhardt, Faculty Co-Directors)

The Center for Health and the Global Environment
The Center for Health and the Global Environment was founded at the Harvard Medical School to help promote a wider understanding of the human health consequences of global environmental change. By focusing on environmental change through the lens of human health, the Center is able to reach people in concrete, personal terms they can relate to and understand. The Center is an official Collaborating Center of the U.N. Environment Programme and works alongside many other organizations throughout the world. The Climate, Health and Energy program, one of four critical areas of focus at the Center, educates the scientific community, policymakers, industry representatives, community leaders and the general public about the human health dimensions of climate change and energy use in order to foster healthy solutions for a low carbon future. The Center, based in the Harvard Medical School through September 2012, transitioned to a new home in the Harvard School of Public Health beginning in September 2012. (Jack Spengler, Director; Aaron Bernstein, Associate Director)

Consortium for Energy Policy Research
The Consortium for Energy Policy Research, based at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, works in cooperation with the Harvard University Center for the Environment to promote and support Harvard’s energy policy research. The goal of the Consortium is to help Harvard University reach its full potential for research and impact in energy policy by supporting activities that promote outreach, education, communication and capacity-building in the energy policy area. (William Hogan, Faculty Director; Louisa Lund, Program Director)

The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic engages Harvard Law School students in local, national and international projects covering a broad range of environmental issues such as climate change, carbon capture and sequestration, renewable energy and environmental justice. Projects include filing an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case about the disposal of debris from mountaintop removal coal mines in streams, working with the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group to develop a legal roadmap for and host a workshop on the rapid deployment of carbon capture and sequestration in the United States, analyzing the concept of "clean, renewable energy" and whether the burning of animal waste qualifies, advocating for the adoption of federal public lands policies that would mitigate the effects of climate change and promote adaptation to climate change and advising consumers about options for purchasing electricity generated by renewable power. In 2010-11, the Clinic launched an expanded program, the Cross-Campus Energy and Environment Clinic Initiative, to expand its work to include students and faculty from other disciplines around the university, including the School of Public Health and the Graduate School of Design. (Wendy Jacobs, Director)

Energy History Project
The Energy History Project, focused on the global history of energy, is based at the Joint Center for History and Economics and the MIT Research Group on History, Energy and Environment. The project explores how the historical study of energy use and transformation can widen perspectives of economic, social and environmental processes in the past. It also serves as a forum for the historical discussion of energy in all its forms in a global and comparative context.

Energy Technology Innovation Policy
The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group (ETIP) identifies and promotes the adoption of effective strategies for developing and deploying cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, primarily in three of the biggest energy-consuming nations in the world: the United States, China and India. ETIP researchers seek to identify strategies that these countries can pursue, separately and collaboratively, to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced energy options that reduce conventional air pollution, minimize future greenhouse gas emissions, ease dependence on oil, alleviate poverty and promote economic development. ETIP staff and fellows research a range of topics, including the ERD3 project discussed in detail above, the role of the government in enabling the commercialization of capital-intensive energy technologies, the future of transportation and strategies for limiting transport emissions, the importance of integrating energy and water planning and the cost of wind power in China. (Laura Diaz Anadon, Henry Lee and Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Co-Principal Investigators)

Environment and Natural Resources Program
The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP) is the center of the Harvard Kennedy School's research and outreach on public policy that affects global environmental quality and natural resource management. ENRP’s energy policy work includes its ongoing role in the joint oversight of ETIP, the Managing the Atom Project and the Biofuels and Globalization Project. (Henry Lee, Director; William Clark, Faculty Chair; Amanda Sardonis, Assistant Director)

The Geopolitics of Energy Project
The Geopolitics of Energy Project, based in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, explores the intersection of energy, security and international politics. The Project aims to improve our understanding of how energy demand and supply shape international politics–and vice versa. It also endeavors to inform policymakers and students about major challenges to global energy security and, where possible, to propose new ways of thinking about and addressing these issues. The Project focuses both on conventional and alternative energies, as both will influence and be influenced by geopolitical realities. (Meghan O’Sullivan, Director)

Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA), based at the Harvard School of Public Health, is a multidisciplinary group of faculty, research staff, students and visiting scholars who work together to improve decisions about environmental health. HCRA’s work draws on diverse disciplines including epidemiology, toxicology, environmental science and engineering, decision theory, cognitive psychology, applied mathematics, statistics and economics. Areas of practical application related to energy policy include the analysis of risks from air pollutants such as particulate matter, ozone and mercury. (James Hammitt and Joel Schwartz, Directors)

Harvard China Project
The interdisciplinary Harvard China Project, founded by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and based now in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), conducts peer-reviewed research on China’s economy, energy and atmospheric environment (both air pollution and greenhouse gases). The Project pursues two collaborative mandates: crossing disciplines and schools at Harvard and fully integrating Harvard-based research efforts with work by Project-funded affiliates at Chinese universities. It has built up research capacities in a range of fields: modeling and field measurement of atmospheric transport and chemistry; taking bottom-up inventories of air pollution and GHG emissions; assessment of wind, solar and natural gas-fired power potentials, including grid integration; general equilibrium modeling of China’s economy and energy use; modeling health and agricultural impacts of pollution exposures; spatial analyses of urban transport, land use and environment; environmental law analyses of China’s roles in international agreements on climate and trade; and integrated assessment of costs and benefits of national emission controls. (Michael B. McElroy, Chair; Chris P. Nielsen, Executive Director; Dale W. Jorgenson, Mun S. Ho, Xi Lu, J. William Munger, Sumeeta Srinivasan,and Peter P. Rogers, Harvard-based lead investigators of current studies. China-based researchers lead other elements.)

Harvard Electricity Policy Group
The Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government’s Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG) provides a forum for the analysis and discussion of important policy issues facing the electricity industry. Founded in 1993, its objectives are to study, analyze and engage discourse on the problems associated with the transition from monopoly to a more competitive electricity market. With the involvement of scholars, market participants, regulators, policy makers and advocates for various positions and interests, HEPG seeks to foster more informed, highly focused open debate in order to contribute to the wider public policy agenda affecting the electric sector. Through research, information dissemination and regular seminars, HEPG facilitates discussion, which leads to the development of new ideas or an expansion of the debate. Participants include electricity industry executives from public power and investor-owned utilities, independent power producers, consumer advocates, regulators, energy officials from both state and federal governments, representatives of the environmental and financial communities and academics. (William Hogan, Research Director; Ashley Brown, Executive Director; Jo-Ann Mahoney, Program Director)

Harvard Environmental Economics Program
The Harvard Environmental Economics Program (HEEP) is a University-wide initiative that develops innovative answers to today’s complex environmental issues by providing a venue to bring together faculty and graduate students from across Harvard engaged in research, teaching and outreach in environmental and natural resource economics and related public policy. HEEP is based in the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). The Program sponsors research projects, convenes workshops and supports graduate education to further understanding of critical issues in environmental, natural resource and energy economics and policy around the world. HEEP’s 31 Faculty Fellows are economists in six Harvard schools who focus in whole or in part on environmental issues. HEEP regularly releases Discussion Papers—almost all of which are authored by Faculty Fellows—that are available on its web site. HEEP has 24 Pre-Doctoral Fellows in 2012-2013, who are studying in five Harvard PhD programs. HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellows conduct a weekly luncheon at which they present their own recent research. Since the mid-1990s Robert Stavins of HKS and Martin Weitzman of the Department of Economics have led a separate, open seminar on environmental economics on Wednesday afternoons, hosting distinguished guest speakers. (Robert Stavins, Director; Robert Stowe, Executive Director)

Harvard Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment
Founded in 2009, the Harvard Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment was developed to foster a new community of doctoral students who will be well versed in the broad, interconnected issues of energy and environment while maintaining their focus in their primary discipline. Current Harvard PhD or ScD students may apply to the program. Once admitted to the Consortium, students are required to take three courses designed to give doctoral students an introduction to critical aspects of energy issues and to participate in a weekly reading seminar that will provide an overview of the energy field from a wide range of perspectives. Through debate and dialogue in coursework and seminars, students will be able to identify the obstacles, highlight the opportunities and define the discussion of an energy strategy for the 21st century and beyond. In 2012, the Graduate Consortium was comprised of 41 students from seven schools. (Michael Aziz, Faculty Coordinator; Eric Simms, Educational Programs Manager)

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
The goal of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements is to help identify and advance scientifically sound, economically rational and politically pragmatic public policy options for addressing global climate change. Drawing upon leading thinkers in Argentina, Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan and the United States, the Project conducts research on policy architecture, key design elements and institutional dimensions of domestic climate policy and a post-2012 international climate policy regime. This research is presented in 54 Discussion Papers (as of October 2012) and numerous other publications available on the Project’s web site. The Project is based jointly in the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at HKS. (Robert Stavins, Director; Robert Stowe, Manager)

The Harvard University Center for the Environment
The Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) encourages research and education about the environment and its many interactions with human society. The Center draws its strength from faculty members and students across the University who make up a remarkable intellectual community of scholars, researchers and teachers of diverse fields including chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, engineering and applied sciences, biology, public health and medicine, government, business, economics, religion and the law. The most pressing problems facing our natural environment are complex, often requiring collaborative investigation by scholars versed in different disciplines. By connecting scholars and practitioners from different disciplines, HUCE seeks to raise the quality of environmental research at Harvard and beyond, and to provide the next generation of Harvard-educated researchers, policymakers and corporate leaders with a comprehensive interdisciplinary environmental education, while fostering linkages and partnerships amongst different parts of the University as well as between the University and the outside world.
Through a variety of grants and fellowships, HUCE supports research related to the environment at every level, from undergraduates through senior faculty members. By sponsoring symposia, public lectures and informal student convocations, the Center connects people with an interest in the environment. (Daniel Schrag, Director; James Clem, Managing Director)

Program on Science, Technology & Society
Science and technology permeate every aspect of our lives, from the most private decisions about reproduction and medical treatment to the most public choices concerning risk, development, security and the quality and sustainability of the human environment. Virtually every dilemma that confronts people and governments in contemporary societies demands significant engagement with science and technology. The Program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School provides unique resources for coping with the resulting challenges for scientific and technological innovation, civil liberties, informed citizenship and democratic government. (Sheila Jasanoff, Director)

Project on Managing the Atom
The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA), based in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, brings together scholars and practitioners who conduct policy-relevant research on key issues affecting the future of nuclear weapons, the nuclear proliferation regime and nuclear energy. A major focus of MTA research and policy engagement is how nuclear energy could be made as cheap, safe, secure and proliferation-resistant as possible—and how the problem of radioactive waste can be successfully addressed. The Project communicates its findings through publications and through direct testimony and briefings for policy makers. The Project sponsors an international group of resident fellows and a bi-weekly research seminar. (Matthew Bunn, Henry Lee and Steven Miller, Co-Principal Investigators; Martin Malin, Executive Director)

Regulatory Policy Program
The Regulatory Policy Program (RPP) serves as a clearinghouse for faculty work on regulation. RPP research examines the roles of alternative regulatory instruments, including voluntary approaches, management-based strategies and industry self-regulation, in achieving policy goals. The RPP is based in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. (Joseph Aldy, Faculty Director; Jennifer Nash, Executive Director)

Science, Technology and Public Policy Program
The Science, Technology and Public Policy Program (STPP) is a research, teaching and outreach program of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. The program is devoted to the intellectual exploration of the essential and critical role that science and technology play in everyday life. The enterprise of science and technology affects virtually all areas of human life and existence and has outsize potential to improve the human condition, support global economic and social development and promote international relations. Current research areas include the management of nuclear technology, materials and wastes in both the civilian and military sectors; energy technology innovation and diffusion strategy for the challenges of the 21st century; the roles of scientific research and technological innovation in economic growth and development, environmental sustainability and international security; processes and mechanisms for science and technology advice to government; and the evolution of information and communication technologies and other emerging technologies and their governance--the global technical infrastructure of the Internet and the government and institutional policies (e.g., privacy and cyber security) that shape their development. (Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Director; Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate Director)

Sustainability Science Program
The Sustainability Science Program is the hub of Harvard’s research, teaching, and interventions on the challenges of sustainable development: fostering shared prosperity and reduced poverty while protecting the environment. The Program, based at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government in the Harvard Kennedy School, promotes the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development by: advancing scientific understanding of human-environment systems; improving connections between research and policy communities; and building capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability. The Program’s approach is multidisciplinary, engaging people from the natural, social, medical and engineering sciences, and from practical field experience in business, government, and civil society.

The Program supports initiatives in policy-relevant research, training of students and fellows, teaching, and outreach. Past work has included studies on integrated use of land and water resources, biofuels and globalization, and knowledge systems for sustainability. Current initiatives include the following: Governance Innovations for Sustainable Development: Building Public-Private Partnerships in India; Sustainable Development of the Energy Sector in China; Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development; and Clean Water, Human Health, and Sustainable Development. (Directors William Clark, Nancy Dickson, and Michael Kremer)

Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure
The mission of the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, housed at the Graduate School of Design, is to research, develop and promote methods, processes and tools that define and quantify sustainability for cities and infrastructures. The Zofnass Program currently conducts research on the infrastructure sectors of energy, water, waste, transportation, landscape and information. The program approaches infrastructure as a systemic interrelationship of networks where both individual infrastructure systems and the synergies between them are analyzed to achieve a holistic approach to sustainability. The Zofnass Program has developed the Envision™ rating system for gauging infrastructure sustainability. (Spiro N. Pollalis, Program Director; Andreas Georgoulias, Research Director)

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Consortium for Energy Policy Research
Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
79 John F. Kennedy Street,
Belfer 312
Cambridge, MA 02138