Archive of Topic: R&D

Countercyclical energy and climate policy for the U.S.

Con­tin­u­a­tion of the U.S.s his­tor­i­cal pat­tern address­ing energy prob­lems only in times of cri­sis is unlikely to cat­alyze a tran­si­tion to an energy sys­tem with fewer adverse social impacts. Instead, the U.S. needs to bol­ster sup­port for energy inno­va­tion when the per­ceived urgency of energy-​​related prob­lems appears to be reced­ing. Because of the lags involved in both the energy sys­tem and the climate sys­tem, decar­boniz­ing the econ­omy will require extra­ordinary per­sis­tence over decades. This need for sus­tained com­mit­ment is in con­trast to the last several decades, which have been marked by volatil­ity and cycles of boom and bust.  In con­trast to the often –repeated phrase that one should never let a good cri­sis go to waste, the U.S. needs to most actively fos­ter energy inno­va­tion when aspects of energy and cli­mate prob­lems appear to be improv­ing. We describe the ratio­nale for a coun­ter­cycli­cal approach to energy and cli­mate pol­icy, which involves pre-​​commitment t o a set of poli­cies that go into effect once a set of trigger con­di­tions are met.

Kittner, Noah

Noah Kit­tner is a PhD stu­dent in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berke­ley and researcher in the Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Energy Lab­o­ra­tory. After grad­u­at­ing with a BS in Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence from UNC-​​Chapel Hill (high­est hon­ors), Noah was a Ful­bright Fel­low at the Joint Grad­u­ate School for Energy and Envi­ron­ment in Bangkok, Thai­land research­ing tech­ni­cal and pol­icy aspects of solar elec­tric­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity assess­ment. Recently, he co-​​authored a Thai Solar PV Roadmap with col­leagues at Chu­la­longkorn University.

He has worked on renew­able energy issues in a vari­ety of con­texts, includ­ing mea­sur­ing land use change and bio­mass fuel uses in west­ern Uganda, installing solar pan­els in Mex­ico, and elec­tric­ity grid mod­el­ing in Kosovo. He is sup­ported through the Berke­ley Cen­ter for Green Chem­istry as a SAGE-​​IGERT fel­low, National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion as a Grad­u­ate Research Fel­low, USAID, and has won an award from the National Go Solar Foun­da­tion for his work on solar photovoltaics.

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University of California
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