Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Scott Institute Researcher Lee Branstetter delivers opening address at United Nations Climate Change Workshop

Lee Branstetter, Scott Institute researcher and professor of public policy and economics at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz and Dietrich Colleges, has been invited to deliver the opening address at the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention’s Technology Executive Committee (TEC)  workshop titled “Strengthening National Systems of Innovation in Developing Countries: Covering the Entire Technology Cycle for Climate Technology” on Oct. 13 in Bonn, Germany. Branstetter will set the scene with his talk, “What are national systems of innovation for climate technology?”

The workshop will support the TEC’s work on enhancing enabling environments for and addressing barriers to technology development and transfer, in accordance with its mandated functions. It will have three sessions:

  • Strengthening national systems of innovation
  • Issues related to knowledge transfer between national systems of innovation
  • Knowledge transfer mechanisms: enhancing collaboration.

 The workshop will be webcast. Audience members may pose questions for workshop participants on Twitter with the hashtag #climatetech.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Is Energy the New Steel?

Heinz College faculty member Karen Clay, associate professor of economics, program chair for the Master of Public Management program and an energy expert for CMU’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, was a distinguished panelist on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Energy Forum this past Tuesday. The panel discussed whether energy might be the 21st century equivalent of steel in the Pittsburgh's region economy. See video highlights of the forum at

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Scott Institute Team Authors Guide for Managing, Implementing Variable Energy Resources

Carnegie Mellon University's Jay Apt and Paulina Jaramillo led a team of 22 researchers in a review and analysis of the technical and policy options available for integrating variable energy resources — such as wind and solar power — into the existing power system. Their new book, "Variable Renewable Energy and the Electricity Grid," is part of the RenewElec project and addresses how the United States could increase the amount of electricity it produces from renewable energy sources.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Carnegie Mellon's Erica Fuchs Discusses How Global Redistribution of Manufacturing Is Changing Innovation

Sending U.S. products overseas to be manufactured may be cheaper, but it also may stifle innovation depending on the technology and the constraints facing firms, says Fuchs in her paper published this week in Science.

Learn more and watch the video: 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Scott Institute's Jay Apt To Testify at EPA Hearing on Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule

The Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule was issued June 2, 2014, and outlines ways in which states can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that operate by combusting fossil fuels. It provides goals for each state to help the nation significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2020.

Apt's testimony, focusing on innovations and strategy for existing power plants, is scheduled to take place at 9:50 a.m., Thursday, July 31 at the William S. Moorhead Federal Building in Pittsburgh. 

Learn more:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quadrennial Energy Review Pittsburgh Public Hearing Statements and Video

On July 21, the U.S. Department of Energy held a public hearing as part of its Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) focused on "Natural Gas:  Transmission, Storage, and Distribution."  The agenda and statements made at the meeting are now available as well as video of the event.

Monday, July 28, 2014

CMU Student Research on biofuels, Navajo Energy projects, and Rural Microgrids in Developing Countries

CMU doctoral student Dan Posen won the best PhD presentation award at the Technology, Management & Policy (TMP) consortium hosted by TPP in Lisbon last month.  The presentation was titled, "Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Benefits of Expanding U.S. Biofuel Incentives to Promote Biomass Use in Chemical Feedstocks." 

CMU doctoral student Len Necefer will speak at the Navajo Nation Energy Summit in Arizona this week.  This is an annual briefing of elected officials and also department heads on the issue of energy resource development on the Navajo Nation. 

He will also present a webinar this September for the Tribal Energy Program, in cooperation with the DOE Office of Indian Energy and Western Area Power Administration (WAPA).  The series is intended for tribal leaders and staff who are interested in developing facility- and community-scale energy projects, responding to utilities' requests for proposals, and learning more about the competitive power market"  Necefer's will discuss collaborative, stakeholder-driven modeling, how the models developed have been and could be used, and how specifically this process and resulting models might be utilized in Indian Country.

A new economic model for rural microgrid implementation is being explored as CMU grad student Nathan Williams conducts his doctoral research on enabling the financial feasibility of rural microgrids in developing countries. Microgrids are small-scale electrical generation and distribution systems that deliver power in a small region near the power sources. Microgrids stand in stark contrast to typical macrogrid infrastructures, which transmit electricity over high-voltage transmission networks that connect very large power plants to load centers that can be hundreds or even thousands of kilometers from the generators.