The Promise of Technology in Tackling Climate Change

What Will it Take to Get Beyond Good Ideas?

By
View of the solar panels
The Promise of Technology in Tackling Climate Change : What Will it Take to Get Beyond Good Ideas? - TANYA GULNIK

Abstract

Climate change resulting from anthropogenic activity is posing a serious threat to the delicate balance of natural systems that sustain life on earth. While humans are contributing to this grave problem, they also have the potential to find the solution. Through the rapid development of renewable technology, along with the promotion of conservation efforts, humans can help address the problems caused by climate change without damaging the global economy. It is important for policy efforts on the local, national and international levels to encourage the development of renewable technologies before the damage from climate change becomes insurmountable.

Introduction

Technologies, at least potentially, can rescue us and the planet yet again. The science and technology can be harnessed. The harder question is whether we will be well enough organized and cooperative enough on a global scale to seize the chance”
Jeffrey Sachs, Common Wealth p. 73-74

We have a purpose. We are many. For this purpose we will rise, and we will act.”
Al Gore, Nobel Prize Lecture 20071

Several decades after the start of the environmental movement in the 1960s, the issue of climate change is finally being acknowledged as a serious problem in the United States and around the world. Bleak warnings of the Stern Report (2006) and the evolving scientific consensus published in the series of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change accelerated this trend. The conclusions in the 2007 version of the latter are clear: climate change is occurring, causing a rise in average global temperatures, increased incidence of extreme temperatures and changing wind patterns. Future effects predicted will be the increased threat of extinction for 20-30% of studied plant and animal species, the destruction of ecosystems and coastal habitats through rising sea levels due to melting polar ice caps, and the increased scarcity of water from changes in precipitation patterns. The effects occurring now, and those projected to occur in the future, are the result of anthropogenic (human) activity.2

Now it is clear that humans, by emitting greenhouse gasses (GHGs) in their daily activities, are altering the balance of the system that naturally manages temperature and sustains life on earth. Humans are causing the problem, but they also have the solution: technology. Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, hydropower, bioenergy, and hydrogen, as well as new technologies that improve energy efficiency or capture and store carbon emissions are the answer. Innovations and ingenuity can move us from dependence on fossil fuels, which accounted for 56.6 percent of all anthropogenic GHG emissions in 2004, to these new cleaner forms of energy, which will help us to limit our impact without destroying the global economy.3 This sustainable vision is not idealistic or impossible; on the contrary, it is feasible. However, due to numerous obstacles, such as existing infrastructure and the high cost of new technology, action is not likely to be taken automatically, at least not at the speed necessary to deal with this complex global problem.4 There is an appropriate role to be played by both the private and public sectors, from the local to the global levels to accelerate this process. The development of these technologies will indeed require investment, but this will be modest compared to the adjustment costs, which will go far beyond the monetary aspect, if nothing is done.5

This paper will describe the various technologies available to mitigate anthropogenic GHG emissions, noting their costs and other limitations to their implementation, and will address the issue of energy scarcity. It also will outline possible ways both the private and public sectors could overcome these challenges. Finally, it will look at examples of national and global plans for development and implementation.

Overview of Technology: Availability and Potential

When looking at the technological solution to the problem of climate change, it is important to understand that no single technology is a silver bullet. To stabilize GHG emissions, the international goal presented by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, it is necessary to adopt various approaches which change the way energy is generated and the way it is used.6 A recent RAND Study found that a policy, which requires 25 percent renewable energy by 2025, would help reduce GHG emissions, but would be more effective and less costly if combined with other policies such as the reduction of investment barriers to promote private investment in renewable technology.7 Additionally, it is important to remember that technology will not automatically develop to limit GHG emissions. Although technological progress will likely lead to increased efficiency with or without policy intervention, more can be achieved with a clear implementation program. As shown in Figure 1, the most optimistic scenario (the lowest line) is achieved if there is a focus on developing and implementing improvements in the efficiency of existing power generation and end-use technologies, widespread use of generation III nuclear reactors, and greater implementation of wind and solar technologies, as well as the introduction of hydrogen.8

Figure 1: Reduction in Carbon Emissions and CO2 Concentration with Technological Developments

                                      

Adapted from Graph in GTSP Summary p. 8
Highest curve: 2005 Technology
Middle curve: Technological developments not taking into account climate change issues
Lowest curve: Technological developments recognizing and responding to climate change.

It is critical to change the way energy is used by improving the efficiency of existing technology and infrastructure. This can be done through techniques such as “green buildings,” which are constructed with attention to resource conservation and waste reduction, and which feature better insulation and more efficient appliances. In the United States, most green construction is a result of voluntary initiatives by developers or community organizations, though several states have mandatory certifications required for public buildings.9 Another example of increased efficiency is the development of cars with lighter building materials to increase fuel efficiency.10 Rising power and gasoline costs are encouraging citizens to demand more efficient homes, appliances and vehicles. Along with increased end-use efficiency, conservation efforts such as recycling programs that reuse waste and water are also important and can help reduce carbon emissions in an indirect way by limiting the resources used to produce new goods. However, although end-use efficiency and conservation help bring down fossil fuel demand and are important steps in the right direction, they alone cannot stabilize GHG emissions.11

To solve problems of scarce/expensive energy and GHG emissions reduction, a technological leap is necessary. In terms of energy generation, the biggest challenge is to find sources of energy that are more cost competitive with conventional techniques.

Renewable resources are those that can be replenished in a time period that is short compared with a human lifetime. The International Energy Agency (IEA) classifies renewable technology as belonging to one of three generations.12 The first generation was developed on a mass scale during the industrial revolution and is in widespread use today. This includes hydropower, biomass combustion (burning natural materials, like wood), and geothermal power and heat. These technologies are cost-competitive with fossil fuels, but they are dependent on location, as they require proximity to and/or an abundance of resources. However, there is potential to increase their use, particularly in electricity generation, and to improve upon the processes in which they are used to reduce emissions.13 For example, new forms of biomass combustion heat the material so it releases steam instead of burning it to limit emissions.14

The second generation is a result of the oil crisis in the 1970s and the resulting increase in public spending on alternative energy sources. This includes solar heating and cooling, photovoltaics (PVs), wind, and bioenergy. These sources are currently entering the market and have much potential. Solar energy is the one with the most promise, as it is the “largest, safest and longest lasting,” and incoming solar represents 10,000 times the energy we use today.15 However, the challenge is to harness and store all of this energy, which is being done now either through PVs or direct solar heating/cooling. Both methods remain expensive despite cost-reducing improvements, making the potential of solar energy unrealized.16 Wind is another source with great potential as its costs are approaching traditional sources of power, but there are still issues of design improvement and public acceptance of wind farms, which are large and considered intrusive in appearance by some. In general, more Research and Development (R&D) is necessary to bring costs down further, and to find ways to implement second-generation renewables on larger scales.

The third-generation technologies are sources that are currently under development and are not yet commercially employed, like concentrated solar power (CSP), ocean and wave power, second-generation biofuels, and integrated bioenergy systems.17 Although only mentioned in passing in the IEA report, hydrogen fuel cells are an important technology, especially for transportation due to their portable nature. A fuel cell works by converting hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in this process it generates electricity. It must be supplied with hydrogen and oxygen to keep the process going. This would likely fit into the third-generation classification because much more R&D is required to improve the process and to reduce costs and CO2 emissions during production, a problem for most of the second- and third-generation technologies mentioned.18

An additional energy source is synthetic petroleum, produced through the FischerTropsch Process. This converts fossil fuels (coal and natural gas), as well as renewables (biomass), into liquid, which can be used as a substitute for petroleum. This process has a lot of potential because the result is a clean burning fuel that does not require huge overhauls of standard engines; however, it is currently underused because its price has traditionally been higher (10 percent) than conventional petroleum. Though the fuel is clean of particulates that are responsible for traditional air pollution, it still exacerbates the problem of GHG emissions because large amounts of CO2 are released in its production and use.19 So while this can address the problem of energy scarcity, it will not help reduce GHG emissions unless technology to capture the released CO2 in the process is developed.

It is clear that first- and second-generation renewables are not enough to solve the problem. The IEA World Energy Outlook Alternative Policy Scenario assumes that the share of renewables increases because there is support for existing renewable technology and policies are adopted to support the development of enhanced technology for electricity generation and transportation. However, even in this case, fossil fuels would still comprise 77 percent of energy demand.20 Thus, it is evident that the development of third generation technology, especially advanced bioenergy including cellulosic biofuels, CSP, and hydrogen fuel cells is crucial.21

Biofuels

Cellulosic ethanol is considered an attractive alternative to fossil fuels because it converts waste and leftover agricultural materials into fuel. This is in contrast to other biofuels, like corn- or soy-based ethanol, both of which use nutritious plants and create land-use questions and raise food security concerns.22 However, because the conversion process is tricky and expensive, there is no commercial production of cellulosic biofuel in the United States today. Researchers are looking for ways to bring down cost in all steps of the process, which involves a biochemical or thermochemical conversion. The challenges here are to find ways to get beyond the protective barrier to the cellulose (pretreatment step); to find more effective enzymes for breaking down the material (hydrolysis step); to create “superbugs” that can convert sugars into ethanol and withstand the toxins released in the process (fermentation step); and to optimize the integration of all the steps in this process.23

In the thermochemical conversion process, biomass is broken down into a syngas (synthetic gas) and then reassembled into ethanol. However, since the syngas is contaminated with sulfur and tar, the conversion to ethanol is difficult. Researchers are looking for ways to purify syngas to reduce costs. This process is important because up to a third of biomass is unsuitable for the biochemical conversion.24 Progress is being made in both processes in the private and public sector, but much more R&D is necessary to bring down costs and to make cellulosic fuels a viable commercial alternative to fossil fuels. In 2007, the US Department of Energy announced that it would invest up to $385 million dollars into six cellulosic biorefineries around the United States to accomplish this goal.25

A different form of biofuel is biodiesel. This can be produced from a number of vegetable oils like soybean, rapeseed or even waste oil from restaurant use. Since this type of fuel does not require an initial conversion into sugar, like other biofuels, it is more energy efficient and can be used in place of diesel fuel to reduce CO2 emissions significantly.26

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)

Ultimately, all of the energy on earth comes from the sun. Therefore, by harnessing this energy in the most direct way possible, we can avoid the inefficiencies and byproducts (like GHG emissions).27 For this reason, the development of CSP technology is very important. This allows solar energy to be used for indirect heating of buildings by reflecting light through trough-, dish-, or tower-shaped mirrors to heat water, oil or salt, which in turn runs a generator. In the case of salt, the heat is retained and can be distributed, even on a cloudy day.28 Other advantages of CSP are that once installed it is durable, it has very low operating costs, and it can be exported to developing countries to produce heat and electricity. It can be integrated into existing infrastructure and can be used in decentralized systems. However it is necessary to bring down costs of solar components, to find better ways of storage, and to develop markets. If storage technology were to be improved, the energy generated could be transferred from high sun areas to a more widespread scale.29

Hydrogen

Another fuel source with enormous potential is hydrogen. As a portable energy carrier it has the potential to be used in transportation as well as stationary applications. Unlike fossil fuels, its only emission is water.30 However, there are many challenges to making hydrogen commercially viable, including: decreasing the cost, decreasing the size of the fuel cell system, emission (water) management, improving durability and safety of fuel cells, and improving the heat recovery of systems. Additionally, to make hydrogen feasible on a widespread level as a transportation fuel, a large-scale infrastructure of refueling stations must be built.31

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

Another technology, aimed specifically at reducing GHG emissions is Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). This process separates CO2 from other emissions and harnesses it in underground reservoirs such as used oil wells and geological formations. Here, the CO2 has the potential to bind with other solid forms like calcium oxide to form a stable solid. Currently, this binding process takes a very long time and is not reliable unless technology can be improved to speed up the reaction32. The capture is most typically done at the source of emission, like the power plant, which is appropriate because 60 percent of anthropogenic emissions come from stationary sources. Stationary capture works best with advanced coal plants, which are not yet the standard, particularly in the developing world.33

Carbon  dioxide  capture  can  also  occur  directly  from  the  air,  which   would allow the process to take place near a reservoir instead of near an emission source. Although  CCS  has  been  performed  on  a  small - scale ,  there  are  many  doubts  about large - scale  sequestration  because  the  effects  have  not  yet  been  studied  fully. However,  a  recent  project — a  1.7  megawatt  power  plant  demonstration  in  Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin organized by Alstom, We Energies and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)—began running in February 2008. This will demonstrate the potential of using ammonia as a chemical treatment in a commercial-scale CCS project.34 This is an important step for CCS technology, but it still needs to be adapted to various emission sources and storage, to monitoring, and the measurement of CO2 needs improvement35. However, there is great potential, especially in the development of air-capture, to reduce and even to reverse GHG emissions, particularly if combined with the other aforementioned technologies.36

Energy Technology and Public Policy

The technological overview presented shows the tremendous potential of technology to deal with the problems of climate change and energy scarcity. However, it is evident that technology must be improved upon before it can compete with existing fossil fuel methods. The process of Energy Technology Innovation (ETI) is not a linear progression from research to deployment of the finished product like the technology driven model developed by the U.S. Department of Defense.37 The ETI process has been key in the improvement of energy generation technologies through the reduction in various costs (economic or environmental) and improvements in efficiency throughout the last century. For ETI to be effective, a market-driven approach is necessary. Such an approach is not linear, but requires a great deal of interaction between and among steps and sectors, including the government, industry, and academia. Figure 2 below shows a model of this process.38

The steps of the ETI process are described as Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RD&D). The public sector is important in funding basic R&D processes, while private firms tend to be better at developing more advanced technologies to fit with market demands. The government should step in when there are barriers to private investment, such as lumpiness of costs (in other words having to make large investments all at once), externalities (such as environmental benefits that are not captured in costs of improved technology), and long time horizons needed to develop technology. It is possible to have partnerships between public and private sectors and this has proven effective in past cases.39

The demonstration process is very important in the introduction of new technology. Demonstrations show the real-world feasibility of products for buyers and developers and allow for the possibility of scaling up.40 The private sector is better equipped for this stage of the process because it is important to demonstrate projects at market costs. However, the public sector is often necessary to overcome externality problems. Here, it is important to strike a balance between public and private cooperation to make sure that government involvement does not distort price signals for potential investors.41

The deployment of new technologies can be hampered by factors such as the lack of information, poor market organization, existing infrastructure and regulations, and slow capital stock turnover, even if the technology is demonstrated as commercially viable. For example, the existing infrastructure of gasoline and diesel fuel stations for automobiles is a major barrier to the implementation of hydrogen fuel cell powered cars. Thus the public sector can play a big role in enhancing deployment by renovating infrastructure, disseminating information, and by using labels to certify/explain new technology. One simple example is the “Energy Star” label, which is a certification of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency that helps consumers identify energy efficient products. According to the Energy Star website, in 2007, this program helped save GHG emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars and saved consumers $16 million on energy bills.42 The public sector can also create new regulation standards, and introduce incentives for new markets—including pollution taxes/caps and subsidies for new technologies.43

Since new technology is often at a cost disadvantage, initial public investment can help to bring down marginal costs as developers move along the learning curve, and as more people adopt the technology.44 Through direct procurement, governments also can insure that there will be a base of customers for new technology.45

The cooperation between the public and private sector has been effective in Japan for the development of photovoltaics to harness solar energy. The government initiated the PV program and funded initial R&D. It then encouraged industry to get involved, which led to increased private investment. This led to falling prices and allowed for the deployment of PVs on a large scale. Increased demand led to increased production, which created further incentives for private and public investment into PV R&D. This cycle of R&D, market growth, and price reduction, which leads to further investment and R&D, is dubbed a “virtuous circle.” The success of this model shows that it is possible to reach a balance between public and private funding of ETI.46

In the context of the ETI model it is possible to look at two proposed plans to advance technology on both the national and global scale. The general trends are prevalent in both cases. It is necessary to spur innovation by putting a price on carbon. This will allow the cost of old technology to reflect the negative environmental externalities of GHG emissions.47 It is also crucial to ensure that public support of new technologies will be stable and enduring. In the past, this has not been the case, as public funding increased after the oil crises of the 1970s, but then fell drastically in the 1980s.48 Additionally, cooperation and communication between sectors is necessary both on the national and on the international level to allow for technology transfer, cost and risk sharing, accelerated learning, and adaptation to different situations.49

An International Technology Development Plan

Jeffrey Sachs has presented an international plan looking at the conclusions of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change.50 This is a three-tiered process focusing on:

  • Mitigation: Putting a price on carbon emissions will decrease the demand for fossil fuels and spur innovation of low carbon technologies.
  • Adaptation: Technologies will be developed to adapt to existing challenges. For example, drought resistant crop varieties can be used to cope with severe weather and highyield crops can save arable land for the production of biofuels.
  • RD&D: This will be done through direct government funding or marketbased incentives mentioned above.

This plan acknowledges the current challenges of climate change and suggests ways to deal with them now (Adaptation), while at the same time developing strategies to prevent further GHG emissions (Mitigation and RD&D). It suggests action on several fronts, which is a crucial facet of any feasible attempt to address the problem of reducing GHG emissions. As a development expert, Sachs also underlines the fact that poorer regions are more prone to climate change related extreme weather patterns that destroy crops and communities and threaten water supplies. Providing poor communities with different varieties of crop seeds will allow them to withstand drier conditions and will also allow these regions to develop crops for biofuel production, which they will be able to sell on the global market.

The goal is to find large-scale alternatives to existing GHG emitting technologies. Sachs is optimistic that this is possible but warns that this process is by no means automatic, and that it requires investment and international cooperation today. He claims:

The evidence is strong and corroborated by a number of studies that show that concerted action, begun now and carried out over the course of several decades could avoid doubling CO2 at a cost of less than 1 percent per year of world income.51

Sachs sees cooperation as progressing from a strong scientific consensus (achieved in the IPCC reports), to increased public awareness (occurring now), to the development of new technology and a global framework for action (a post- Kyoto agreement necessary for the future).52

Conclusions

Both the global plan (Sachs) and the national plan (Center for American Progress) touch on policy suggestions mentioned in the 2007 Review of Energy Technology Innovation published by researchers at the Harvard University Belfer Center for International Affairs. These plans are valuable because they acknowledge the necessity for cooperation between people through governments, academic institutions and businesses. They reject the idea that one policy target will be the solution but aim to provide a more comprehensive view of the problem and propose a multifaceted solution. In a post-Kyoto world, what is needed is action on all fronts, from local to national to global. Local targets and initiatives can help achieve the so-called “low-hanging fruit” like increased efficiency of existing technology. Global frameworks can create broad goals like stabilized GHG emissions and can help attain these goals through international cooperation and technology transfer, especially to developing countries. Global programs can also help in dealing with the consequences of climate change, which are a problem today. One example of this is the increased frequency of severe weather. National programs can engage industry to foster innovation and development of a new generation of technologies, such as advanced biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, CCS, solar energy (PV and CSP), and more effective wind turbines. These will provide more progressive, long-term solutions.

Clearly, technology offers many opportunities and combinations of solutions for cooperative problem solving among national and transnational actors in the public, private and academic sectors. These possibilities can be achieved only if climate change is recognized as an urgent problem. Currently, scientific consensus and public opinion are moving in that direction. Fortunately, there is another impetus to make people and governments put their focus on alternative energy technologies: high oil prices. Recent high oil prices have reduced oil demand in the United States and have forced US Industry and Congress to think about pursuing projects that will provide energy through non-petroleum means. Energy efficiency is a priority for consumers and automobile manufacturers. Higher oil prices also mean that the costs of new technologies mentioned in this paper are becoming more and more competitive with traditional petroleum. While wind and solar power are becoming mainstream, new ideas are emerging constantly and receiving a great deal of media attention. Venture capital investment in renewable technologies increased by 50 percent in 2007 and is set to grow even more in 2008, despite the weak overall economic conditions.56 Alternative energy is no longer just a concept embraced by environmentalists and liberals. This means that the implementation plans described above have a much greater likelihood of being implemented than they would have in the 1990s, in the era of low gasoline prices. Now leading countries like the United States and the members of the EU must seize this trend through effective and consistent policies, which should remain in effect even if gasoline prices were to fall again. These leading countries must take action not only to tackle the problems on their own soil, but also work on a global scale to aid lesser developed countries in making progress on this front.

Notes & References

  1. Gore, Al. Noble Lecture. Delivered December 10, 2007, Oslo, Norway http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2007/gore-lecture_en.html (Accessed July 12, 2008).
  2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report”IPCC: November 2007. Johns Hopkins Intranet, CIAO (accessed April 18, 2008), 40-49
  3. IPCC, 2007, p. 36
  4. Sachs, Jeffrey. Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, (New York: Penguin Press, 2008), 32, 73-74, 81).
  5. Sachs, 83.
  6. Edmonds, JA, MA Wise, JJ Dooley, SH Kim, SJ Smith, PJ Runci, LE Clarke, EL Maloneand GM Stokes. “Global Energy Technology Strategy: Addressing Climate Change” GTSP, May 2007. http://www.pnl.gov/gtsp/ (accessed May 25, 2008) 7.
  7. Toman, Michael, James Griffin and Robert J. Lempert.”Impacts on U.S. EnergyExpenditures and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Increasing Renewable Energy Use” RAND Technical Report (Arlington: RAND Corporation, 2008) 23-24.
  8. Edmonds et al. 39
  9. Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “Building Solutions to Climate Change” In Brief, November 2006. http://www.pewclimate.org/policy_center/policy_reports_and_analysis/buildings (accessed May 16, 2008) 4
  10. Sachs, 100
  11. Edmonds et al, 16 and Gallagher, Kelly Sims, John P. Holdren and Ambuj D. Sagar.“Energy-Technology Innovation” Annual Review of Environmental Resources. 2006 (Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org through Academic Search Premier, accessed May 27, 2008) 228
  12. IEA. “Renewables in Global Energy Supply: An IEA Fact Sheet” (IEA, OECD: January 2007 http://www.iea.org/Textbase/techno/essentials.htm, accessed May 25, 2008) 8-9
  13. Ibid, 2007, 24
  14. Wald, Matthew. “What’s So Bad About Big?” New York Times. March 7, 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/07/business/businessspecial2/07big.html?_r=1&oref=slogin, accessed July 11, 2008)
  15. Sachs, 102
  16. IEA, 25-26
  17. Ibid, 24-25
  18. Edmonds et al 13
  19. EPA. “Clean Alternative Fuels: Fischer-Tropsch” March 2002: www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/pdfs/epa_fischer.pdf (accessed May 29, 2008)
  20. IEA 13-15
  21. Ibid, 16-17
  22. NREL. “Concentrating Solar Power” NREL: http://www.nrel.gov/learning/re_csp.html(accessed May 29, 2008) 2 and Sachs, 102
  23. NREL, CSP 3-8
  24. Ibid, CSP 7
  25. US Department of Energy, “DOE Selects Six Cellulosic Ethanol Plants for Up to $385Million in Federal Funding” DOE: http://www.doe.gov/news/4827.htm (accesses August 15, 2008)
  26. National Biodiesel Board: www.biodiesel.org (accessed July 12, 2008)
  27. Professor Kenneth H. Keller contributed this insight.
  28. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/csp.html (accessed May 29, 2008).
  29. European Union Energy Research. “The Key Advantages of Concentrated SolarPower” European Union: http://ec.europa.eu/research/energy/nn/nn_rt/nn_rt_cs/ article_1115_en.htm (accessed May 29, 2008)
  30. Edmonds et al 13
  31. US Department of Energy. “Fuel Cell Technology Challenges” DOE: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/fuelcells/fc_challenges.html (accessed May 29, 2008) and insight from Professor Kenneth Keller.
  32. Sachs, 100 and technical clarification from Professor Kenneth Keller.
  33. Edmonds et al 11. An advanced coal plant features an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) system, which separates the coal into a synthetic gas with 90 percent of CO2 removed before the combustion process. Another technique, removing CO2 from emissions after combustion, is becoming more commercially viable. This method involves chemical reactions that strip CO2 from flue gas, after which it is heated to create a regenerated solid and passed through an absorber. Advances in chemicals used in the treatment process are driving cost reductions in this method (Douglas, John. The Challenge of Carbon Capture” Electric Power Research Institute Journal, Spring 2007. http://my.epri.com/portal/server.pt?open=514&mode=2&objID=562 (accessed July 15, 2008) 3)
  34. “Alstom, EPRI, We Energies Launch Innovative Pilot Project to Capture CO2” http:// www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS225300+27-Feb-2008+BW20080227 (accessed July 15, 2008)
  35. Edmonds et al 11, Sachs 100
  36. Sachs 100
  37. Deutsch, John, Peter Ogden and Jon Podesta. “A New Strategy to Spur EnergyInnovation” (January 2008) http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/01/ energy_innovation.html. (accessed May 21, 2008) 6;  Gallagher et al 193
  38. Gallagher et al 195, 210. Figure adapted from Figure 1.
  39. Ibid, 202. One example of successful cooperation between the public sector, private sector, and academia is the development of the Internet which was done through a collaboration of the United States Department of Defense, Systems Development Corporation (a private company), the University of California and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  40. Gallagher et al 203
  41. Ibid, 202, Deutsch et al 7
  42. Energy Star, “About Energy Star” http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_index (accessed August 29,2008)
  43. Ibid, 204, 221-225
  44. Ibid, 205-6
  45. Ibid, 222
  46. Ibid, 226
  47. Sachs 105; Edmonds et al 20; Martinet et al 231
  48. Gallagher et al 228
  49. Ibid, 209
  50. Sachs 110-111
  51. Ibid, 102
  52. Ibid, 112
  53. Deutsch et al 9
  54. Ibid, 6, 11
  55. Ibid, 9-14
  56. “Venture Capital Investment in Renewable Energy Soars to $3.4 Billion in 2007” http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS153866+16-Jan-2008+BW20080116 (accessed August 29, 2008); Olson, Stephanie “VC Funding Either Flat or Falling” http:/ /www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS153866+16-Jan-2008+BW20080116 (accessed August 29, 2008)
Tanya Gulnik is a Johns Hopkins University SAIS BA/MA student. At SAIS she is concentrating in International Policy with a focus on Energy and the Environment. In Bologna, she was involved in the leadership of the SAIS BC Recycling Club. During the summer of 2008 she worked at Goldwyn International Strategies, a DC-based energy consulting firm. She is looking forward to taking part in the International Policy Practicum this year in DC and will work on a project that examines support for renewable energy use in small and medium-sized enterprises in West Africa.