Past Conference

Energy Research Insights for Decisionmaking

Nov 29, 2018 - Nov 30, 2018

About the Event

Resources for the Future and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation host the Energy Research Insights for Decisionmaking conference in Washington, DC on November 29-30. This conference brought together a diverse community of stakeholders for a series of thought-provoking conversations about some of today's most pressing questions in energy and climate policy. Below, please find an interactive overview of the conference's agenda.

Thursday, November 29th

Welcome and Introduction: 9:30–9:45 AM

  • Evan Michelson, Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Kristin Hayes, Program Director, Resources for the Future

Why Research Matters: 9:45–10:45 AM

  • Joseph Aldy, Harvard University
  • Carla Frisch, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Sheila Olmstead, University of Texas
  • Jeff Holmstead, Bracewell LLP
  • Moderator: Richard Newell, Resources for the Future

Concurrent Sessions: 11:00 AM–12:15 PM

Concurrent Sessions A and B dove deeper into key topics that lie at the intersection of research and decisionmaking. Each session included two research-focused presentations, followed by reflections from two discussants representing government, business, or other sectors setting internal or public policy. Each session concluded with time for open discussion.

Session A: How Effective are Energy Efficiency Policies? Evidence, Insights, and Open Questions

Session B: Shale Gas and Tight Oil: What Have We Learned, What Are the Gaps, and Where We Are Going?

  • Bill Ritter, Center for the New Energy Economy
  • Tisha Schuller, Adamantine Energy
  • Mark Brownstein, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Kate Konschnik, Duke University
  • Moderator: Daniel Raimi, Resources for the Future

Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Researcher “Egg-timers”: 1:15–2:15 PM

This session featured short presentations from a number of Sloan-funded pre- and postdoctoral researchers at institutions across the country. Both the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and RFF are proud to support and showcase an impressive next generation of social science researchers.

Concurrent Sessions: 2:15–3:30 PM

Both Session A and Session B dove deeper into key topics that lie at the intersection of research and decisionmaking. Each session included two research-focused presentations, followed by reflections from two discussants representing government, business, or other sectors setting internal or public policy. Each session concluded with time for open discussion.

Session A: The Value of the Social Cost of Carbon: Updates in Science, Economics, and Decisionmaking

Session B: Energy Infrastructure Across Scales: Micro to Macro, Days to Decades

Emerging Energy and Environmental Technologies: Possibilities, Policy Implications, and Potential Consequences: 4:00–5:00 PM

Friday, November 30th

Funders’ Panel: The Role of Philanthropy in Evidence-Based Decisionmaking: 9:00–10:15 AM

Accessing and Working with Private Sector and Government Data: 10:15–11:30 AM

The availability of big data has revolutionized energy research in a number of ways, but access to valuable private sector and government data continues to present ongoing challenges. What have Sloan grantees learned from previous data-related collaborations? What other opportunities exist for expanded access to and use of large data sets in energy and environment research?

The Road Ahead: Informing the Next Generation of Energy and Climate Policies: 12:00–1:00 PM

Resources for the Future and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation host the closing session of the Energy Research Insights for Decisionmaking conference, in which a panel of distinguished energy and climate journalists share their deep experience in tracking energy and climate policy developments. Given transitions in both the federal and state governments, what insights will a new crop of decisionmakers need?

  • Amy Harder, Axios
  • Evan Lehmann, E&E News
  • Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic
  • Moderator: Richard Newell, Resources for the Future

Featured Interviews

On Thursday, November 29th, RFF Senior Research Associate Daniel Raimi sat down with researchers to discuss projects across a range of topics supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The full interviews are linked below.

Examining New Models for Electricity Pricing, with Beia Spiller, Environmental Defense Fund

  • Research Motivation - 1:21
  • Electricity Pricing - 3:12
  • Demand Charges - 5:03
  • Pricing Power Appropriately - 07:13
  • Are New Technologies Needed? - 09:20
  • Smart Consumption - 10:07

On the Confluence of Research and Policymaking, with Sue Tierney, Analysis Group and Resources for the Future

  • Evidence-Based Policy - 03:06
  • Non-Evidence Based Policy - 05:28
  • Communicating Research Effectively - 07:11
  • New Technologies - 11:15
  • Technologies of Concern - 14:24
  • Policies to Enable Innovation - 16:10

Understanding the Social Cost of Carbon, with Richard Newell and Kevin Rennert, Resources for the Future

  • What is the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC)? - 2:00
  • Why RFF is Involved - 4:26
  • What RFF is Doing - 7:24
  • Socioeconomics and the SCC - 8:55
  • Updating Climate Damages - 10:51
  • Sharing Results on the SCC - 12:36

The New Geopolitics of Energy, with Amy Myers Jaffe, Council on Foreign Relations

  • Learning About Energy Geopolitics - 02:02
  • The Energy Race - 05:56
  • Geopolitics of Decarbonization - 07:17
  • More Complex Energy Supply Chains - 12:04
  • China and Climate Change - 3:25

Developing Insights Using New Data Tools, with Kyle Bradbury, Duke University

  • What is Data Science - 2:08
  • New Data Sources - 3:41
  • Using Satellites to Learn About Energy - 5:11
  • Keeping Up With Technology - 8:49
  • New Research Areas - 10:28