National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

To undertake economic research on energy infrastructure, with a focus on hydrocarbon transport and local energy distribution

  • Amount $588,800
  • City Cambridge, MA
  • Investigator James Bushnell
  • Year 2015
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Energy and Environment

Funds from this grant support an initiative by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) to create a research working group on energy infrastructure. Bringing together leading economists as well as junior scholars entering the field, the working group aims to develop and implement a research agenda focused on two issue areas: the transport of hydrocarbons and the increase in distributed energy generation and storage. Spurred by the discovery of new oil and gas resources in the U.S., research in the first issue area will explore the economic costs, benefits, and policy issues associated with moving oil and methane by truck, rail, and pipeline. Research in the second issue area will focus on issues such as the expanding market for rooftop solar panels, utilization of electric vehicles as backup battery power, developments in smart grid technologies, and how these new technologies interact with existing energy generation and distribution infrastructure. Grant funds will support an initial workshop on each of the two topic areas, the development and implementation of up to 16 separate studies, and a capstone conference for the presentation of research results. The effort will be led by James Bushnell from the University of California, Davis; Ryan Kellogg from the University of Michigan; and Erin Mansur from Dartmouth College.

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