Annual Report

2021
2022

From Our Directors

This annual report highlights our progress on energy education at Penn and our continued efforts toward achieving a more sustainable energy future. We are pleased to report a highly productive year in our three core areas:

fostering research and making an impact

developing tomorrow’s leaders

convening energy experts

Video Letter

Fostering Research and Impact

We continue to publish papers and policy digests from our visitors, faculty, grant recipients, students, and scholars on some of the most timely topics in energy policy. Most importantly, we get our research into the hands of decision-makers who need it most.

Welcome Shelley Welton

From decarbonization in a democracy to clean energy justice, Shelley Welton’s legal research focuses on how climate change is transforming energy and environmental law. This summer, Welton joined the University of Pennsylvania as a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Law and Energy Policy.

Welton’s faculty appointment is at Penn Carey Law. She also holds an affiliation with the Kleinman Center. Last year, she was a Kleinman Center visiting scholar. She gave a public lecture and spent time connecting with Penn faculty and students across campus. This fall, she will teach our flagship course: Introduction to Energy Policy.

Professor Welton is a truly accomplished scholar and teacher who possesses the rarest of gifts in being able, at a deep level, to integrate knowledge across multiple disciplines, in the service of both scholarly and real-world impact.
Cary Coglianese
Edward B. Shils Professor of Law; Faculty Director of the Penn Program on Regulation

Center Research

Net-Zero Nevada

On the path to net zero, states face challenges unique to their local geography and resources. Achieving net-zero goals requires deploying a portfolio of carbon management solutions at a large scale, with solutions that are technically, economically, and socially adapted to the local context.

Our team of researchers at the Clean Energy Conversions Lab dive into a case study of four custom pathways for Nevada.

200%
Under aggressive decarbonization scenarios, meeting demand for electricity in 2050 requires a doubling of current installed capacity.

Research Grants

Each year, the Kleinman Center awards grants to Penn faculty, postdocs, and doctoral students to support new research or further existing research. Our researchers explore critical issues and address challenges that have regional, national, and global implications.

Digests and Reports

The percentage of U.S. homes heated with electricity has increased steadily from 1% in 1950 to 40% in 2020. New research explores the implications of this increase for a growing number of policies aimed at electrifying buildings.
China’s long-awaited national emissions trading scheme is finally here. Together with the EU, these two markets now represent the largest cap-and-trade systems in the world. Learn what it would mean for the EU and China National ETS to merge, as well as what challenges the two jurisdictions might face in the process.
Energy efficient technologies could spur sustainable development by generating financial savings while also lowering carbon emissions. Subsidies or access to credit could help the poor adopt these technologies.
Today’s energy system requires an enormous amount of water for cooling and steam production. In addition to being low-carbon, renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaics and wind turbines are also low-water. In water-stressed regions, this may be another justification for a rapid transition to renewable energy.
The idea that biodiversity conservation, CO2 mitigation, and climate change adaptation can be aligned is at the core of nature-based solutions. This digest outlines four nature-based guidelines that policymakers should consider when addressing the world’s most daunting problems.
On the path to net zero, states face challenges unique to their local geography and resources. In this case study, we explore four custom pathways for Nevada.
Nuclear energy, an emissions-free energy source, is at risk of decline in the United States while the need to confront climate change becomes more pressing. Federal investment and market incentives may enable much-needed growth.
Rare earth elements are critical to several key industries and technologies, but 80% of their global supply is dominated by China. This report addresses the economic, geopolitical, environmental, and technological policy options for managing their future supply and demand.
Building a sustainable energy supply is a worldwide challenge. This case study explores the performance of policies to increase the production of solar and wind energies in Argentina, comparing cases of failure and success.
In the U.S., fossil fuel deposits are linked to land ownership, and many farmers have capitalized by selling their mineral rights to energy companies. Recent solar installations on farms are proving to be more profitable with fewer environmental impacts.

Research Recognition

103
Media Mentions

103 mentions in media and press this year

40
Academic References

40 academic references to Kleinman Center work this year

605 M
Reached in Media Hits

Our media mentions reached over 605 million readers

The second semester of my special topics course on carbon dioxide removal begins next week. Huge shout out to the authors of the CDR Primer—students really appreciate this free online text!
Joe Sagues
Assistant Professor at North Carolina State

This year, we continued to make an impact at the national level. The authors of The Not-So-Rare Earth Elements: A Question of Supply and Demand met with representatives from the office of Congressman Kurt Schrader and representatives from the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources to their research, which anticipated the the Inflation Reduction Act.

Visiting Scholars

We were excited to welcome scholars back to Penn’s campus where they met with students and colleagues and gave public lectures.

Lucas Davis

Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor, UC Berkeley

Chandra Farley

CEO, ReSolve

Thomas Hale

Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Oxford

Melina Miyowapan Laboucan-Massimo

Founder, Sacred Earth Solar

Gernot Wagner

Clinical Associate Professor, NYU

Shelley Welton

Presidential Distinguished Professor

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Whether through classroom learning or immersive internships around the globe, we help prepare our students for careers at the center of the energy transition.

Energy Week

Video Highlight

This April, the Kleinman Center and Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology hosted a week of energy-focused events across campus. Our event lineup included student lightning talks, an alumni career panel, a live podcast about the energy impact of the crisis in Ukraine, and a conversation with climate fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson.

20
Events held
During Energy Week at Penn
What a great line up of events!
Jorge Martinez
SEAS’16 Alum on Instagram

Blog Competition

Undergraduate and graduate students had the opportunity to get published in our second-annual student blog competition. This year’s topic focused on a just transition. The insights cover issues from air pollution in Mongolia, to energy justice in New York City, to mining in the Navajo Nation.

FIRST PLACE – Years after mining companies rushed into Navajo reservations in search of uranium, these communities are still dealing with a legacy of contaminated water. Indigenous voices help us avoid mistakes of the past, says first-place winner Sheil Desai.
SECOND PLACE – Curbing fossil fuel use can help alleviate air pollution. But in Ulaanbaatar, Evan Qiang writes about how shift from fossil fuels proved to increase class divisions and inequality.
THIRD PLACE – The energy transition is about more than technological progress. Gabrielle Utomo explores progressive policies that can spur positive change, which creates a more equitable society and extends beyond energy.

Undergraduate Fellows Program

Each spring, the Kleinman Center hosts its undergraduate student fellows program. Bi-weekly student sessions provide students with the opportunity to meet and learn from energy scholars who discuss findings and policy implications of their recent research.

This year, each fellow wrote a thoughtful insight on an energy or climate issue of their choice. Insights tackled topics from the crisis in Ukraine to the grid issues in Puerto Rico and everything in between.

I really enjoyed writing the blog and participating in such a great seminar program at the Kleiman Center this spring.
Sean Deresh
2022 Undergraduate Fellow

Summer Fellowships

Energy policy fellowships give Penn students a unique, hands-on learning experience at high-profile institutions. Students work at the International Energy Agency in Paris, Energia in The Hague, and the Philadelphia Energy Authority—right here in Philadelphia.

Introducing: Energia Fellowship
This year, we introduced a third fellowship with Hivos and the Energia Network. This fellowship was developed in honor of Carnot Prize winner Sheila Oparaocha, director of the Energia Network. Over the summer, Naimat Chopra (second from right) developed a framework for analyzing the gender equality implications of 164 national energy commitments.

Meet Our Fellows

Naimat Chopra

2022 Kleinman Energia Fellow

Jacob Hyppolite

2022 Kleinman Birol Fellow

Walter Johnsen

2022 Philadelphia Energy Authority Fellow
The amount of knowledge, experience, and exposure I received working with Sheila Oparaocha was phenomenal.
Naimat Chopra
2022 Kleinman Energia Fellow

Convening Energy Experts

We continued to convene students, thought leaders, and visiting scholars for a full lineup of content-rich virtual events, dynamic in-person events in the Energy Forum, and hybrid events. We tackled some of the most important topics today like achieving net zero and ensuring energy equity.

Carnot Prize

The Kleinman Center awarded this year’s Carnot Prize to Lord Nicholas Stern, professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), author of the groundbreaking Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, and former chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank. Stern is known for his urgent call to action on climate change—sustained over a period of decades. The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.

Video Highlights

COP26

A delegation from Penn traveled to Glasgow, Scotland to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP26). This is the second time Penn has had official observer status at the crucial global conference on climate change.

Penn faculty, researchers, and students attended the conference, presented research, and participated in events and critical discussions. Kleinman Center Faculty member Jennifer Wilcox (pictured) was on the COP26 stage discussing net zero and the importance of transitioning industrial cities.

For us it is important to connect our work with real problems, not just around the corner but around the globe.
Mark Alan Hughes
Faculty Director, Kleinman Center

Public Events

Both in person and in the virtual world, we delivered events on topics from grid reliability to net zero.

Visiting Scholar Thomas Hale discusses the next phase of net zero and the governance required to achieve the goals.
Join author Kim Stanley Robinson in conversation with Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, as he discusses his new novel and a vision of climate change over the coming decades.
How do indigenous groups worldwide perceive the growth of renewable energy? Is it an opportunity or a risk? The panel discusses how to minimize the new threats and make the energy transition more just for the indigenous people.
Energy Policy Now takes on a crucial conversation about the energy implications of the war in Ukraine.
Three panelist sit on a stage
Hear from Penn Alumni working in high-level energy positions and learn about how young professionals can prepare for a successful career in the energy sector.
Hear presentations on energy research from Penn graduate and undergraduate students from across campus.
Are global emissions on track to meet the promises of the Paris Agreement? Anne Olhoff explores where we are headed, where we need to be, and how we get there.
Incoming Kleinman Center faculty member Shelley Welton explains why energy governance reform is the key to achieving the dual imperatives of clean energy and grid reliability.
Climate economist and author Gernot Wagner discusses the hidden dangers of climate inaction.
Harvard economist James Stock examines which government policies are most effective in accelerating the transition of the light-duty vehicle fleet to electric.
Visiting Scholar Chandra Farley discusses building a framework for a community-led, equity-centered clean energy transition that prioritizes broader public participation, distribution, and regulation of our energy system.
Penn and regional experts to discuss EV ownership and explore options available at a university like Penn.
The energy transition is moving many in the United States towards electric heating systems, with changing energy prices being the biggest factor in household decisions to switch to an electric system. Visiting Scholar Lucas Davis takes a closer look.

Energy Economics & Finance Seminar

This year’s seminar series in Energy Economics & Finance (EEF) was jointly organized by Wharton’s Business Economics and Public Policy Department, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and Wharton’s Business, Climate, and Environment Lab. The scope of the seminar included regulation and policy papers, along with energy related environmental and transportation issues.

Podcast

In its sixth season, Energy Policy Now covered timely energy topics on everything from the bipartisan infrastructure bill to solar geoengineering.

Featured Episode

The first episode in a mini-series exploring governance challenges surrounding the transition to clean energy, guest Shuchi Talati, former chief of staff of the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy & Carbon Management, discusses the need for strong governance to balance the potential benefits of carbon dioxide removal technologies with environmental and social risks.

22
Episodes

Released this year

261,252
Episode Downloads

In the last year

The most insightful resource I have found when it comes to understanding energy policy—the reality of where we are today, and the hurdles that need to be overcome for us to get where we need to be—is the Energy Policy Now podcast.
Henkel Smith
Review on LinkedIn

Behind the Scenes

We are appreciative of the people working with us behind the scenes to make each year a success. We are thankful for the hard work of our staff, the expert guidance of our advisory board, the tireless support from our Dean and Weitzman leadership, and the donors who make this work possible.

Advisory Board

Paul Bonney

Former Senior Vice President, Exelon

Mark Brownstein

Senior Vice President, Environmental Defense Fund

Emily Duncan

Vice President of Government Relations, National Grid

Scott Kleinman

Co-President, Apollo Global Management

Ken Kulak

Partner, Morgan Lewis

Sonny Popowsky

Former Consumer Advocate of Pennsylvania

John Quigley

Director, Center for Environment, Energy & Economy

Marvin Schlanger

Former Chairman of the Board, UGI Corporation

Frederick Steiner

Dean, Stuart Weitzman School of Design

Donors

Carl Goldsmith

Founding Partner, Beach Point Capital Management

Eric Gribetz

Managing Partner, Stonecourt Capital

Scott Kleinman

Co-President, Apollo Global Management

Steven Lefkowitz

Founding Partner, Sagewind Capital LLC

Staff

Bill Cohen

Center Coordinator

Cornelia Colijn

Executive Director

Mark Alan Hughes

Founding Faculty Director

Angela Pachon

Research Director

Lindsey Samahon

Communications Director

Oscar Serpell

Associate Director of Academic Programming

Mollie Simon

Communications Coordinator

Andy Stone

Energy Policy Now Host and Producer

Kimberle Szczurowski

Administrative Assistant

2020-2021

Clean Energy Conversions Lab • Explainer Video • Virtual Engagement • Carnot Prize: Sheila Oparaocha

Read the Report

2019-2020

First Faculty Hire: Jennifer Wilcox • First Energy Week at Penn • Carnot Prize: Cheryl LaFleur • COVID-19 Response

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2018-2019

$30 Million Renewal Gift • Carnot Prize India: Piyush Goyal • Philadelphia Refinery Report

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2017-2018

Kleinman at Home & Abroad • Carnot Prize: Gina McCarthy • Advisory Board Growth

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2016-2017

Energy Policy Now Podcast Launch • Carnot Prize: Fatih Birol • First IEA Summer Fellow

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2015-2016

Fisher Fine Arts Renovation • First Carnot Prize: Daniel Yergin • New Programming

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2014-2015

$10 Million Gift • Center Opening • Vision & Plan • New Research & Programs

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