We are pleased to report that this year marks the completion of our faculty hiring campaign to bring three Presidential Distinguished Professors of Energy Policy to Penn. This summer, we welcomed energy policy and justice scholar Sanya Carley, who joined energy law scholar Shelley Welton and carbon management scholar Jennifer Wilcox (currently serving at the Department of Energy).
These three extraordinary colleagues provide the depth of expertise envisioned by our generous donors and the University of Pennsylvania—who, years ago, made a commitment to bring top energy policy scholars to Penn. With primary appointments in the Schools of Engineering, Law, and Design, these faculty demonstrate the many disciplines demanded by the complex challenges of the energy transition.
As the Kleinman Center moves into a new academic year, we look forward to supporting the work of Penn faculty, as well as our grant recipients, visiting scholars, and senior fellows. We’ll accomplish this while also cultivating student research opportunities, coursework, internships, seminars, and more. Ultimately, all of our work and programming is committed to creating the conditions for policy innovation that supports a just and efficient transition to sustainable energy.
We firmly believe that solutions to today’s most significant challenges, like climate change, are grounded in a reimagined energy system that can only be realized on a strong foundation of advanced energy policy research.
We hope you will join us.
Mark Alan Hughes
Faculty Director, Kleinman Center
Executive Director, Kleinman Center
Welcome, Sanya Carley
This year, we hired our third Kleinman Center faculty member: Sanya Carley, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Energy Policy and City Planning. As our spring visiting scholar, Carley had an early introduction to Penn students and faculty with a week-long visit and public lecture. Carley will teach her first Kleinman Center class this spring. We look forward to her ongoing research in the field of energy justice.
The Prospects for Pennsylvania as a RGGI Member
Research by the Kleinman Center and Resources for the Future found that by joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Pennsylvania could reduce its emissions, generate additional revenue, and see minimal to no impact on electricity rates. Researchers disseminated these findings to media and policymakers.
Energy Week at Penn
Energy Week at Penn gathers industry leaders, researchers, and students for a full week of energy programing. This annual event creates valuable connections, inspires conversations, and grows our shared commitment to drive positive change in the energy sector.
Student-focused programming was a key part of Energy Week 2023, with a student poster session, networking coffee chats, lightning talks, an alumni panel, and more.
Celebrating Faculty Research
Welton’s First Year at Penn
Shelley Welton, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Law and Energy Policy, kicked off her first year at Penn with major accomplishments. In addition to teaching our Introduction to Energy Policy class, she also released a co-authored casebook on the law of networks, platforms, and utilities (NPU). The book explains how the tools of NPU law can help sectors—like the energy sector—address some of the most pressing problems of our time.
Welton also published an article in the Yale Law Journal on net zero, won the Morrison Prize for a co-authored piece on grid reliability and clean energy, and hosted the first annual Berkeley-Penn Energy Law Scholars workshop.
1.5 Degree Climate Lecture
During Penn’s Climate Week, Shelley Welton and other professors and leaders from across the university united in a series of 1.5 Minute Climate Lectures to sound the alarm about the climate emergency.
The Clean Energy Conversions Lab
Carbon capture research grew even stronger this year at Penn’s Clean Energy Conversions Lab. In the fall, Research Assistant Professor Pete Psarras, who currently oversees the work of the lab, headed west with members of his research team to Utah and Nevada to explore on-the-ground possibilities for several carbon storage solutions, including direct air capture systems supported by geothermal energy, as well as storing carbon in mine tailings.
Turning Carbon Emissions into Rocks
Open-pit mines generate millions of tons of waste each year. Researchers in the Clean Energy Conversions Lab are working on technologies that could turn this waste into carbon-storing rocks, potentially keeping a substantial amount of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
FOSTERING RESEARCH AND IMPACT
Published Digests and Reports
Center Staff Research
Highlights include NPR, Philadelphia Inquirer, and E&E News
Through press articles and media mentions
Who received and read our research
We were excited to welcome scholars back to Penn’s campus, where they met with students and colleagues and gave public lectures.
2022-2023 Grant Recipents
Each year, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy awards grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 to support new research or supplement existing research in energy and climate policy.
Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders
Student research plays an important role in our broader policy research agenda. By engaging students in research, we not only foster a culture of curiosity and critical thinking but also tap into a valuable source of fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.
This year, we launched Spark—our first research magazine curated by students for students. The articles in this magazine explore a wide range of ambitious technical and policy solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the future of energy. The authors delve into cutting-edge technical solutions such as green hydrogen, solar fuels and distributed carbon ledgers, alongside policy strategies that question fundamental assumptions about money and finance.
Meet the Kleinman Center Student Council. The group helps give input on the center’s programming—weighing in on things from student publications to visiting scholar lectures.
Expanding our Curriculum
A new collaborative course this year, Societal Grand Challenges, co-taught by faculty from the Kleinman Center, Weitzman School, and School of Engineering and Applied Science, used societal grand challenges as scenarios for identifying repeatable, process-oriented best practices for solving complex, systemic problems in the energy transition. The course brought together students from both policy and STEM backgrounds. It also provided an opportunity to learn from one another and build a holistic understanding of the technical and policy dimensions of the energy transition and the global response to climate change and environmental degradation.
Undergraduate and graduate students had the opportunity to get published in our third-annual student blog competition. The insights explore personal stories—from literature that energizes climate action to family members who inspire sustainable living.
Global Philadelphia Mural Unveiling
This year’s spring seminar drew in 14 student fellows for bi-weekly sessions with scholars across campus. Students enjoyed lunchtime presentations and discussions on the latest topics in energy policy, including: adaptive design, environmental justice, environmental risk management, and renewable energy and storage.
Penn faculty, researchers, and students attended the UN’s annual climate conference—this year in Egypt—where they presented research, and participated in events and critical discussions.
Organized by the Kleinman Center, scholars from Penn made an impact in last year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP27. The Penn delegation contributed to both the negotiations, including significant work on loss and damage, led by Michael Weisberg and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and a series of events at its perimeter, called the “blue zone.” Penn supported a class of law students who were able to attend and learn from the proceedings. Our podcast Energy Policy Now was also on the ground for a mini-series of COP27 interviews. Delegates provided commentary for The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Kleinman Center website.
Both in person and in the virtual world, we delivered events on topics from geoengineering to energy insecurity.
Energy Policy Now
In its seventh season, Energy Policy Now covered timely energy topics on everything from grid reliability to scaling green hydrogen.
Berkeley economist and Visiting Scholar Meredith Fowlie explains why the drive to electrify everything in American homes is at odds with electricity rate-setting practices and explores pricing reforms to deliver rapid and equitable electrification.
Released in 2022-2023
In the last year
Listeners turned in from all over the world