2022 Student Blog Series: Undergraduate Seminar Fellows

Explore insights on a variety of topics from our 2022 Undergraduate Seminar Fellows.

As a part of the Undergraduate Climate and Energy Policy Seminar, seminar fellows write a thoughtful insight publication on an energy or climate issue of their choosing. This year’s insights tackled topics from energy security and the crisis in Ukraine to the grid issues in Puerto Rico and everything in between. Explore our student insight series.

A rear view of people with placards and posters on global strike for climate change.

International Climate Policy and the Collective Action Problem

Sophia Bagg

The delayed time horizon and the fact that our climate is a public good make international collective action on climate difficult to muster. What can policy experts do to combat the problem?

2d minimal clean smooth color infographics for solar rooftop, solar light,solar traffic light, and solar container on the ground as for microgrid development

Microgrid Regulation Challenges and Opportunities

Sabine Chavin

Microgrids have the potential to improve the resiliency and efficiency of our electrical grid. But the lack of clear regulations can be a barrier to developing projects.

Welcome to California sign at the Nevada state line south of Carson City, Nevada along state route 88.

A Bearish Outlook for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Aditi Chintapalli

As California looks to lower its carbon emissions, it has turned to a policy program called the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. But reforms are needed to decrease the existing surplus, increase the price of credits, and create a competitive market.

The beautiful landscapes of New Mexico as the journey nears its conclusion.

Traveling Across the United States the Old-Fashioned Way

Andrés Eskenazi

Why developing and expanding passenger rail in the United States is critical in the fight against climate change.

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico - September 22, 2017: Two days after Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico’s Path Toward Renewable Energy Development

Sean Deresh

After decades of mismanagement, underinvestment, and natural disasters, Puerto Rico is taking steps to provide reliable and clean electricity for its residents.

3D illustration of lithium battery pack, close up on the text

Lithium: The Link Between the Ukraine War and the Clean Energy Transition

Gabriela Garity

Lithium is a critical element to the clean energy transition. The crisis in Ukraine is limiting access to a large global source of lithium but could also be the catalyst to spur innovative solutions at home.

Migration crisis on the border with Belarus

Russia-Belarus Energy Relations: Rivalry Attenuated by the West

Alisa Reiner

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, Belarus’ entangled energy interests make it one of Russia’s only allies in the region.

Dirty beach environment from plastic garbage with outdoor low lighting.

Driving the Circular Economy with Extended Producer Responsibility

Emma Schultz

Extended Producer Responsibility is a policy solution that will help keep plastics out of our environment and place the economic burden of negative externalities back on manufacturers.

concept illustration of a salt energy storage natrium sodium nuclear reactor power plant on a sunny day. Molden Salt energy storage is a future energy concept. 3d rendering.

Revisiting Molten Salt Reactors

Eitan Weinstein

Molten-salt reactors could potentially provide carbon-free nuclear power with less radioactive waste and for a more affordable price. But the technology is not without its complications.

Farmer using smart farming technologies for higher efficiency in a vineyard

From Farm to Cloud: Precision Agriculture

Linda Wu

Big data is helping farming become more efficient and waste less with specific crop management recommendations. But with little to no regulation, farmers are concerned that their data could be used against them.  

3D render of the construction of the gas pipe Nord Stream 2. The concept of sanctions and economic war, an anvil falling on a gas pipe. 3D rendering

Germany Must Recalibrate Its Energy Transition

Michal Wyrebkowski

The German energy transition has relied on Russian natural gas as a bridge fuel, but now geopolitical instability has put Germany on a longer and riskier road to climate neutrality.

Olkaria II Geothermal Power Plant, approved as a CDM project in 2015. Source: ASM

Closing Loopholes in Carbon Offset Regulation

Ha-Nam Yoon

International law and voluntary compliance systems have struggled to regulate carbon offsets. A new addition to the Paris Agreement– Article 6–might change that.