Global Sustainable Energy Transition
International research partnership studies global transition to clean energy
A premier, multi-year research collaboration between the Institute for Sustainable Energy (now the Boston University Institute for Global Sustainability), Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy, and China’s Global Energy Infrastructure and Development Cooperative Organization (GEIDCO) has offered researchers in the U.S. and China great opportunities to learn from each other as the two countries seek ways to decarbonize their economies. With China and the U.S. as the most significant emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) impacting global climate change, this partnership has led to shared insights on various pathways to clean energy and improved electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. Global cross-collaboration and insightful dialogue were also foundational to the Institute for Sustainable Energy research projects on electric mobility and universal access to electricity in Africa.
Project Objectives and Methods
- The Institute for Sustainable Energy (now the Institute for Global Sustainability), in collaboration with the Center for Global Energy Policy and GEIDCO, examined the potential development of international high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems and renewables networks as a way to support the transition of global energy systems.
- Researchers compared the policies, technologies, and business models of the U.S. and China to understand and share lessons from the world’s two largest electric vehicle markets.
- The Institute for Sustainable Energy (now the Institute for Global Sustainability) studied public EV charging infrastructure for the electrification of transportation, drawing on case studies of cities around the world for the book Melting the ICE: Lessons from China and the West in the Transition from the Internal Combustion Engine to Electric Vehicles. The book consolidates multiple case studies, analytical modeling, and learnings from China and U.S. experiences, as well as Oslo, Norway; Los Angeles, California; and Brookline, Massachusetts.
- Further study by the Institute for Sustainable Energy (now the Institute for Global Sustainability) led to the development of high-priority recommendations for future research in the EV space.
- The international partnership supported the Institute for Sustainable Energy’s (now the Institute for Global Sustainability) evaluation of the state of electrification in Africa which aims to provide a greater understanding of emerging planning tools for integrating multi-layer power systems.