Sustainable Development Insights, No. 6, October 2010

06-SDI coverGreen Revolution 2.0: A Sustainable Energy Path
By Nalin Kulatilaka

October 2010 (8 pages)
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The Green Revolution in agriculture greatly increased crop yields and averted mass starvation, but it also turned small farms into factory farms that concentrated production in a few locations and reduced the diversity of crops. In this paper, Professor Nalin Kulatilaka, Co-Director of BU’s Clean Energy & Environmental Sustainability Initiative, calls for a Green Energy Revolution that decentralizes energy supplies through a smart electricity network. He argues that such a revolution could provide for a diversity of energy sources located closer to users, which in turn could shift consumption patterns, reduce losses and decrease overall energy demand. He concludes that shifting to such a system “will adopt clean energy technologies while fostering new businesses, creating new jobs and ultimately empowering society to reach new heights in energy conservation and sustainability “.

Sustainable Development Insights is a series of short policy essays supporting the  Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (SDKP) and edited by Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the study of the Longer-Range Future. The series seeks to promote a broad interdisciplinary dialogue on how to accelerate sustainable development at all levels.

Nalin Kulatilaka is the Wing Tat Lee Family Professor of Management and Co-Director of the Clean Energy & Environmental Sustainability Initiative (CEESI) at Boston University. His research is in real options, energy intermediaries, and financial contracting. He is the author of the widely acclaimed book, Real Options (1999), and over 75 scholarly papers.