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In Search of 'Good' Energy Policy - Videos and Media

In Search of Good Energy Policy is an Energy@Cambridge Strategic Research Initiative Grand Challenge, more information is available here.

The “In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy” seminar series hosted at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) explores energy policy themes from different disciplinary perspectives including: economics, history, philosophy, theology, politics, law, anthropology, psychology, and engineering. The aim of the series is to identify principles and processes for ‘good’ energy policy making with an emphasis on the contributions of different disciplines to ‘good’ policy formulation.

Seminars are held every fortnight during term time. The seminars are open to staff and students from the University of Cambridge, the public, and members of other organisations, industry and government. Each seminar includes a main speaker and a respondent from another discipline, followed by Q&A and a discussion open to all participants.

Email: energy@admin.cam.ac.uk if you would like to be added to our In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy mailing list.

For more information about future In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy seminars, please visit: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/programmes/in-search-of-good-energy-policy or visit http://www.energy.cam.ac.uk/news-and-events/Events for listings of all University of Cambridge energy related seminars and events.

 

Video interviews with past speakers and audio recordings of the In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy seminars are available below:

2016-2017

Seminar 14 | 6 June 2017 | Defining “Good” in “Good Energy Policy”: Insights from Theologies and Religions

Seminar 13 | 23 May 2017 | Institutional innovation in public energy R&D in the United States

Seminar 12 | 9 May 2017 | The Role of Law in Energy Transitions: Lessons from Community Renewables

Seminar 11 | 25 April 2017 | Influence and the role of the expert

Seminar 10 | 14 March 2017 | Clean Air Act Panel

Seminar 9 | 28 February 2017 | Energy Transitions in the 20th Century

Seminar 8 | 14 February 2017 | Inherent Inconsistency of EU Energy Policymaking

Seminar 7 | 31 January 2017 | Ethics and Energy

Seminar 6 | 17 January 2017 | The New Institutional Economics of Chinese Power Sector Reform

Seminar 5 | 29 November 2016 | Europe’s Energy Security in the Wake of TTIP and Brexit: A Legal Perspective

Seminar 4 | 15 November 2016 | Investigating Cultures of Community Energy

Seminar 3 | 1 November 2016 | Sino-Russian Oil and Gas Cooperation: Where It Stands and How Far It Can Go?

Seminar 2 | 18 October 2016 | The Highway Boom: Politics, Energy Demand and Emissions in China

Seminar 1 | 4 October 2016 | The History of Prediction and Energy Systems of the Future

  

2015-2016

Seminar 13 | 31 May 2016 | Theology of Energy / Laudato Si’: Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment and Human Ecology

Seminar 12 | 3 May 2016 | Law and Energy / International Law and the Environmental and Social Impacts of Energy Policies

Seminar 11 | 19 April 2016 | Business and Management Studies of Energy / Energy Mega-Projects

Seminar 10 | 8 March 2016 | Economics of Energy / The German Reaction to Fukushima

Seminar 9 | 23 February 2016 | History of Energy / Swedish Carbon Policies

Seminar 8 | 9 February 2016 | Economics and Politics of Energy / Fracking in the US vs. Europe

Seminar 7 | 26 January 2016 | Political Science of Energy / UK Carbon Capture and Storage Policies

Seminar 6 | 12 January 2016 | Anthropology and Economics of Energy / Danish Heating Policies

Seminar 5 | 1 December 2015 | Theology and Ethics of Energy / Oil Sands

Seminar 4 | 17 November 2015 | History of Energy / Clean Air Policies 

Seminar 3 | 3 November 2015 | Ethics of Energy/ Nuclear Energy  

Seminar 2 | 20 October 2015 | Geopolitics of Energy/ Russian-European Gas 

Seminar 1 | 3 October 2015 | Introduction to the Seminar Series 

Click here for the latest seminars at CRASSH

 

 

2016-2017   

Seminar 14 | 6 June 2017 | Defining “Good” in “Good Energy Policy”: Insights from Theologies and Religions

Speakers: Dr Jonathan Chapin, Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, University of Cambridge
Respondents: Dr Sandy Skelton, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Dr Jonathan Chaplin speaks about the insights which the discipline of public theology brings to the question of energy policy, how notions of ‘good’ or ‘just’ should be defined in an energy context and how important the concept of nature and the environment is from different religious faith backgrounds.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 13 | 23 May 2017 | Institutional innovation in public energy R&D in the United States

Speakers: Dr Laura Diaz Anadon, POLIS, University of Cambridge
Respondents: Dr Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Dr Laura Diaz Anadon talks about government efforts to accelerate innovation in energy technologies, the impact of startup alliances with government organizations on the ability to innovate and how the study of U.S. cleantech startups advances research on entrepreneurial ecosystems, drawing on insights from her joint paper with Dr Claudia Doblinger (University of Regensburg) and Dr Kavita Surana (Harvard University).

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 12 | 9 May 2017 | The Role of Law in Energy Transitions: Lessons from Community Renewables

Speakers: Dr Annalisa Savaresi, Law School, University of Stirling
Respondents: Dr David Reiner, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Dr Annalisa Savaresi talks about the notion of community renewables, what the broader distributive, recognition and restorative justice questions are associated with energy transitions and how the set of core justice questions concerning energy transitions has been addressed.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 11 | 25 April 2017 | Influence and the role of the expert

Speakers: Prof Susan Owens, Dept of Geography, University of Cambridge
Respondents: Prof Tim Lewens, Dept of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Prof Susan Owens talks about the relationship between expertise and policy, the role the spectrum of influence plays and the key lessons to be learnt from the analysis of the practices and influence of the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 10 | 14 March 2017 | Clean Air Act Panel

Speakers: Dr Christine Corton, Wolfson College, Prof Michael Pollitt, Judge Business School and Dr Jacqueline Lam, Visitor at Judge Business School

Dr Christine Corton talks about the London fog up to the 1950’s, how it was depicted in art and literature and what were its lasting effects on our culture and imagination.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 9 | 28 February 2017 | Energy Transitions in the 20th Century

Speaker: Prof Frank Trentmann, Birkbeck University
Respondents: Dr David Good, Dept of Psychology, University of Cambridge

Dr Frank Trentmann talks about ‘freedom of choice’ for household consumers in the 1950’s in the UK, the variation of comfort and use in public housing and domestic energy demand.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 8 | 14 February 2017 | Inherent Inconsistency of EU Energy Policymaking

Speaker: Dr Oliver Geden, German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Respondents: Dr Paul Warde, University of Cambridge

Dr Oliver Geden talks about what factors effect real-world policymaking, why ‘policy-based evidence-making’ tends to trump ‘evidence-based policy-making’ and what role expert knowledge plays in planned energy system transformations.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 7 | 31 January 2017 | Ethics and Energy

Speaker: Prof Simon Caney, University of Oxford
Respondents: Dr Marc Ozawa

Professor Caney talks about what is a just way of distributing energy, what other factors, such as intergenerational justice, we should take into account and who makes the decisions. 

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

   

Seminar 6 | 17 January 2017 | The New Institutional Economics of Chinese Power Sector Reform

Speaker: Prof Michael Pollitt, Judge Business School,University of Cambridge
Respondents: Dr Kun-Chin Lin, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Professor Pollitt talks about why China chose to embark on electricity reform, what factors make successful power market reform and how the electricity transition process in China draws on the reform experience of other countries.

 

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

   

Seminar 5 | 29 November 2016 | Europe’s Energy Security in the Wake of TTIP and Brexit: A Legal Perspective

Speaker: Dr Anna Marhold, Tilburg Law School, Tilburg University
Respondents: Prof Martin DauntonFaculty of History, University of Cambridge

Dr Marhold outlines the legal basis is of EU energy policy and the energy union, how energy security and a fully integrated market are key dimensions of the energy Union. She explains how we define energy security, how TTIP and Brexit are challenges to a European energy union and the ways forward for Europe’s energy security.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 4 | 15 November 2016 | Investigating Cultures of Community Energy

Speaker: Rebecca Willis, Independent Researcher and Lancaster University
Respondents: Joe Perkins, Ofgem

In this seminar Dr Rebecca Willis explains community energy projects, the factors which influence it, case studies of countries which are community energy leaders and how it has developed in the UK and what lessons we can learn from elsewhere.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

   

Seminar 3 | 1 November 2016 | Sino-Russian Oil and Gas Cooperation: Where It Stands and How Far It Can Go?

Speaker: Prof Keun-Wook Paik, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, University of Oxford
Respondents: Dr Kun-Chin Lin, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge

In this seminar Prof Keun-Wook Paik gives a brief update of Sino-Russian oil and gas cooperation; looking at what is driving closer cooperation between Russia and China in terms of oil and gas trade and the risks and opportunities this poses for the future.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

Seminar 2 | 18 October 2016 | The Highway Boom: Politics, Energy Demand and Emissions in China

Speaker: Dr Kun-Chin Lin, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge
Respondent: Prof David Newbery, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

In this seminar political economist Dr Kun-Chin Lin explains how China's fiscal model for the highway boom over the past two decades has depended on local governments charging exorbitant level of tolls in exchange for bearing the lion's share of fundraising for infrastructure. The resulting oversupply of highways have driven energy-intensive and environmentally damaging passenger and freight traffic, undermining national goals for climate change mitigation and energy efficient transportation.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

   

Seminar 1 | 4 October 2016 | The History of Prediction and Energy Systems of the Future

Speaker: Dr Paul Warde, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Respondent: Martin Crouch, Ofgem

In this seminar historian Dr Paul Warde examines why long-term predictions of energy use have been repeatedly made in error, and yet their use persists. He discusses the political, technical and personal factors shape our desire to know about the future, and our adherence to methods that are so often confounded by the course of events.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

 

2015-2016

Seminar 13 | 31 May 2016 | Theology of Energy / Laudato Si’: Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment and Human Ecology

Speaker: Dr Hilary Marlow, Faraday Institute, University of Cambridge
Respondents: Prof Michael Pollitt, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and Dr Jim Platts, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

In this seminar Dr Hilary Marlow outlined some significant features of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Sí: On Care for our Common Home, including its critique of contemporary economic models and its limited discussion of energy issues. She argued that the strength of the Encyclical lies in its compelling moral vision and it should be read as a manifesto rather than a policy document. An interesting debate followed with respondents  Prof Michael Pollitt (economist) and Dr Jim Platts (wind power engineer).

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

   

Seminar 12 | 3 May 2016 | Law and Energy / International Law and the Environmental and Social Impacts of Energy Policies

Speaker: Dr Leslie-Anne Duvic-Paoli, Department of Land Economy, Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG), University of Cambridge
Respondents: Prof Michael Pollitt, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Dr Duvic-Paoli discusses the role of legal structures in the development of contemporary debates on energy and climate policies. The seminar analyses policy debates in the context of the Espoo and Aarhus Conventions.

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

   

Seminar 11 | 19 April 2016 | Business and Management Studies of Energy / Energy Mega-Projects

Speaker: Dr Atif Ansar, Said Business School, University of Oxford
Respondent: Dr Simon Taylor, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Since the 19th century, one prevailing view in the field of economics has been the ‘economies of scale’ and that bigger projects are more efficient in the long run. Is this really the case with respect to energy mega-projects? In this seminar, Dr Atif Ansar (Saïd School of Business, U. of Oxford) challenges these assumptions through a comprehensive analysis of dams.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

   

Seminar 10 | 8 March 2016 | Economics of Energy / The German Reaction to Fukushima

Speaker: PD Dr Christian Growitsch, University of Hamburg
Respondent: Mr Jiro Kida, Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Director of the Japan External Trade Organization in London (JETRO)

The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe raised concerns globally over the future of nuclear energy. However, in the immediate aftermath, Germany was the only country in Europe that committed to phasing out nuclear power even at a time when the UK and Finland sought to build new nuclear plants. This seminar will explore why the German reaction to Fukushima was so unique in Europe. 

Speaker interview

 

Seminar 9 | 23 February 2016 | History of Energy /Swedish Carbon Policies

Speaker: Prof Magnus Lindmark, Geography and Economic History, Umeå University
Respondent: Prof Michael Pollitt, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

With growing calls from academics and analysts that a durable carbon tax is needed for a sensible energy transition, Swedish carbon policies are exceptional in Europe. Sweden has the highest carbon tax in the EU, and this seminar explores the history of carbon policy developments and how this came to be.

Full seminar audio

 

 

 

Seminar 8 | 9 February 2016 | Economics and Politics of Energy / Fracking in the US vs. Europe

Speaker: Prof Paul Stevens, Chatham House-Royal Institute of Intl. Affairs, University of Dundee
Respondent: Dr Andrew Davison, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

Prof Stevens explained why fracking has experienced such success in the US epitomised by the ‘Shale Revolution'. Building on a methodology from the US industry, he clarified what obstacles fracking faces in the Europe. Dr Davison framed the fracking debate from a moral and ethical perspective. 

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

  

Seminar 7 | 26 January 2016 | Political Science of Energy / UK Carbon Capture and Storage Policies

Speaker: Dr David Reiner, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
Respondent: Chris Littlecott, E3G

This seminar covered carbon capture and storage (CCS) developments both globally and in the UK. The UK is an interesting case as it illustrates the political and economic obstacles for CCS particularly in light of the Treasury’s recent decision to cut funding. Chris Littlecott expanded on these obstacles through his observations of CCS policy making in the UK.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

Seminar 6 | 12 January 2016 | Anthropology and Economics of Energy / Danish Heating Policies

Speaker: Prof Frede Hvelplund, Aalborg University
Respondent: Dr Leslie-Anne Duvic Paoli, Department of Land Economy, Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG), University of Cambridge

Denmark is unique in its heating policies having transitioned from a centralised to a semi-decentralised heating system. Prof Hvelplund explained the process in which the needed co-operation between policy makers, NGOs and industry emerged. Leslie-Anne Duvic-Paoli compared heating policies with clean air policies and clarified why the governance structures for heating are far less developed than air.  

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

  

Seminar 5 | 1 December 2015 | Theology and Ethics of Energy / Oil Sands

Speaker: Prof Michael Northcott, Divinity, University of Edinburgh
Respondent: Dr Jonathan Chaplin, Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Tyndale House, Divinity, University of Cambridge

Prof Northcott explained the environmental consequences of oil sands (tar sands) development in Canada. Dr Chaplin explored the moral implications of oil sands and introduced a framework of shared responsibilities drawing on political theory. Dr Reiner described how Canadian domestic politics impacts oil sands in Alberta and compared the provincial wealth fund to Norway’s experience.

Full seminar audio

 

 

  

Seminar 4 | 17 November 2015 | History of Energy / Clean Air Policies 

Speaker: Dr Stephen Mosley, History, Leeds Beckett University
Respondents: Dr Paul Warde, History, University of Cambridge and Prof Jonathan Stern, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

The clean air policies of the 1950s and 1960s in the UK were the most far reaching and progressive of any industrialised country at the time. Dr Mosley explained how they came about and the social, political and economic constraints that had to be overcome. Dr Warde and Prof Newbery explored the economics of UK clean air policies. 

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

 

Seminar 3 | 3 November 2015 | Ethics of Energy/ Nuclear Energy 

Speaker: Prof Sabine Roeser, TU Delft
Respondents: Prof Tim Lewens, History and Philosophy of Science, CRASSH, University of Cambridge and Cyril Pinel, Nuclear Adviser, Embassy of France

Prof Roeser introduced the concept of popular emotion as a potential ethical compass for energy policies. Prof Lewens compared frameworks for bioethics while Cyril Pinel explained the origins of France’s nuclear build out in the 1970s and French policy trends today. 

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

  

Seminar 2 | 20 October 2015 | Geopolitics of Energy/ Russian-European Gas 

Speaker: Prof Jonathan Stern, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies
Respondents: Dr Chi Kong Chyong, Judge Business School, Energy Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge and Dr Richard Fraser, Climate Histories Research Group, University of Cambridge

This seminar focused on the geopolitics of European-Russian energy relations. Specifically, it focused on natural gas pipelines and the geopolitical implications from the end of the Cold War to the recent Ukraine Crisis.  

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

  

Seminar 1 | 3 October 2015 | Introduction to the Seminar Series 

Speakers: Prof Michael Pollitt, Dr Marc Ozawa, Dr Isabelle de Wouters, Dr Jonathan Chaplin, Prof Tim Lewens, Dr Paul Warde, and Prof David Newbery, University of Cambridge

Why are good energy policies so difficult to design and implement? Why do bad energy policies persist? What constitutes a ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ or ‘just’ policy? In the first seminar, the convenors and associated researchers introduced these questions and presented multiple disciplinary perspectives on energy policies.

Full seminar audio