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This image is having trouble loading!FSI researchers examine the role of energy sources from regulatory, economic and societal angles. The Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) investigates how the production and consumption of energy affect human welfare and environmental quality. Professors assess natural gas and coal markets, as well as the smart energy grid and how to create effective climate policy in an imperfect world. This includes how state-owned enterprises – like oil companies – affect energy markets around the world. Regulatory barriers are examined for understanding obstacles to lowering carbon in energy services. Realistic cap and trade policies in California are studied, as is the creation of a giant coal market in China.

Recent Scholarly Publications

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The rise in global biodiesel production: Implications for food security

December 2017

Policies that promote biofuels in major agricultural economies raise important questions for food prices and food security at local to global scales.

Impact of a rural solar electrification project on the level and structure of women's empowerment

September 2017

Although development organizations agree that reliable access to energy and energy services—one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals—is likely to have profound and perhaps disproportionate...

The political economy of biodiesel in an era of low oil prices

May 2017

Global biodiesel production grew by 23% per annum between 2005 and 2015, leading to a seven-fold expansion of the sector in a single decade.

Association Between Women’s Empowerment and Maternal and Child Nutrition in Kalale District of Northern Benin

April 2017

Women empowerment (WE) is increasingly viewed as an important strategy to reduce maternal and child undernutrition,1–3 which continues to be a major health burden in low- and middle-income...

Structuring Cooperative Nuclear Risk Reduction Initiatives with China

April 2017

CISAC's Siegfried Hecker, Larry Brandt and Jason Reinhardt worked with Chinese nuclear organizations on issues involving radiological and nuclear terrorism.

The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution: Food, Feed, Fuel, and Forests

November 2016

Over the last two decades global production of soybean and palm oil seeds have increased enormously.

Questions for the presidential candidates on nuclear terrorism, proliferation, weapons policy, and energy

September 2016

Stanford expert Siegfried Hecker proposes a series of nuclear weapons and energy questions that journalists and citizens should consider asking the 2016 presidential candidates.

Perspectives on Complex Global Challenges: Education, Energy, Healthcare, Security, and Resilience

July 2016

This book discusses issues in large-scale systems in the United States and around the world.

Colocation opportunities for large solar infrastructures and agriculture in drylands

March 2016

We explored the potential to colocate solar installations and agriculture.Water use at solar installations are similar to amounts required for desert plants.Co-located systems are economically...

Simulating the interaction of a renewable portfolio standard with electricity and carbon markets

May 2015

The authors ran a game-based simulation of an electricity market with both an RPS and a cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gas emissions allowances.

Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve

March 2015

Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth inequality are bad.

Long-term Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

February 2015

To design reliable and safe geological repositories it is critical to understand how the characteristics of spent nuclear fuel evolve with time, and how this affects the storage environment.

Long-Term Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

February 2015

In a commentary on the long-term storage of SNF in the March 2015 issue of Nature Materials, Professor Rod Ewing writes that, "to design reliable and safe geological repositories it is critical to...

Redox response of actinide materials to highly ionizing radiation

February 2015

Energetic radiation can cause dramatic changes in the physical and chemical properties of actinide materials, degrading their performance in fission-based energy systems.

American scientists as public citizens: 70 years of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

January 2015

For seven decades, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has served as a discussion forum for urgent issues at the intersection of science, technology, and society.

The Evolving Sphere of Food Security

September 2014

The Evolving Sphere of Food Security seeks to answer two important questions: How do the priorities and challenges of achieving food security change over time as countries develop economically?

‘Oorja’ in India: Assessing a large-scale commercial distribution of advanced biomass stoves to households

April 2014

Replacing traditional stoves with advanced alternatives that burn more cleanly has the potential to ameliorate major health problems associated with indoor air pollution in developing countries....

For the People

January 2014

CISAC's Siegfried Hecker and Abbas Milani, founding co-director of the Iran Democracy Project here at Stanford, write in this Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists analysis that Iran must move beyond...

Energy and resource efficiency as a unifying principle for human, environmental and global health

December 2013

Efficient, Secure Green: Digital Utopianism and the Challenge of Making the Electrical Grid “Smart”

December 2013

Abstract: Electrical grids have long depended upon information infrastructures—systems for exchanging information about electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and use.

Energy Efficiency in the Japanese Transport Sector

December 2013

Phillip Y. Lipscy and Lee Schipper examine energy efficiency in the Japanese transportation sector since the 1970s.

Frontiers in Food Policy: Perspectives on Sub-Saharan Africa

December 2013

Frontiers in Food Policy: Perspectives on sub-Saharan Africa is a compilation of research stemming from the Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium Series, hosted by the Center on Food...

Ethnic differences in the relationship between insulin sensitivity and insulin response

December 2013

Abstract:OBJECTIVE Human blood glucose levels have likely evolved toward their current point of stability over hundreds of thousands of years.

Traditional Governance, Citizen Engagement and Local Public Goods: Evidence from Mexico

December 2013

We study the governance of public good provision in poor communities in Oaxaca, Mexico.


Frank Wolak Senior Fellow Professor, Economics
Takeo Hoshi Senior Fellow, Professor, by courtesy, Finance
Phillip Lipscy Center Fellow Assistant Professor, Political Science
Condoleezza Rice Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, Political Science, Professor, Management, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Rod Ewing Rodney C. Ewing Senior Fellow Professor of Geological Sciences
David Lobell Senior Fellow Professor, Earth System Science, William Wrigley Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Stephen P. Luby Senior Fellow Professor, Medicine (CHP/PCOR)
Michael May Michael M. May Senior Fellow Professor, Management Science and Engineering
David Freyberg Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Mark C. Thurber Associate Director for Research
Ognen Stojanovski Research Scholar
Xue Litai Social Science Research Scholar