Research

MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research  (CEEPR) carries out rigorous and objective research for improved decision making in government and the private sector, and secures the relevance of its work through close cooperation with government and industry partners from around the globe. Drawing on the unparalleled resources available at MIT, affiliated faculty and research staff as well as external research affiliates contribute to the empirical study of a wide range of policy issues related to energy supply, energy demand, and the environment. A legacy of excellence in energy economics, enhanced with interdisciplinary cooperation across MIT’s schools and departments, inform pioneering research on the most pressing challenges in energy and environmental policy. CEEPR’s research areas and current projects are described in greater detail below. 

Research Areas

Research at CEEPR is driven by its affiliated faculty and research staff. At any given time, CEEPR is therefore contributing to improved understanding of a variety of issues in energy and environmental policy. Click on a topic below to see related research output, events and other news coming out of CEEPR.

Energy Supply Energy Demand
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Environment      
       
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Current Projects

Aside from facilitating individual research on energy and environmental policy by affiliated researchers, CEEPR also spearheads and contributes to innovative research projects on areas of particular relevance. A description of current projects is included below.

Evidence for Action on Energy Efficiency (E2e)

Launched in 2013, Evidence for Action on Energy Efficiency (E2e) is a project jointly sponsored by CEEPR, the Energy Institute at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. CEEPR Director Christopher Knittel, the William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics in the MIT Sloan School of Management, is one of the three faculty directors of the project. Through an interdisciplinary approach to the so-called ‘energy efficiency gap’, it seeks to evaluate and strengthen policies and incentives for improved energy efficiency. Proven research designs used to achieve these aims include randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental designs, with data and customer access provided through formal partnerships with private-sector companies. To learn more about the E2e project, its research output, and outreach and dissemination activities, please visit the project website.

Utility of the Future

The MIT Utility of the Future study is a multidisciplinary project coordinated by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) that seeks to evaluate the economic, regulatory, and technological impacts of the ongoing evolution of the power sector. CEEPR Director Christopher Knittel, the William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics in the MIT Sloan School of Management, and CEEPR faculty affiliate José Ignacio Pérez Arriaga, are the two principal investigators of this project. Over the course of approximately 18 months between 2014 and 2016, this project will describe the future of the delivery of electricity services, either in a centralized or decentralized manner, identifying successful business models, regulatory trends, and transformative technologies within the global framework of an increasingly decarbonized power sector. To learn more about the Utility of the Future study, please visit the project website.