Energy Policy Practicum: Alternative Transportation Fuels

Spring Quarter 2014

Instructors: James Sallee and Robert Topel

In this practicum, students will work in small teams and with faculty to author a white paper (a research report) on a topic related to the viability of alternative fuels in transportation and the role of policy in promoting these alternatives. The completed white papers, subject to approval by the course instructors, will be published on the website of the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago.

The course will benefit from the involvement of an Advisory Committee, which will include Gary Becker (Nobel laureate, economics), Dan Black (Harris), Kevin Murphy (Booth, economics), Robert Rosner (physics, Harris) and David Weisbach (law). The membership of the Committee is subject to change, and we will seek to incorporate experts from industry once topics are finalized.

Possible white paper topics include the viability of natural gas as a transportation fuel; the role of regulations in preventing the deployment of alternative fuels; the impact of network effects on the deployment of new technologies; estimation of alternative fuel subsidy requirements to reach parity with market incumbents; or case study analysis of alternative fuel deployment in other countries.

Requirements:

Commitment to attend class (classes will be held MW 9-10:20AM)
Attendance at all meetings with the Advisory Committee
Attendance at one Winter Quarter meeting to establish research topics and an initial reading list

The course will be capped at 12 students. Admission to the course will be at the discretion of the instructors. Interested students should send their resume and a cover letter that explains briefly why they are interested in the course to Jessica Polos at jpolos@uchicago.edu by February 21.

Cost: Free

Areas of Focus: Energy Markets
Definition
Energy Markets
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.
Transportation
Definition
Transportation
Mobility is central to economic activity. Yet, a lack of fuel diversity and continued demand growth have made the transportation industry a major contributor to global pollution and carbon emissions....
Definition
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.