The energy industry is undergoing dramatic change. Unconventional energy resource development has shifted traditional paradigms and made the United States one of the fastest-growing oil and natural gas producers in the world for the first time in many years. In fact, developments in Canada, Brazil and the Americas more generally have tilted the center of gravity in energy markets toward the Western Hemisphere. Along with the continued growth of China and India and their projected reliance on energy imports, the developments in the last decade highlight the fact that understanding the global interconnectedness of energy markets is growing ever more important.
At the same time, emerging political and regulatory issues have raised the specter of uncertainty for market developments amid this new energy paradigm. New energy sources propelled by technological advancements will face regulatory hurdles presented by concerns related to environmental quality. This can run headlong into the quickly changing dynamics of energy geopolitics in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and China, which continue to impact global markets and pricing, thereby affecting broad goals of energy security.
The Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies (CES) explores these and other issues to provide new insights on the role of economics, policy and regulation in the performance and evolution of energy markets. Independently and through collaborations with other Baker Institute programs and fellows, Rice University faculty, and scholars from around the world, the CES builds on the foundation of the institute’s globally respected energy program. Economic modeling and forecasting, expanded emphasis on the nexus between energy and environment, and a continued focus on emerging technologies, regulations and geopolitical risk reinforce the center as a key resource for policymakers and the energy industry.
Policy Research Focus
To this end, Rice University’s Baker Institute seeks to endow the Center for Energy Studies. Building upon our internationally-recognized work in energy policy and forecasting over nearly two decades, the Center for Energy Studies will be the institute’s largest and most prominent center. Substantial investments in personnel and infrastructure for the new CES will bolster the Baker Institute’s ability to conduct intensive energy research of importance to individuals, companies and nations. In recognition of this level of an endowment gift, we would be honored to have the donor’s name attached to the Center for Energy Studies.
Mission of the Center for Energy Studies
The mission of CES will to provide policymakers, corporate leaders, and the public with quality, data-driven analysis of issues that influence energy markets. Like all Baker Institute research, the energy and environmental issues studied by the CES will provide a nonpartisan voice in areas that can be politically divisive.
Informed private and public decision-making requires knowledge from a variety of disciplines, and the CES at Rice University’s Baker Institute will have a considerable comparative advantage and significant intellectual capital to draw upon.
CES Program Focus
The CES will influence policy by providing impactful policy recommendations and outreach through testimony on Capitol Hill, interaction with policymakers, and by virtue of being a highly respected energy program outside of the Beltway. In doing so, the CES will focus on expanding existing capabilities and maintaining its reputation for producing high quality, peer-reviewed working papers and studies.
Primary to this aim is the establishment of five central programs: (i) Natural Gas and Unconventional Resources, (ii) Energy and Cybersecurity, (iii) Energy and Environment, (iv) Global Oil, and (v) Electricity Policy. By bringing together academics, industry leaders, policymakers and the general public, the Baker Institute’s CES will have a tremendous influence on the future of domestic and international energy policy. However, growth is needed to maintain a strong, highly productive, interdisciplinary presence in identified core program areas.
Current CES External Institutional Collaborations
As part of its mission to push forth well-reasoned, data-driven economic and policy analysis, the CES will continue its rich set of collaborations with other institutions.
• Bipartisan Policy Center, 2012-
• Brookings Institution, 2012-
• California Energy Commission, 2010-
• Curtin University, 2012-
• Department of Energy, 2007-2008 & 2011-
• Harvard University, 2011-
• Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, 1995-
• Oxford University, 2010-2011
• Peace Research Institute Oslo, 2013-
• Russian Academy of Sciences, 2013-
• Stanford University, 2006-
• University of Texas, 2011-
• University of West Australia, 2012-
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