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ELI Announces Eight Research Projects on the Energy and Environmental Implications of the Digital Economy

September 2018

(Washington, D.C.): The Environmental Law Institute, in partnership with the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at UC Berkeley and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, has selected eight projects to receive financial support under a two-year project to study the implications of the digital economy for energy and the environment. Funding comes from a $550,000 grant issued by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation earlier this year.

Following an extensive review process, eight projects out of a pool of 36 were selected for funding to support quantitative, qualitative, and policy research covering the areas of sharing platforms, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies:

  • A Framework for Assessing the Direct Energy Use of Blockchain Technology Systems—Eric Masanet, Northwestern University, and Jonathan Koomey, Stanford University
  • Blockchain-Based Governance Implications for Sustainable Supply Chain Management—Sara Saberi and Joseph Sarkis, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Legal Aspects of Transactive Energy Revolution: Transatlantic Perspectives on Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Platforms—Anna Butenko, Vermont Law School
  • Uncovering the Structure and Dynamics of the Sharing Economy: Evidence From a Food Sharing Platform—Marian Chertow and Tamar Makov, Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies; Jonathan Krones, Boston College; and Alon Shepon, Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)
  • Eliciting Ridesourcing Drivers’ Preferences and Perceptions of Electric Vehicles—Deepak Rajagopal, UCLA
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Emerging Transportation Services: Development of Inventory Methodology for Rapid Use and Policy Engagement—Joshua Skov and Anne Brown, University of Oregon; Aaron Toneys, Good Company
  • Evaluating the Potential of Cooperative Ridesourcing: A Case Study of Arcade City in Austin, Texas—Adam Stocker, Transportation Researcher, and Sara Stephens, Sustainable Economies Law Center
  • Investigating the Energy and Environmental Implications of Artificial Intelligence Applications in the Chemical Manufacturing Industry—Yuan Yao, North Carolina State University

David Rejeski, who directs ELI’s initiative on Technology, Innovation, and the Environment, noted that “the research in these areas has been disparate and episodic, so there is value in bringing together researchers from different disciplines and institutions who can collaborate and cross-fertilize over a longer period of time. We are excited to have these projects get started and collectively move the field forward.”

Evan S. Michelson, Director of Sloan’s Energy and Environment program, added, “this project is a critical step in creating a multidisciplinary research network that can fill knowledge gaps and ensure greater visibility of energy and environmental issues in on-going discussions among researchers and between the research and policy communities.”

A website is being created to support the research network, highlight emerging research results, and provide access to updated annotated bibliographies and informational inventories. It will be available in November at: www.digitalenergyenvironment.org.