Weekly Readings

Please note that the information on this website is currently for FALL 2015 ONLY. This webpage will not be updated for Fall 2016. Thank you.

You should be familiar with the readings listed for each lecture before the lecture occurs—they will be referenced under the assumption that you have already read them. Readings listed for ER200/PP284 are required for graduate students only. Readings listed as Supplemental will (perhaps obviously) supplement your understanding of the course material, but are not required to successfully complete the course.

Lecture 22 (11/19) – International Energy Policy:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, Chapter 11, “Policy, Financing, and Implementation”, 882 – 916 (ALL), 917 – 928 (ER200/PP284).

World Energy Council (2011). Policies for the future: 2011 Assessment of country energy and climate policies, 48 – 63.

Lecture 21 (11/17) – Industrial Bioenergy:

Rubin, EE, Chapter 3, Pages 83-123.

USDA. Billion Ton Vision.

Farrell A. E., Plevin, R. J. Turner, B. T., Jones, A. D. O’Hare, M. and Kammen, D. M. (2006) “Ethanol can contribute to energy and environmental goals”, Science, 311, 506 – 508.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, Chapter 2, “Bioenergy”, 209-332.

Lecture 21 (11/12) – Renewable Energy III: Hydrogen and Fuel Cells:

Masters, G. (2004) “Fuel Cells”, in Renewable and Efficient Power Systems (Wiley InterScience: New York), pages 206-228.

Ogden, J. (2006). “High Hopes for Hydrogen”, Scientific American, September, pp. 94-101.

Keith, D. W. and Farrell, A. E. (2003) “Rethinking hydrogen cars”, Science, 301, 315 – 316.

Lecture 20 (11/10) – Renewable Energy II: Wind, Hydropower, Geothermal:

Masters, G. (2004) “Wind Power Systems”, Renewable and Efficient Power Systems (Wiley InterScience: New York), pages 307 – 354 (pages 335-347 are supplemental), 371 – 378.

Lecture 19 (11/6) – Renewable Energy I: Solar and Wind Energy:

US DOE, SunShot Vision Study: Read the Executive Summary; Chapter 4, Photovoltaics: Technology, Cost, and Performance.

Masters, G. (2004) “Photovoltaic Materials and Electrical Characteristics”, Renewable and Efficient Power Systems (Wiley InterScience: New York), pages 445 – 463.

Zheng, Cheng and Kammen, Daniel (2014) “An innovation-focused roadmap for a sustainable global photovoltaic industry”, Energy Policy 67, 159–169, doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.12.006.

Lecture 18 (11/4) – Energy and Environmental Justice:

Pastor, Manuel, (2007) “Environmental Justice: Reflections from the United States”, Ch. 14 in Reclaiming Nature, pp. 351–376.

"Climate Change, Consumerism, and the Pope with Prof Dan Kammen and Governor Jennifer Granholm -- In the Living Room with Henry Brady - UC Public Policy Channel


Islamic Call on Climate Change

ER 200/PP 284:
O’Rourke, D. and Connolly, S. (2003) “Just oil? The distribution of environmental and social impacts of oil production and consumption”, Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources, 28, 587-617.

Links to supplemental online resources: see the syllabus.

Week 10: Nuclear Energy

Lecture 17 (10/29) – Nuclear Energy II: Waste, Risk & Economics:

Rubin, EE, pages 63-68, 175-178.

Flynn, J. et al. (1997) “Overcoming Tunnel Vision: Redirecting the U.S. High-Level Nuclear waste program”, Environment, 39 (3): 6–11, 25–30.

Hultman, N., Koomey, J. G, and Kammen, D. M. (2007) “What history can tell us about the costs of future nuclear power”, Environmental Science & Technology, 41(7): 2088-2093.

The nuclear fuel cycle cost calculator

Peterson, P., Kastenberg, W. and Corradini, M. (2006) “Nuclear Waste and the Distant Future”, Issues in Science and Technology. Summer: pp. 47-50.

Lecture 16 (10/27) – Nuclear Energy I: Physics and Engineering – Fission/Fusion:

Deutch and Lester, (2004) Making Technology Work, Ch. 7: “Nuclear Power and Its Fuel Cycle”, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, p. 109-133.

Moore, P. (2005) “Greenpeace founder makes the case for nuclear power”, Nuclear News, June, p. 15.

review ‘About the NRC’, ‘Nuclear security’, and read about the events (power production and management) at one of the featured reactors, such as Diablo Canyon (under nuclear reactors) that provides power to northern California. [link]

Lecture 15 (10/21) – Natural Gas, Fracking, and Carbon Capture and Storage:

Brandt, A. et.al., (2014) “Methane Leaks from North American Natural Gas Systems”, Science 343(6172), 733-735.
MIT CCS roadmap. Chapters 2 and 3 (pages 5 – 42)

“Coal without carbon" roadmap.
World resources Institute roadmap.
CCSRegs project policy brief.

Lecture 14 (10/14) – Electricity Grids: Managing the Network:

Masters, G. (2004) “Transmission and Distribution”, in Renewable and Efficient Power Systems (Wiley InterScience: New York), pages 145 – 151.

von Meier, Alexandra (2006), “Reliability and Security”, in Electric Power Systems: a conceptual introduction (John Wiley & Sons: New Jersey), pp. 229–234.

Fairley, P. (2004) “The unruly power grid”, IEEE Spectrum, 13 August, 5 pages.

Glossary of electricity terms.

Lecture 13 (10/9) – Energy Efficiency II: Buildings as Energy Systems:

David B. Goldstein (2008) "Extreme Efficiency: How Far Can We Go If We Really Need To?" ACEEE Summer Study Paper.

Adams, Scott (2010) “How I (Almost) Saved the Earth”, The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2010.

Lecture 11 (10/2) – Energy Efficiency I: Devices:

Rubin, EE, Chapter 7, and Section 13.8 of Chapter 13, Pages 281 – 314, 577 – 583.

Hirsh, Richard (1999) Power Loss (MIT University Press: Cambridge, MA), pages 90 – 117.

ER200/PP284: Attari, S. Z. DeKay, M. L. Davidson, C. I. and Bruine de Bruin, W. (2010) “Public perceptions of energy consumption and savings”, PNAS, 107 (37), 16054 - 16059.

Lecture 11 (10/1) – Energy Toolkit VI: Life-cycle and Cost-Benefit Analysis:

Rubin, EE, Section 13.4, Life-cycle cost, 556 – 562.

ER200/PP284 [Supplemental for ER100/PP184]:
Jones, C. M. and Kammen, D. M. (2014) “Spatial Distribution of US household carbon footprints reveals suburbanization undermines greenhouse gas benefits of urban population density”, Environmental Science and Technology, 48 (2), 895 – 902.

Lecture 10 (9/29) – Energy Toolkit V: Economic Analysis of Energy Systems:

Rubin, EE, Chapter 13, Pages 545 – 577.

Arrow, K. et al., (2013) “Determining the benefits and costs for future generations”, Science, 341, 349 – 350.

Hirsh, Richard (2013) Power Loss (MIT University Press: Cambridge, MA), “Fifteen years later: Whither restructuring in the American Electric utility system”.

Lecture 9 (9/24) – Evolution of the Modern Energy Economy:

Hirsh, Richard (1999) Power Loss (MIT University Press: Cambridge, MA) Section I, Pages 1 - 88.

Lecture 8 (9/22) – Hydrocarbon Man:

Friedman, Thomas L. (2006) “The First Law of Petropolitics”, Foreign Policy, 154, pages 28 – 36.

Farrell, Alex E., and Brandt, Adam R. (2006) “Risks of the oil transition”, Environmental Research Letters, 1, October 30.

Nef, John U. (1977) “An early energy crisis and its consequences”, Scientific American, November, pages 140 – 151.

Lecture 7 (9/18) – Energy Toolkit IV: Thermodynamics of Modern Power Plants:

Rubin, EE, Sections 5.1 - 5.6.3 (except 5.2.2 & 5.2.3); Pages 162-175, 179-215.

Masters, G. (1991) Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science (Prentice Hall: NJ), pages 327–339.

Beér, J. M. (2000) “Combustion technology developments in power generation in response to environmental challenges”, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 26, 301 – 327. [An advanced treatment of state-of-the-art fossil-fuel power plant design issues and opportunities]

ER 200 & PP 284 onlyDirty Coal, Clean Future, The Atlantic Monthly (November 2010).

Lecture 6 (9/16) – Energy Toolkit III: Energy Thermodynamics:

Masters, G. (1991) Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science (Prentice Hall: NJ), pages 15 – 29.

Toolkit 4: Thermodynamics.

Lecture 5 (9/11) – Energy for ‘the South’ II: Biomass, Households, and Gender:

Sovacool, B (2014) “Energy studies need social science”, Nature, 511, 529 – 530.

Kammen, D. M. and Dove, M. R. (1997) “The virtues of mundane science”, Environment, 39(6): 10–15, 38–41.

Kammen, D. M. (1995) “Cookstoves for the developing world”, Scientific American, 273, 72 - 75.


Crewe, E. (1997) The silent traditions of developing cooks, Discourses of Development, RD Grillo and RL Stirttat, eds. (Berg: Oxford, UK), 59-81

Bose, S. (1993) “Women, Work, and Household Electrification in Rural India”, in Money, Energy and Welfare (Oxford University Press: Bombay, India), Chapter V, pages 143 – 181.

Bailis, Ezzati, Kammen, (2005) “Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Biomass and Petroleum Energy Futures in Africa”, Science, 308 (5718): p. 98-103.

Lecture 4 (9/9) – Energy for ‘the South’ I: Energy Transitions and Development:

Goldemberg, J. (1996) Energy, Environment, and Development (Earthscan: London, UK), pages 11 – 37.

Jacobson, A. and D.M. Kammen. (2005). “Science and Engineering Research that Values the Planet.” The Bridge. 35(4): pages 11-17.


Alstone, P., Gershenson, D., Kammen, D. (2015) "Decentralized energy systems for clean electricity access," Nature Climate Change, 5:305-314.

Lecture 3 (9/4) – Energy Toolkit II: Fuels, Energy Content, and Basics of Combustion:

Rubin, EE, Chapter 1, pages 3 – 17.

Masters, G. (1991) Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science (Prentice Hall: NJ), pages 39–47.

Toolkit 2: Back-Of-Envelope Calculations
Toolkit 2 Spreadsheet
Toolkit 3: Combustion

Lecture 2 (9/2) – Energy Toolkit I: Units, Forecasts, and the Back-of-the-Envelope:

Rubin, EE, Chapter 15, Rates of Technology Adoption, Pages 669 – 677.

Lovins, Amory (1976) “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken”, Foreign Affairs, 55(1): 65–96.

ER200 & PP284 A nice commentary on Lovins paper from the NYT

Toolkit 1: Energy Units
Toolkit Appendix
A bit more than back of the envelope, applied to scaling-up technologies: [Link]
A nice commentary on the Lovins paper from The New York Times: [Link]

Lecture 1 (8/28) – Energy and Society: How Energy Use Shapes Society & the Environment:

Recommendation: Try getting into the habit of looking for energy articles in newspapers and begin to get a feel for how ubiquitous and far-reaching energy issues are in society. In addition, check the opinion/op-ed pages of your favorite newspapers. As your last assignment in this course, you will be writing a "policy memo" that in most cases can and should be submitted as an Op-ed yourself.

Yergin, D. (1991) The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (Simon & Schuster: New York). Pages 11 – 16.

Read these 'classic' energy op-eds.

Flannery, T. (2015) "A Third Way to Fight Climate Change New York Times (7/23/15)

Doerr, J. and Immlet, J. (2009) “Falling behind on green tech”, The Washington Post (8/3/09)

Cavanagh, R. (2013) How we learned not to guzzle The New York Times (09/12/13)

Ban Ki Moon (2012) Powering sustainable energy for all New York Times (01/11/12)

Smith, K. (2014) In Praise of PowerScience (08/08/14)


These toolkits are very important to understanding the initial material in the course, and will be very helpful in completeing the first couple of problem sets.

Toolkit 1 - Energy Units and Fundamentals of Quantitative Analysis
Toolkit 2 - Back of the Envelope Calculations
Toolkit 3 - Combustion Fundamentals
Toolkit 4 - Thermodynamics
Toolkit Appendices