Energy Project

Collage showing lamps, windmills, power lines, pipeline

The Energy Project at the Davis Center seeks to illuminate the complex energy issues in Russia and Eurasia. Our primary objective is to gain in-depth knowledge of the interconnected challenges facing the energy sector—and more broadly, the political, economic, and social actors—in the post-Soviet states and surrounding areas such as Iran and Mongolia. We will in turn analyze the interaction among these countries and with the rest of the world, especially Europe and Asia. 

During the 2019–2020 academic year, the Energy Project will focus on three areas of research:

  • Oil and Natural Gas Activities. We will undertake political, financial, and economic analysis of the extraction, production, and export of oil and natural gas inside and outside the region.
  • Water, Energy Systems, and Energy Interdependence. Water is part of the complex issue of electricity in the region, especially in Central Asia. This situation poses significant challenges for asset optimization as well as water and energy resource management at the national and regional level, due to the hydrologic interlinkages.
  • The Green Economy. Green sources of energy can be better targeted to meet the power needs of small towns and villages that are hundreds of kilometers from major cities where large power plants are usually located. It is not simply an ecological matter. Old power plants currently in use that consume coal, gas, or oil will soon need to be replaced, and the estimated cost of new hydrocarbon-based facilities is actually higher than that of plants that would use geothermal, solar, wind, or hydropower.

The Energy Project will bring together leading energy experts and initiate cooperation with world-class research centers in the United States, Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. It will offer a course for Harvard students on the geopolitics of energy in Eurasia, and disseminate its findings through policy papers and other publications, via seminars and international conferences, and through a multimedia discussion series on energy issues.

The Project on Energy is led by Senior Fellow Aurélie Bros.