COVID-19 Update


Johns Hopkins SAIS is actively monitoring the global COVID-19 outbreak, with particular focus on the health and well-being of the university community. CLICK HERE for additional resources and virtual events.

Skip navigation

Energy, Resources and Environment

Contact Us

Energy, Resources and Environment
Shonda Hurt, Program Manager
1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW
4th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
SAISERE@jhu.edu
+1 (202) 663.5786

Overview

Focusing on the intersection of sustainability, energy, and the environment, the Energy, Resources and Environment (ERE) program prepares students for meaningful careers solving some of the world’s most intractable problems, from decarbonization to growing energy demand to urban sustainability. ERE’s multidisciplinary curriculum allows students to hone their research and analytical skills while learning to develop creative policy solutions at the regional, state, and global levels.

Become an Expert

Solving energy and sustainability challenges requires the ability to critically evaluate scientific, technological, and economic information; apply quantitative skills; translate science into sound policy solutions; and develop local implementation strategies for vastly different political and economic settings. These are the capabilities our graduates bring to their professional roles across all employment sectors.

Featured Courses

Gain the in-depth knowledge needed to create solutions for today’s most critical challenges to global sustainable energy.

SA.680.730

Global Electricity Markets

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the electric power industry. The focus is on the policy, technology, institutional, and regulatory factors affecting the industry, major current issues, and the prospects for the industry’s future development and sustainability.

Students are not required to have a background in engineering, economics, finance, etc., although these disciplines are integrated into the discussion. The overall objective of the course is to provide students with the knowledge to understand, analyze, and formulate policy paths that address these and other complex questions. Broadly, the main topics are: • Market liberalization – How is the industry structured and how does it operate? What does de-regulation or restructuring entail? How is the industry regulated and how is regulation changing? • Meeting the challenges confronting the electric utility industry – How will the power sector meet the challenge of de-carbonization? Will the industry undergo a dramatic transformation from the traditional ways of doing business, driven by increased decentralization, digitization, and customer engagement?

SA.680.765

Geopolitics of Energy

Energy and geopolitics are closely linked. Energy is a critical factor influencing foreign, security and economic policies – both for import-dependent nations seeking to ensure access to resources, and for energy exporters seeking “security of demand.”

Energy can be a tool used by both importers and exporters to exercise and project power. This course will assess global energy security and examine how countries view their energy challenges and strengths. We will evaluate how these perceptions impact their international strategies, and the implications of a country’s behavior on the energy security of other nations and on the international system. We will begin by discussing the evolving nature of energy security and global energy scenarios. In the first part of the course we will examine the geopolitics associated with different energy resources (oil, natural gas, nuclear, electricity, renewables) and of climate change. In the second part of the course we will focus on geographic regions and countries to review specific energy security issues and how geopolitics come into play.

SA.680.857

Global Governance of Energy and Environment

This seminar introduces the institutional governance of international energy and environmental affairs. We will consider several questions of contemporary policy relevance.

How have governments designed international institutions to meet energy demands in developing countries? What are the principle challenges for the international community in facilitating global energy transitions? To what extent are global institutions capable of meeting the challenges posed by climate change? How have global institutions evolved since the end of the Cold War to handle environmental issues? And what lessons can policymakers learn in designing or building institutions to govern energy sectors and the natural environment? By the end of the seminar we will have learned about the specific energy and environmental challenges and the international strategies developed to meet those challenges. Topics will include oil markets, climate change, renewable energy, ozone depletion, technology innovation, and financing mechanisms. We will cover the relationships between technology and energy, environment and energy, international relations and energy, domestic politics and fossil fuels, and oil and international relations. Sessions will focus on questions relating material from different parts of the seminar to provide continuity from one week to the next.

SA.680.885

Water-Energy-Food Nexus

The water-energy-food (WEF) nexus is central to country goals on sustainable development. Demand for all three is increasing, driven by a rising global population, increasing urbanization, changing diets, and economic growth.

This is also in the context of climate change and challenging institutional and policy environments. Agriculture is the largest consumer of the world’s freshwater resources, and more than one-quarter of the energy used globally is expended on food production and supply. Fossil fuel production, still a dominant and growing part of the global energy mix, is highly water intensive, as is biofuel production and the growing practice of shale gas extraction. Energy is needed to deliver and treat water for a broad range of users. These inextricable linkages require an integrated approach (in terms of management, operations, and planning) to ensuring water, food, and energy security. Policy-makers in all three domains will face difficult tradeoffs, balancing economic, environmental, and social concerns. This course will survey WEF concepts and principles, introduce tools of analysis, and engage students in case studies of critical WEF issues within and between nations.

Learn From the Best

Study with world-class experts who are renowned for their scholarship, influence, and networks.

Johannes Urpelainen

Director and Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment, Founding Director, Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP)

Sarah Jordaan

Assistant Professor

Jonas Nahm

Assistant Professor of Energy, Resources, and Environment

Marco Dell'Aquila

Senior Adjunct Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment


In the News

Europe needs a COVID-19 recovery programme.

Simone Tagliapietra wrote in Financial Times, 3/25

What if the rest of Europe follows Italy's coronavirus fate?

Simone Tagliapietra wrote in The Guardian, 03/10

Why the coronavirus response seems so outsized.

Johannes Urpelainen cited in The Washington Post, 3/10

A preview of key energy challenges for the 2020s.

Johannes Urpelainen quoted in Forbes, 3/2

New Zealand and the world.

Nina Hall interviewed on Radio New Zealand, 1/28

The new U.S. trade deal is climate sabotage.

Jonas Nahm quoted in The New Republic, 1/17

Lecture: "Climate Change and the Global Order"

Johannes Urpelainen highlighted in Frederick News-Post, 1/16

Power grid problems: This is how people are wasting energy.

Sarah Jordaan’s The Conversation article republished in The National Interest, 12/15


Build Your Network

Join a diverse, accomplished, influential community of scholars, practitioners, alumni, and students working across sectors in 140 countries around the world.

Energy, Resources and Environments students ventured to Pakistan for a study trip to conduct research on the country’s power sector.

Students have the opportunity to further explore their areas of interest through career treks offered by the school's Career Services.

Acting Locally, Thinking Globally

"The school offers a perfect blend of a regional focus and an international practical field of knowledge."

View Story

Making Valuable Connections While Earning a Degree

"One aspect I appreciate most about the school is the opportunity to develop strong connections with my peers regardless of each other’s respective concentrations."

View Story

Events

Apr 15 10:00 am - 11:00 am Online SAIS Event

Globalization, Climate Change, and Cleantech Supply Chains in the Age of COVID-19 with Prof. Jonas Nahm

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of global supply chains, as countries around the world have shut their borders and economies have screeched to a halt. Few industries are...

Apr 28 10:00 am - 11:00 am Online SAIS Event

Launch of Report on Decision-Making on Belt and Road Projects: What Role for Sustainability?

Chinese overseas investment associated with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has predominantly flowed into fossil fuels and other forms of high-carbon infrastructure across the developing countries. While a growing...

May 5 10:00 am - 11:00 am Online SAIS Event

Effective Policy Responses to Global Crises: Historical Lessons From Energy Shocks with Michaël Aklin

Countries regularly face difficult and yet unanticipated crises, such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. How can governments respond to them effectively? In this webinar, we will explore historical cases of...

Beyond the Classroom

Apply what you learn in the classroom to actual field work through ERE’s innovative Practicum course, a variety of field trips, and individual research projects.

The Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP)

The Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) is an interdisciplinary research program that uses advanced social and behavioral science to design, test, and implement better energy policies in emerging economies. The initiative is based on the premise that the obstacle to energy policy is rarely the lack of better alternatives to the current situation, but rather the vexing difficulty of enacting, implementing, and sustaining these alternatives and focuses on innovative ways to overcome obstacles to energy policy reform in emerging economies. Students have the opportunity to apply for research assistant positions that align with the various research projects of ISEP and its fellows.

View Website

Frontiers in Energy, Science and Technology (FEST)

FEST field visits provide a firsthand look at energy solutions as they are implemented in communities across the world, from solar panel manufacturing in China to LNG plants in Texas.

ERE Special Lectures Series

ERE’s various speaker series bring leaders from the public sector, research, finance, and industry to discuss challenges in the ERE space. Recent forums have explored issues including oil price volatility, nuclear proliferation, India’s energy transition and US decarbonization strategies.

See All Events

Energy and Environment Club

Bringing together classmates school-wide interested in energy and sustainability, this extracurricular club offers networking opportunities with alumni and professionals active in the field. Help us organize student-led programs on the future of ERE policy and research.

Contact Us

International Energy and Environment Practicum

Combine a for-credit course with extensive, hands-on experience consulting for a professional client organization aimed at addressing environmental and energy policy challenges. Students' work on practicum projects may also be integrated into the research of an advising ERE faculty member.

Learn More

Networking Events

Network with alumni and professionals and organize student-led events exploring your area of interest's challenges and opportunities outside the classroom.