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Bob van der Zwaan

Adjunct Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment


Adjunct Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment, SAIS Europe; Principle Scientist at the Energy Transition department of TNO in the Netherlands, and Professor of Sustainable Energy Technology at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Co-director of the International Energy Workshop (IEW), member of the Council of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, and lead author for Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 4th and 5th Assessment Reports). Visiting Senior Research Scientist, Columbia University’s Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy (Earth Institute), New York (2007-2013). Several visiting professorships, e.g. at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Stockholm, 2010) and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IFW, 2008). Research positions at Harvard University (Cambridge, 2002-2005), the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (1999-2001), Stanford University (Paolo Alto, 1999-2000), the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI, Paris, 1997-1999) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, Geneva, 1992-1995). His research includes the fields of energy and climate change, environmental economics and technological innovation. MPhil, in economis, University of Cambridge, King's College (1997); PhD, in physics, CERN/NIKHEF, University of Nijmegen (1995); Certificate in international relations, IUHEI, University of Geneva (1994); MSc, University of Utrecht (1991).

Publications: He is (co-)author of over 140 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and contributor to (editor of) a dozen books or chapters. His most recent contributions include: "Scenarios for Geothermal Energy Deployment in Europe," with F. Dalla Longa, L.P. Nogueira, J. Limberger and J.-D. van Wees, in Energy (2020); "Solar electricity generation increase by up to 13% from a return to pollution-free 1960s surface radiation in China," with B. Sweerts, S. Pfenninger, S. Yang, D. Folini and M. Wild, in Nature Energy (2019); "Financial de-risking to unlock Africa's renewable energy potential," with B. Sweerts and F. Dalla Longa, in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (2019); "The Future of Solar Fuels: When could they become competitive?" with R.J. Detz and J.N.H. Reek, in Energy & Environmental Science (2018); "An Integrated Assessment of Pathways for Low-Carbon Development in Africa" with T. Kober, F. Dalla Longa, A.J. van der Laan and G.J. Kramer, in Energy Policy (2018).




  • Climate Change
  • Energy Technologies
  • Natural Resources
  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Nuclear Power
  • Public Policy


  • Fluent:
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • Basic:
  • Arabic
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish