Meet Hopkins in San Francisco

Event Description

Hopkins San Francisco Bay Area: “Renewables: The Politics of a Global Energy Transition” featuring SAIS Professor Johannes Urpelainen


September 13, 2018 | 17:30 – 19:30

Handlery Hotel (Union Square Room)

351 Geary Street

San Francisco, CA 94102


Wind and solar are the most dynamic components of the global power sector. How did this happen? After the 1973 oil crisis, the limitations of an energy system based on fossil fuels created an urgent need to experiment with alternatives, and some pioneering governments reaped political gains by investing heavily in alternative energy such as wind or solar power. Public policy enabled growth over time, and economies of scale brought down costs dramatically.

Drawing on his new book Renewables: The Politics of a Global Energy Transition, Professor Johannes Urpelainen offers a comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power, mapping an energy transition through theory, case studies, and policy analysis. Professor Urpelainen argues that, because the fossil fuel energy system and political support for it were so entrenched, only an external shock—an abrupt rise in oil prices, or a nuclear power accident, for example—allowed renewable energy to grow. The talk examines the pioneering efforts in the United States, Germany, and Denmark after the 1973 oil crisis and other shocks; explains why the United States surrendered its leadership role in renewable energy; and traces the recent rapid growth of modern renewables in electricity generation, describing, among other things, China’s renewable energy leadership and the return of wind and solar to the United States.


Please register here


5:30-6:00 p.m.

Networking reception and light hors d\'ouevres

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Talk and Question

7:00-7:30 p.m.

post event networking