Five Energy Challenges Confronting India

Stronger Infrastructure Reforms Could Release Nation from Energy Poverty

On March 12, 2014, India and the United States renewed talks regarding cooperation on clean energy. The talks concluded positively with memorandums of understanding for the two countries to cooperate on research and development, more extensive use of environmentally friendly technologies, and greater coordination on scientific development.

It is a positive development that the United States (and many others) are paying attention to India’s energy needs. With a growing middle class and a population of 1.27 billion people, 50 percent of whom are under age 25, India is expected to have some of the fastest growing energy needs that are certain to dramatically impact the global economy and its energy market. With this in mind, here are 5 key things to know about energy in India.

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Preaching to the Climate Converted

Why Showtime's "Years" Is Unlikely to Reach Non-Believers

In the first episode of the $20 million Showtime series on climate change, Years of Living Dangerously, which aired last Sunday, we meet a 46-year-old evangelical Christian named Nelly Montez. Montez was laid off from a local meatpacking plant that closed due to a drought. Every week she and other women march around the plant, praying for rain. The actor Don Cheadle, one of the show’s celebrity correspondents, asks Montez if she attributes the drought to anything. She says, “I think it’s biblical.”

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How “An Inconvenient Truth” Contributed to Partisan Polarization on Climate

Joe Romm of Center for American Progress Misrepresents Polling Data

Scroll down to read an update from the authors, written on April 14, 2014

Joe Romm of Climate Progress misrepresented polling data in his critique of our recent New York Times op-ed when he claimed Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth did not contribute to partisan polarization of public attitudes toward global warming.

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Welcome New York Times Readers

An Introduction to the Breakthrough Institute

If you read Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger’s op-ed in the New York Times today and have come here to learn more about the Breakthrough Institute, welcome. For general information on Breakthrough, please visit our About page.

Breakthrough has provided more articles for understanding the larger context of the op-ed:

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The Psychology of Climate Change

The Science and Scholarship of How Humans Think and Feel about Global Warming

A growing body of scholarly and scientific studies finds that fear-based appeals around climate change backfire, resulting in increased climate skepticism and fatalism among much of the public.

This post summarizes scholarly and scientific articles published in peer-reviewed publications on the psychology of climate change. 

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Our High-Energy Planet

A Climate Pragmatism Project

More than one billion people globally lack access to electricity, and billions more still burn wood and dung for their basic energy needs. Our High-Energy Planet, a new report from an international group of energy and environment scholars, outlines a radically new framework for meeting the energy needs of the global poor. 

According to the authors, the massive expansion of energy systems, mainly carried out in the rapidly urbanizing global South, is the only robust, coherent, and ethical response to the global challenges we face, climate change among them. The time has come to embrace a high-energy planet, they say.

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Energetic Africa: Part One

What Obama & the UN Should Do on Energy for Sub-Saharan Africa

The Obama administration, the US Congress, the United Nations, and other international agencies should encourage and plan for far-higher energy consumption in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions that rely on burning wood and dung for energy, say a group of international energy and development experts in a new report, Our High-Energy Planet.

The report comes at a time of debate about how to help Africa and other poor nations gain access to electricity. Congress held hearings on Electrify Africa legislation in March, and the Obama administration is currently developing a framework to support increased electrification in Africa.

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Energy and Climate

Over the last decade, Breakthrough Institute has emerged as one of the world's leading voices for a more pragmatic, pro-technology, and pro-growth approach to climate and energy policy. Given how central energy is to human well being, we believe that making dirty energy expensive is untenable for the global poor. Instead, the Energy and Climate Program is focused on making clean energy cheap through technology innovation to deal with both global warming and energy poverty.

PROGRAM AREAS

 
Energy & Climate   Energy Efficiency
       Policy
 
  Renewables         Natural Gas

     Nuclear

Publications

How to Make Nuclear Cheap: Safety, Readiness, Modularity, and Efficiency (July 2013)


 

Coal Killer: How Natural Gas Fuels the Clean Energy Revolution
(June 2013)


 

Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech on a Path to Subsidy Independence
(April 2012)



More Publications

 

Analysis and Opinion

Carbon Taxes and Energy Subsidies

The History of the Shale Revolution

Nuclear Energy 

Historic Paths to Decarbonization

Climate Economics

Energy Efficiency and Rebound

Climate Legislation
 

Breakthrough In the News
 


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Global Warming Scare Tactics," April 8, 2014


David Rose, "The Real Cost of Climate McCarthyism," April 5, 2014



Jim Manzi, "The New American System," April 2014


Jennifer Dhouly, "Some Say Keystone Fight Distracts From Broader Climate Aims," February 16, 2014


Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Environmentalists Made a Big Mistake By Focusing All Their Attention on Keystone," February 6, 2014


Ben Geman, "Greens Still See Red On Nuclear," February 2, 2014


Max Luke and Jenna Mukuno, "Boldly Going Where No Greens Have Gone Before," January 8, 2014


Ben Geman, "Environmentalists Face a Day of Reckoning on Keystone Pipeline," December 30, 2013


CNN Crossfire, "Is Nuclear Power Safe?" Debate Between Ralph Nader and Michael Shellenberger, November 7, 2013

Steve Fuller, "Nintey-degree revolution," October 24, 2013


Simon Greer, "A Healthy Challenge to Fracking Groupthink?" October 15, 2013


Matthew Stepp and Alex Trembath, "A Climate Policy That Would Actually Work," October 11, 2013


Staff, "The Striking Challenge of Fracking: Who Does It Benefit and Who Gets Hurt," October 2, 2013


Steven Hayward, "Ronald Binz's German Dream," September 30, 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Can Climate Skeptics Save the Planet?" September 27, 2013


Christopher Colford, "Innovator-in-Chief: The Public Sector," September 3, 2013


Editorial Board, "Don't Give Up on Nuclear Energy Yet," September 5, 2013


Ashutosh Jogalekar, "Nuclear vs. Renewables: A Tale of Disparaties," August 22, 2013



Bob Dreyfuss, "The IPCC Report and Nuclear Energy," August 21, 2013


Eduardo Porter, "Coming Full Circle in Energy, to Nuclear," August 20, 2013


Arden Dier, "iPhone Uses More Power Than Fridge," August 15, 2013


Bryan Walsh, "The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy," August 14, 2013


Carmel Lobello, "Your iPhone Uses More Energy Than A Refrigerator," August 14, 2013


Bryan Walsh, "New Nuclear Reactor Designs Could Address Safety and Cost Concerns," August 5, 2013


Martin Wolf, "A Much-maligned Engine of Innovation," August 5, 2013


Fareed Zakaria, "What We're Reading," August 1, 2013


Clyde Prestowitz, "Thank Washington for Shale Gas and Oil," August 1, 2013


Andrew Revkin, "The Silent Partner Behind the Shale Energy Boom -- Taxpayers," July 31, 2013


Max Luke and Alex Trembath, "The Bridge to Zero Carbon," July 25, 2013


Margaret Wente, "Staying Cool? Thank Nuclear Power," July 18, 2013


Mark Halper, "Newfangled reactors will slash costs of nuclear power," July 16, 2013
 


Fred Pearce, "New Green Vision: Technology As Our Planet's Last Best Hope," July 15, 2013


Eliza Strickland, "Can Nuclear Reactors Be Cheap?" July 12, 2013


Bryan Walsh, "Nuclear Energy is Largely Safe. But Can It Be Cheap?" July 8, 2013


James Conca, "What's Wrong With Obama's Energy Policy? July 8, 2013


Walter Russell Mead, "Shale Gas is Fracking Green," July 6, 2013


Kevin Begos, "Obama Fracking Support In Climate Speech Worries Environmental Groups," June 27, 2013

Kevin Begos, "Industry Giant GE Aims to Improve Fracking," May 27, 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Going Green? Then Go Nuclear," May 22, 2013


Andrew Sullivan, "Another Look at Nuclear," May 17, 2013


Ken Silverstein, "Does Shale Gas Production Alter Equation for Climate Change?" May 5, 2013


Russell Gold, "Rise in U.S. Gas Production Fuels Unexpected Plunge in Emissions," April 18, 2013


Kevin Begos, "EPA Methane Report Further Divides Fracking Camps," April 28, 2013


Alex Trembath and Matthew Stepp, "Fight Coal, Not Keystone," April 8, 2013


Doug Allen, "The Fracking Divide," April 4, 2013


Brad Plumer, "Natural gas isn’t the only reason U.S. carbon emissions are falling," February 15, 2013
 


David Leonhardt, "It's Not Easy Being Green," February 10, 2013


Ed Crooks, "Balance of Power," December 6, 2012

 

 





Kevin Begos, "Fracking Developed With Decades Of Government Investment," September 26, 2012


 

David Leonhardt, "There's Still Hope for the Planet," July 21, 2012
 

 


Editorial, "The End of Clean Energy Subsidies?" May 5, 2012
 

 




Keith Johnson, "Subsidies for Clean Energy Get Fresh Look," April 17, 2012
 

People

Alex TrembathAlex Trembath, Policy Analyst

 

 

Jessica Lovering

 

 

Jessica Lovering, Policy Analyst

Max Luke

 

 

Max Luke, Policy Associate

Burton Richter

 

 

 

 

Burton Richter, Senior Fellow

 

 

Jane Long

 

Jane Long, Senior Fellow

 

 

 

More People