Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Year in Review 2014

I've been doing these annual reviews since 2011, they're mainly an exercise for me to see what I accomplished and what I didn't in the previous year. It is now a full year since I ended my term as research director at the Crawford School. As a result, it has been a really productive year research-wise :)

I published five articles in the following journals: PLOS ONE, Biomass and Bioenergy, Energy Economics, The Energy Journal, and Climatic Change, and we have a paper in press at The Energy Journal. We also released three working papers that aren't yet published: "Modeling the Emissions-Income Relationship Using Long-run Growth Rates", "Substitutability and the Cost of Climate Mitigation Policy", "Global Energy Use: Decoupling or Convergence". There are four more papers that we have sent for review but have not yet posted as working papers.

We also published our edited book of classic papers on the economics of climate change with Edward Elgar. There is also Chapter 5 of the IPCC Report on trends and drivers of emissions and a small piece on the environmental Kuznets curve and there is an updated review of the EKC, which will be published in the Elsevier Online Resources.

The release of the IPCC 5th assessment report in April was of course a big event and I appeared on TV and radio several times - first on the release day and then in some follow-up coverage on the supposed cover up in the Summary for Policymakers.

ABC News24

This was the final year of our ARC grant (actually, March 2015 is formally the end of the project). Astrid Kander visited Sydney in February to work with researchers at UNSW and Jack Pezzey and I went to meet up with her and work on our project. She rented a house for her and two other Swedish researchers close to Coogee Beach (and to UNSW), so it was a very nice research trip :) The weather wasn't quite as good when I visited Lund in November for a week!

Coogee Beach, Sydney

I also visited England and Germany on my October-November trip giving seminars at LSE, Lund, and University of Kassel. That was my third international trip of the year. In June-July I did a round the world trip including the IAEE conference in New York City, the Atlantic Workshop in A Toxa, and the World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economics in Istanbul. In September I attended the IAEE Asia meeting in Beijing as well as a workshop at Tsinghua University. The AARES Conference in Port Macquarie, NSW rounds off the conference list and I also gave a couple of seminars in Canberra in the first half of the year.

 Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Two researchers visited me to collaborate - Zsuzsanna Csereklyei in January and February and Chunbo Ma in April. I wrote an ARC Discovery proposal with Zsuzsanna, which wasn't funded but we were in the top 10% of the unfunded proposals and so we'll give it another go. Chunbo came to work on the current ARC grant. We have now submitted a paper on substitution elasticities in China, which I presented at the Tsinghua workshop in September.

The special issue of Energies on "Energy Transitions and Economic Change", which I guest edited is now completed with fourteen papers are already published including the final paper by Astrid Kander and colleagues.

It was my last time teaching the introductory micro-economics class The Economic Way of Thinking 1. This course was great for the positive feedback I got from some of the students on the course. All the students are from developing countries and many are a bit "scared" of math and economics. After going through this course a lot of students feel much more confident dealing with this kind of material. In the coming year I will be teaching quantitative methods to environmental studies students instead. I also taught my energy economics course again and will continue to teach it in the future. It is being rebranded next year as an economics course, IDEC8029, instead of a general Crawford School course (CRWF8017).

It's hard to believe, but I posted more than 100 blogposts this year. The most popular was this one, a close runner-up is the post on the animated gif of energy use and growth, which we produced at James Hamilton's suggestion. I met Hamilton at the IAEE meeting in New York. I also got much more involved with Twitter this year. Mostly, I tweet my blogposts, but also tweet short items, which don't really need comment or analysis, that in the past I might have blogged about.

Energy and Growth: The Animated GIF

As always, it is possible to predict some of the things that will be happening in the coming year. I expect a couple more papers will get completed over the summer. Also, we are going to resubmit the ARC proposal, hopefully this time successfully. There will also be a couple of book chapters surveying the energy and growth topic. One for Palgrave. I've submitted abstracts to a bunch of conferences in Rotorua (AARES), Perth (at Curtin U), Leeds (ESEE), and Antalya (IAEE) and will likely submit to the EAERE conference in Helsinki. Not sure how many of these I can actually go to. Maybe my coauthors will present at some of them. Hopefully Donglan Zha will get funding to visit Crawford from the middle of next year.

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