EPIC

Throughout history, access to energy has been critical for economic growth. This trend is expected to continue in the years to come—global energy demand is set to grow by almost 40 percent over the next two decades. All of this growth will occur in emerging economies, where 1.4 billion people currently lack access to reliable electricity, and nearly half of it will occur in China and India alone.

Yet for all of its benefits, today’s energy system comes with significant social costs. A changing climate is beginning to affect our lives in profound ways. High pollution levels are shortening lifespans, especially in emerging economies. And all of these impacts can hold back economic progress, often in areas where people are living on incomes that are too low.

This is the global energy challenge: How can we ensure that people around the world, today and in the future, have access to reliable, affordable energy needed for human development without putting our health, environment and climate at risk?

EPIC is confronting this challenge using a cross-cutting approach that links the University of Chicago’s renowned economists with leading thinkers in policy and law, business, big data, engineering and natural and physical sciences throughout the University and at partner institutes such as the Marine Biological Lab and Argonne National Lab. By leveraging these University partners and harnessing top talent with varied expertise, EPIC is tackling the world’s toughest energy problems. At the same time, the Institute is working directly with global leaders to help them make important decisions about our future, while also educating and mentoring the energy leaders of tomorrow.

Associated Working Papers

BFI Working Paper Feb 15, 2021

China’s War on Pollution: Evidence from the First Five Years

Michael Greenstone, Guojun He, Shanjun Li, Eric Zou
Topics:  Energy & Environment
BFI Working Paper Feb 8, 2021

Low Energy: Estimating Electric Vehicle Electricity Use

Fiona Burlig, James Bushnell, David Rapson, Catherine Wolfram
Topics:  Energy & Environment
BFI Working Paper Feb 1, 2021

Selection on Welfare Gains: Experimental Evidence from Electricity Plan Choice

Koichiro Ito, Takanori Ida, Makoto Tanaka
Topics:  Energy & Environment

Associated News

BFI News Apr 15, 2021

UChicago’s Michael Greenstone Testifies in House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Hearing

Michael Greenstone, Director of the Becker Friedman Institute and Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC), testified to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on Thursday, April 15,...
Media Mention Mar 31, 2021

Biden’s infrastructure plan aims to turbocharge U.S. shift from fossil fuels

Washington Post; Michael Greenstone
Topics:  Energy & Environment
Media Mention Mar 29, 2021

Economists weigh in on the merits of net-zero climate goals: survey

Reuters; Michael Greenstone
Topics:  Energy & Environment