Selected Topics in Energy Policy


Kazumasa KUSAKA

Credits / Language / Semester

2Credits / English / Winter


The course focusing on energy policy is designed to introduce students to the environment where policy makers with insufficient information available have to make decisions, taking into account multi-facet considerations of economic policy, security, environment policy, politics and foreign policy. The course also tries to improve students' literacy in the interaction between theoretical frameworks and their policy applications.


Energy policy, Environment

Energy policy, Environment


Course Plan and Reading List

Lecture 1: Introduction - Three "E"s: Energy Security, Economic Efficiency and Environment, and plus "S": Safety -

Innovative Strategy for Energy and the Environment (Outline)

BP Energy Outlook 2030

Lecture 2: Overview - Japan's experience - before Fukushima and

The Energy and Environment Council, Interim Compilation of Discussion
Points for the Formulation of "Innovative Strategy for Energy and the
Environment" July 29, 2011

EIA Country Analysis Briefs "Japan"

Lecture 3: Pricing of exhaustible resources and markets - efficient
allocation of resources? -

Thomas Tietenberg, Chapter 7 on "the Allocation of Depletable and
Renewable Resources," Energy Resources Environmental and Natural
Resource Economics, 7th edition
William Nordhaus, "The Allocation of Energy Resources," Brookings
Papers, No.3, 1973
EIA/U.S. Energy Information Administration, What drives crude oil

Lecture 4: Role of regulation/Government, Industry and Market - intentions and outcome -

Thomas Tietenberg, Chapter 8 on "Depletable, Nonrecyclable Energy Resources," Energy Resources Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, 7th edition
(Guest lecture on industry's perspective TBD)

Lecture 5: Electricity - regulation and opportunities -

IEA Report for the Clean Energy Ministerial, "Opportunities to Transform the Electricity Sector in Major Economies," 2010
IEA, "Executive Summary", Power Generation Investment in Electricity Markets, 2003
UK Energy Research Centre, Investment in electricity generation: the role of costs, incentives and risks, 2007
David Newbery, Power Generation Investment in Liberalised Electricity Markets, 2003
Peter Fox-Penner, "Chapter 11 Two and a Half New Business Models," Smart Power - Climate Change, the Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities -, 2010
Frank A. Wolak, "Diagnosing the California Electricity Crisis," 2003

Lecture 6: Energy Security - Japan's mindset? In pursuit of nuclear power generation and equity oil -

METI (Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), Chapter 1 on "International comparison according to the quantitative evaluation of energy security in individual nations,” 2010 Annual Report on Energy

US National Petroleum Council, "Chapter 4 on Geopolitics," Hard Truths, 2007
Kent Calder, "East Asia and the Middle East: Together Again," SAISPHERE 2005
Jonathan Stern, "The New Security Environment for European Gas," AFG Congres du Gaz, 2007

Lecture 7: Energy Technology - barriers for the potential to be realized, time frame for technology to be embodied in investment -
(Guest lecture TBD)

IEA, "Energy Technology Perspectives -Scenarios & Strategies to 2050," 2008
Japanese Council for Science and Technology Policy, "Development and Diffusion of Environment & Energy Technology," May 9, 2008

Lecture 8: Accidents - safety culture, communication -

The National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling ceased operations on March 11, 2011

Report of the President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island, October 1979

C.P. Snow, "The Rede Lecture, 1959," The Two Cultures

Lecture 9: Accidents - dealing with risks -

IAEA Mission Report, "IAEA International Fact Finding Expert Mission of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi NPP Accident Following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami," May 2011

The Official report of The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commision Executive Summary, July 5, 2012,

"IAEA Expert Team Concludes Mission to Onagawa NPP" Aug. 10, 2012,

John D. Graham and Jonathan Baert Wiener, "Confronting Risk Tradeoffs," Risk vs. Risk - Tradeoffs in Protecting Health and the Environment -, 1995

Nassim Taleb, "Prologue" and "Chapter 3 on Mediocristan and Extremistan," The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Random House & Penguin (2007-2010 2nd. Ed.)
Steven Pearlstein, "Lessons from the long tail of improbable disaster," The Washington Post March 16, 2011

Lecture 10: Environment - diversified players -

Wilfred Beckerman, "Preface to U.S. Edition" and "Conclusions: Toward a Balanced Debate," Through Green-Colored Glasses, 1996

"Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change" Executive Summary, 2007

IEA, Chapters on "Climate Change and the energy outlook," "Energy and CO2 implications of the 450 Scenario," "Costs and Benefits in the 450 Scenario" and "Funding low-carbon growth," World Energy Outlook 2009

Lecture 11: Role of International Organizations and Cooperation
-IEA, International Energy Forum, G8, Energy and Environment Ministers Meeting, Regional Cooperation-
(Guest lecture TBD)

Yasuo Tanabe, Asian Energy Partnership: Opportunities and Obstacles, 2006

Lecture 12: Group presentations/Work Shop (role-playing: IEA country review process, Guest lecture TBD)

Lecture 13: Group/individual presentations

Policy-Memo due one week after the final class.

Teaching Methods

This is a research seminar. Students are expected to complete the required readings each week and to contribute to the seminar discussion.
Selected/self-assigned students will do brief presentations of reading assignments and lead discussions.

In addition, towards the end of the course each student will be responsible for developing a thirty-minute policy/solution presentation on one of the policy areas in small groups of two or three.

At the end of the term, each student is also required to write a 3000 words policy-memo paper.


Final grades will be determined by the following formula:

1. Class participation 30%
2. In-class presentation 30%
3. Final paper 40%

Required Textbooks

No text book; but readings are assigned in the above schedule.

Notes on Taking the Course

I would like all interested students to present a short memo describing why you are taking the course, what you expect to get out of it, and what your academic/work background is, through email at by October 1.

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