Incubator 2020-2021: The Global Energy Challenge


The Global Energy Challenge

The second Griffin Applied Economics Incubator will focus on the Global Energy Challenge: how to provide sufficient, affordable energy for economic development while avoiding climate change and the damaging impact of pollution on human health.  Developed and executed in partnership with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Incubator will support research into each aspect of the Global Energy Challenge, producing insights relevant for policymakers around the world. 


The Kenneth C. Griffin Applied Economics Incubator offers a unique opportunity to gather global experts in Chicago for a year of focused attention on the Global Energy Challenge.

The Incubator will deliver a robust program of activities tackling each of the three components of this critically important issue – Energy Markets, Climate Change, and Pollution. Because no one field has a monopoly on addressing these thorny issues, the Incubator will pursue an integrated approach, drawing on the combined insights of scientists and economists, lawyers and policy experts, working on a suite of technologies, practices, and policies.

It will leverage the expertise of faculty and staff across the University of Chicago for a wholly new body of work, inviting contributions from leading scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. And, using the global resources of the University of Chicago, including the Centers in Beijing and Delhi, it will attract an international cohort of experts for visits, events, and intellectual exchange.

More specifically, the Incubator will support major research conferences related to the Global Energy Challenge and select high quality research for a special issue of the Journal of Political Economy. It will inspire new research endeavors through faculty and researcher visits to Hyde Park and support those endeavors with critical seed funding. And, it will ensure policymakers, practitioners, and the public are empowered to take action by publicizing research through public-facing outlets and publishing a new book of research-driven, actionable energy and environmental policy options.

In short, the Incubator will galvanize work on the Global Energy Challenge both inside and outside the academy, at a time when new ideas are needed more than ever. Questions about the Kenneth C. Griffin Applied Incubator? Contact Diana Smith at dianas@uchicago.

U.S. Energy & Climate Roadmap

The Griffin Applied Economics Incubator supported the publication of the U.S. Energy & Climate Roadmap in 2020-21. The publication “aims to inform climate and energy policy in the new administration and Congress through a compilation of evidence-based proposals from scholars at EPIC. It is grounded in empirical research that has been galvanized by rigorous academic debate and channeled into practical policy applications.” Access the U.S. Energy & Climate Roadmap here!  

Incubator Executive Committee

John List Executive Committee Chair; the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College \

Michael Greenstone The Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, the College, and the Harris School; Director, Becker Friedman Institute; Director, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC)

Robert Shimer Chair, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, and the Alvin H. Baum Professor in Economics and the College

Amanda Woodward Dean, Division of the Social Sciences and the William S. Gray Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology




Research Grants