Energy plays a vital role in the global economy: fossil fuel dependency, the stability of the supply chain, and the prospects for harnessing previously untapped resources affect a range of policy concerns, from national security and international affairs to economic development and climate change. RAND's energy research covers the spectrum from energy conservation and security to emerging technologies and energy use by the U.S. armed forces.

  • Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: The Economic Fallout

    Before Russia invaded Ukraine, projections estimated global economic growth in 2022 would be around 5 percent. But the war in Ukraine contributed to slowed economic growth in 2022 and a slowed recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the broader consequences for the global economy?

    Mar 7, 2023

  • Commentary

    Can China's Green Energy Acceleration Put at Risk the West's Hydrogen Plans?

    Hydrogen (H2) plays a key role in the decarbonization plans of the European Union and the United States. Both have launched aggressive hydrogen strategies to increase the generation of H2 and deployment of related technologies. But these bold ambitions may face headwinds due to the acceleration of China's energy transition.

    Apr 3, 2023

Explore Energy

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Powering the PLA Abroad: How the Chinese Military Might Fuel Its Overseas Presence

    This article explores Chinese military thinking on the role of renewable energy for powering its overseas bases, focusing on the research of Zheng Chongwei, a Chinese military researcher.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • High-voltage power lines with superimposed lines and circles representing artificial intelligence, photo by Igor Borisenko/Getty Images


    The Promise and Peril of AI in the Power Grid

    Artificial intelligence is poised to transform how electricity is produced and consumed. But as with any new technology, its use comes with hidden risks and challenges that must be addressed.

    Jan 26, 2024

  • Construction workers erecting wires across the Jiangdu-Yixing high-speed at the 200 kV DC transmission line project site in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, December 30, 2023, photo by Costfoto/NurPhoto/Reuters


    The U.S. Must Close the Long-Distance Power Transmission Gap with China

    The gap in long-distance transmission technologies between the United States and China raises significant national security implications.

    Jan 16, 2024

  • Artisanal miners work at a cobalt mine-pit in Tulwizembe, Katanga province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, November 25, 2015, photo by Kenny Katombe/Reuters


    Critical Minerals Can Pave the Road to More Robust International Development

    In the developing world, mineral extraction and processing has historically caused not just environmental contamination but also corruption and displacement of local livelihoods. There are opportunities to improve the way companies from the Global North approach critical mineral projects there.

    Jan 12, 2024

  • Tool

    Interactive Food-Energy-Water Security Index

    More than 2 billion people around the world do not have access to high-quality services related to food, water, and energy. The Food-Energy-Water Index was developed to help identify how different trends could affect resource security around the world.

    Jan 12, 2024

  • Report


    Strategies to Mitigate the Risk to the National Critical Functions Generated by Climate Change

    This report examines climate adaptation strategies for National Critical Functions at risk of disruption from climate change, focusing on strategies that owner-operators of critical functions might implement.

    Dec 12, 2023

  • Technicians working at the construction site of the Chongqing section of the Baihetan-Jiangsu ultra-high-voltage UHV power transmission project over the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China, December 5, 2021, photo by IMAGO via Alamy


    China's Global Energy Interconnection Initiative

    China aims to build a worldwide power grid that addresses the growing demand for electricity while supporting the transition to net zero. Could the potential global security implications of a super grid governed by China outweigh its benefits?

    Dec 5, 2023

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participates in the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 1, 2023, photo courtesy of NATO


    Can NATO Supercharge Military Greening?

    NATO has taken significant steps to reduce environmental impacts of military activities and has set voluntary emissions reduction targets for its member states. By leveraging its existing standardization processes to encompass a wider range of equipment, supplies, and practices, NATO can solidify its role as the preeminent military leader on climate.

    Dec 1, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Can Scenarios Help Policymakers Be Both Bold and Careful?

    Low-probability and high-impact events have the potential to escalate into systemic crises. Developing the tools to anticipate and manage these scenarios is the focus of this volume.

    Nov 27, 2023

  • Stellar nursery called Horsehead Nebula, also known as Barnard 33, part of constellation Orion, captured by the Euclid telescope, photo by European Space Agency/Handout via Reuters


    Ideas for Humanity's Future Approach to Space

    In its first 75 years, RAND helped shape how humankind thought about and used space for the benefit of humanity. And it intends to have a similar impact on the next 75 years of space sustainability, security, and governance. Researchers identified concepts worthy of future study.

    Nov 14, 2023

  • High-voltage power lines with colorful sunset in the background, photo by Yelantsevv/Getty Images


    An Affordable Energy Transition Will Require Supportive and Sensible Regulation

    The transition to decarbonize the grid and to electrify end uses to reduce emissions will be challenging, and customer bills may increase in the short term. Regulators can help to keep utilities financially healthy and make a smoother energy transition possible.

    Nov 13, 2023

  • AI-generated image of clean energy within a globe, image by Prime Lens/Adobe Stock


    A roadmap for the global energy transition

    The Scotia Group and RAND Europe convened a series of Majlis Dialogues to help understand how policies, investments and international cooperation can support the global energy transition. The key points formed a roadmap to inform the transition.

    Nov 2, 2023

  • Two speacialists examining coal at an open pit, photo by agnormark/Getty Images


    Barriers to the Commercialization and Adoption of New Underground Coal Mining Technologies in the United States

    This report characterizes barriers to the development, commercialization, and adoption of new technologies for use in underground coal mining in the United States using input from structured interviews and a workshop with industry representatives.

    Nov 1, 2023

  • An aerial view of the storage tanks for treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, August 22, 2023, photo by Kyodo/Reuters


    Japan Risks Reputation in Oceania with Fukushima Discharge

    Japan's decision in August to begin discharging treated radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from its destroyed Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is fairly unpopular in Oceania, potentially damaging Tokyo's reputation in this increasingly strategic region.

    Sep 28, 2023

  • The Dixie Fire burns near Taylorsville, California, U.S., July 29, 2021, photo by David Swanson/Reuters


    How Climate Change Affects the Federal Budget and Legislation

    As climate change drives an increase in costly natural disasters, U.S. policymakers need to consider different mitigation policies. Projecting the effects on federal spending and revenue depends on a model that captures important relationships between climate, federal policy, and the economy.

    Sep 27, 2023

  • An M10 Booker combat vehicle, U.S. Army photo


    Do Generals Dream of Electric Tanks?

    Members of the House Armed Services Committee have expressed concerns over the electrification of Army combat vehicles. Though such concerns have some merit, there is also a larger issue motivating research and development efforts—the growing demand for energy on the battlefield.

    Aug 8, 2023

  • Sacks of lithium carbonate at Albemarle Lithium production facility in Silver Peak, Nevada, October 6, 2022, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters


    Do Car Companies Know Where Their Critical Minerals Come From?

    The initial slate of electric vehicles qualifying for a new federal tax credit was announced in April. Key to eligibility is the source of critical minerals used in their batteries. While the list of acceptable nations of origin is still being worked out, there's an important practical question the IRS should ask: Do carmakers really know where their critical minerals come from?

    Apr 28, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    From Least Cost to Least Risk: Producing Climate Change Mitigation Plans That Are Resilient to Multiple Risks

    Using electricity system decarbonization as a focus area to highlight the different types of technological solutions, different risks that may be associated with them, and the approaches situated in a decision-making under deep uncertainty paradigm.

    Apr 18, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Reflecting on One Year of War: The Role of Non-Military Levers

    One year after Russia's illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine, this article examines the role of non-military levers (e.g., diplomatic, information, economic) in the conflict so far.

    Mar 28, 2023