Johannes Urpelainen

Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources, and Environment, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

About Johannes

Urpelainen’s research focuses on environmental and energy issues. He is interested in identifying feasible political strategies and policy instruments that contribute to a more sustainable society. Current research priorities include strategies to ensure the sustainable growth of renewable energy in industrialized and emerging economies, policies and business models for providing energy access to the poor in developing countries, solutions to partisan conflicts over the environment in American politics, and strategies to dismantle fossil fuel subsidies.


Winning Public Arguments about Renewable Energy

In the News

Johannes Urpelainen quoted on what will be the consequences of the pandemic, and what will a post-COVID world order look like?, "COVID-19 and World Order: The Future of Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation" Business Insider, September 10, 2020.
Johannes Urpelainen's research on solar energy discussed by Megan Geuss, "India Eyeing a New Monster 100GW Solar-Capacity Goal," Ars Technica, June 24, 2018.
Johannes Urpelainen quoted on electrification in India, "Electrified All Villages, Claims Modi; Rahul Says yet another Lie" Business Standard, April 30, 2018.
Johannes Urpelainen quoted on electrification policy in India, "Kudos Narendra Modi! India Set to Meet Village Electrification Target, but the Job Has Just Begun" Financial Express, April 27, 2018.
Johannes Urpelainen quoted by Rahul Tongia and Puneet Kamboj, "Is Future Planning of Electricity Grid Keeping India’s Pace of Development in Mind?" Brookings, March 1, 2018.
Regular contributions by Johannes Urpelainen to The Energy Collective.
Regular contributions by Johannes Urpelainen to Ideas for India.
Regular contributions by Johannes Urpelainen to Climate Politics Blog.
Interview on global climate policies Johannes Urpelainen, The Climate Group, January 24, 2015.
"How Not to Talk about Climate Change," Johannes Urpelainen (with Michaël Aklin), The Washington Post, May 22, 2014.
Interview on climate change agreements Johannes Urpelainen, Living on Earth, December 16, 2011.


"Renewables: The Political History of a Global Energy Transition" (with Michaël Aklin) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

Discusses the political history and future of renewable energy.

"The International Renewable Energy Agency: A Success Story in Institutional Innovation?" (with Thijs Van de Graaf). International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 15, no. 2 (2013): 159-177.

Examines the role of International Renewable Energy Agency in the promotion of renewable energy.

"Instruments of Political Control National Oil Companies, Oil Prices, and Petroleum Subsidies" (with Andrew Cheon and Maureen Lackner). Comparative Political Studies 48, no. 3 (2015): 370-402.

Offers theory and evidence on the detrimental role of national oil companies in perpetuating fossil fuel subsidies.

"Political Competition, Path Dependence, and the Strategy of Sustainable Energy Transitions" (with Michaël Aklin). American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 3 (2013): 643-658.

Analyzes when and how governments invest into the development of sustainable energy sources and manage their growth over time.

"Interests, Institutions, and Climate Policy: Explaining the Choice of Policy Instruments for the Energy Sector" (with Llewelyn Hughes). Environmental Science & Policy 54 (2015): 52-63.

Discusses general political economy theory of climate policy in the energy sector.