New book aims to advance energy-based economic development initiatives

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A new book, Energy-based economic development: How clean energy can drive development and stimulate economic growth, offers a framework to help students, researchers and practitioners shape projects and programs to reach joint goals inherent in clean energy development and economic development.

The book was co-authored by Sara Lawrence, a senior manager of economic development at RTI International, and Sanya Carley, an assistant professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.  

“The book recognizes that the rise of renewable energy and natural gas development has resulted in energy becoming much more of a driver of economic development, than just an enabler of growth,” Lawrence said. “Global public and private sector investments in renewable energy, for example, were $211 billion in 2010, an increase of 540% from 2004.”

The book aims to further knowledge of the convergence of energy and economic development fields, inform students about energy-based economic development activities, and better equip policymakers to design and implement energy-based economic development initiatives. 

Energy-based economic development focuses on advanced, efficient and low-emission energy, and simultaneously pursues energy and economic development goals, such as increasing energy security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering industry growth and creating jobs. 

Energy-based economic development approaches have been embraced by countries including the United States, China and South Africa. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allotted nearly $58 billion to energy-related economic development projects.  

The book describes common approaches, supportive policy mechanisms and case studies from different countries to provide examples of program design and implementation. Case studies range from projects involving biofuels in Singapore to natural gas development in southwestern Pennsylvania to illustrate how national and subnational initiatives adopt to a locale’s energy asset base and energy and economic development needs.

The book also discusses the role of governance, leadership and stakeholder engagement in reaching desired outcomes.

Lawrence has nearly 15 years of experience in assessing economic development opportunities for states and localities. Her substantive interests include regional development and emerging economies, with a focus on innovation ecosystems, program evaluation and issues at the nexus of energy and economic development. 

Energy-based economic development: How clean energy can drive development and stimulate economic growth was published by Springer and can be purchased on Springer’s website.  

 

Cover of Energy-based Economic Development book

Highlights

  • A new book offers a framework to help students, researchers and practitioners shape projects and programs to reach joint goals inherent in clean energy development and economic development
  • The book was co-authored by Sara Lawrence, a senior manager of economic development at RTI International