2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase

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Student Presentation


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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Brian Wampler


Where countries get their energy is one of the most pressing, complex issues facing our world today. As the question of climate change and its effects becomes increasingly discussed on the global stage, looking at what motivates countries to transition to clean energy becomes even more important. Throughout this paper, I argue that the motivations for transitioning to clean energy sources are driven by cost effectiveness, policy incentives, energy consumption, access to energy resources, concern for the environment and threats to energy security. In looking at the case studies of China, Germany and the United States, I hypothesize that the degree to which countries transition to clean energy sources is dependent upon their relationships to a series of drivers mentioned above. Ultimately, I find that countries where clean energy costs less, is more widely available, is subsidized by government policies, where people are concerned about the environment, energy consumption is relatively low and energy security threats are present are more likely to transition to clean energy sources.