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Master's student CuiCui Chen examines the future role of biofuels

Originally from China, Cuicui Chen joined the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change as a Masters degree candidate in the fall of 2010. Before arriving at the Joint Program Cuicui studied carbon abatement policies, but became interested in biofuels when she recognized the large role they played in an energy-constrained world, and the much-debated implications biofuel production has on food and land issues. She is currently researching the economics of biofuel and working to develop representation of the biofuels sector in the Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model.

Cuicui earned her undergraduate degree at Tsinghua University in China in environmental engineering, but was drawn to the Joint Program because she found that “at least in China, some environmental problems cannot be solved with only technology or engineering; economics and politics also play a very important role in environmental problem solving.”

One of the questions she is trying to answer with her current research is: how will the Renewable Fuel Standard in the US and the Renewable Energy Directive in the EU affect biofuel production, and what will the implications for food prices and land use change be?

The first step in determining how climate or energy policies will influence the development of the biofuel sector is modifying the EPPA model to accurately incorporate biofuels policies and production. “I am trying to make EPPA more realistic and more meaningful in terms of representing biofuel policies and technologies,” explains Cuicui. This information will be important to biofuel producers and will inform policy decisions on renewable energy.

Upon completing her Masters program, Cuicui plans on continuing her education with a PhD in economics. She hopes to work on environmental and development economics in developing countries.

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Researcher Highlights

Researcher Highlights

Category: Education | Updated over 3 years ago

March 31, 2011 13:58
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