February 28, 2018: Green College Seminar
Hope in the Anthropocene Series
Speaker: Johannes Urpelainen

The Grand Challenge of Clean Energy Access in the Developing World

Johannes Urpelainen

Location: Coach House, UBC Green College 
Address: 6201 Cecil Green Park Road
Date: Wednesday, February 28th 2018, 5 pm

Time: 5pm


The rapid decrease in the cost of solar power generation has made clean energy a key instrument in the effort to end energy poverty. In this talk, Johannes Urpelainen discusses the evolving role of clean energy sources in developing and emerging economies. Drawing on extensive field research and data collection, he evaluates the potential of and challenges to achieving universal energy access with renewables and other low-carbon sources. Although the global market for clean energy is rapidly growing, government policy remains crucial for ensuring that clean energy produces tangible benefits to poor and remote rural communities. Affordability and productive uses of clean energy, such as industry and commerce, remain major challenges for communities that suffer from energy poverty.



Johannes Urpelainen is the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment at Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Founding Director of the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP). He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 2009 and spent the next eight years at Columbia University.

Johannes is the award-winning author of four books and over a hundred refereed articles on environmental politics, energy policy, and global governance. He teaches action-oriented classes on energy and environmental policy to equip the next generation of global leaders with deep knowledge, advanced analytical skills — and a passion for transformational social change. As one of the world’s top energy policy experts, Johannes frequently advises governments, international organizations, and the private sector on energy and environment.

As the Founding Director of ISEP, Johannes is responsible for the vision, strategy, and general management of the initiative. His work under ISEP offers pragmatic but effective approaches to providing the world’s population with affordable and abundant energy at minimal environmental impact. In his spare time, Johannes reads biographies and tries to improve his Hindi.


  • Johannes will also be speaking on Thursday, March 1st 2018 in the IRES Seminar Series.  Click here for more details. 


Poster for Hope in the Anthropocene events February 28 & March 1 2018



Those attending talks at Green College are warmly invited to come to dinner. For information on making dinner reservations, see www.greencollege.ubc.ca/how-attend-dinner

Green College website:



Hope in the Anthropocene is co-sponsored by the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at UBC.