The Davidson Lab focuses on the engineering implications and institutional conflicts inherent in deploying low-carbon energy at scale. We have particular interests in understanding the political systems of Asia (with a focus on China and India) as well as the western U.S. Our research topics include renewable resource assessments, power system operations, and political economy of markets:

Research topics


We are recruiting PhD and MS students to join the lab: Please see the academic programs and mentoring opportunities page for more information.


Prof. Davidson is an assistant professor in the School of Global Policy and Strategy and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. He is a faculty member with the 21st Century China Center and the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy, both located at UC San Diego. He is also a fellow with the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Read more here.



News

China Trading Power: Improving Environmental and Economic Efficiency of Yunnan’s Electricity Market

Liu, Shuangquan and Michael Davidson. (2021). Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

China’s electricity sector is key to addressing many of the country’s most pressing public policy challenges, from mitigating climate change and local environmental pollution to providing affordable inputs to economic growth. Over the last three decades, numerous reforms have sought to increase efficiency in the sector, yet full-fledged electricity markets... [Read More]

The impact of COVID-19 on the power sector in Karnataka, India

Iychettira, K., Hou, X., Davidson, M., & Urpelainen, J. (2020). Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy.

This brief analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on the power sector in the State of Karnataka, India. We explore demand scenarios across a range of severities of the COVID shock as well as other exogenous factors—namely, agricultural demand, hydro generation, and power market prices—and assess their impacts on discom revenue... [Read More]

Power market reform in China: Motivations, progress, and recommendations

Guo, H., Davidson, M. R., Chen, Q., Zhang, D., Jiang, N., Xia, Q., Kang, C., and Zhang, X. (2020). Energy Policy

China’s electricity demand has grown rapidly over only two decades and is currently the largest in the world. This was largely owing to a framework of regulation in which governments regulated prices and quantities, and there was ample incentive for investment. As the growth in electricity demand has slowed and... [Read More]