Johannes Urpelainen

Johannes Urpelainen is the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is also the Founding Director of the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP). He was formerly Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

Professor Urpelainen develops and tests sustainable solutions to the problem of lacking energy access in emerging economies. His research with ISEP, a groundbreaking research initiative on sustainable energy policy, offers pragmatic but effective approaches to providing the world’s population with affordable and abundant energy at minimal environmental impact.

Content by Johannes Urpelainen
  • Blog post

    What do we (not) know about the benefits of households' electrification?

    Household electrification has recently become a controversial topic. When The Economist declared that “electricity does not change poor lives as much as was thought,” a number of non-profits and industry representatives wrote indignant responses (CEO of SolarAid, CrossBoundary) arguing that electricity, including distributed solar power, can be a game-changer for rural...

    10 Apr 2019 | Johannes Urpelainen

  • Publication - Project Report

    A global database on rural electri cation

    27 Oct 2017 | Michaël Aklin, S.P. Harish, Johannes Urpelainen

  • Publication - Project Report

    Rural electrification with off-grid community microgrids: An impact evaluation in Uttar Pradesh, India

    17 May 2017 | Michaël Aklin, Patrick Bayer, S.P. Harish, Johannes Urpelainen

  • Project

    Rural electrification with off-grid community microgrids: An impact evaluation in Uttar Pradesh, India

    Randomised controlled trial measuring effect of installing solar microgrids in 81 villages in Uttar Pradesh who previously had no electricity and used kerosene lamps to light their homes. Villagers spent considerably less money on buying kerosene after subscribing to the solar service. However, researchers found no evidence of broader socio-economic impacts on...

    17 May 2017 | Michaël Aklin, Patrick Bayer, S.P. Harish, Johannes Urpelainen

  • Blog post

    Low oil prices: An opportunity for fuel subsidy reform

    Consumer fuel subsidies are not only economically costly, but also environmentally destructive and highly inefficient for social welfare goals. The recent decline in oil prices presents an opportunity for governments to reduce consumer fuel subsidies without risking a backlash from consumers and vested interests. Once removed, subsidies could be replaced with more...

    18 Jan 2016 | Keith Benes, Andrew Cheon, Johannes Urpelainen, Joonseok Yang

  • Publication - Working Paper

    The benefits of solar technology adoption for street vendors in Bihar

    25 Nov 2015 | David Szakonyi , Johannes Urpelainen

  • Project

    A global database of rural electrification

    This project provides new data on global progress in household electrification going back to 1960 for many countries. The data set contains electrification rates for rural, urban, and all households, covers 124 developing countries, and includes 1,035 observations. To the researchers' knowledge, this is the most comprehensive data set on the world’s progress...

    4 Sep 2015 | Johannes Urpelainen, Michaël Aklin, S.P. Harish

  • Blog post

    Solar power for street vendors

    Although energy poverty is usually considered a rural phenomenon, rapid urban growth in developing countries is aggravating the problem of electricity shortages in urban areas

    6 Feb 2015 | David Szakonyi , Johannes Urpelainen

  • Blog post

    How solar power could transform rural India

    More than one billion people remain without electricity today, many of them in remote rural communities. Research on off-grid solar power in rural India suggests it may hold the solution

    9 Jan 2015 | Johannes Urpelainen

  • Project

    The benefits of solar technology adoption for street vendors in Bihar

    Street vendors play a major role in the market for goods and services in India, numbering over 10 million people and predominantly represented by the urban poor. Worldwide estimates place street trading as the largest employment subgroup in the informal sector, after home-based workers. However, the ability of these microenterprises (defined as firms employing less than six...

    10 Dec 2014 | Johannes Urpelainen