Project on the Energy and Environmental Impacts of the Digital Economy

November 2018

In partnership with the Environmental Law Institute and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, CLEE has begun a two-year project focused on the implications of the digital economy for energy and the environment. The project is designed to create a multidisciplinary body of research focused on the environmental impacts related to three issue areas: (1) sharing platforms, (2) artificial intelligence, and (3) blockchain technologies.

The overarching goal of this initiative is to support a network of researchers from various disciplines and organizations dedicated to studying the energy and environmental implications of the digital economy. We believe that increased dialogue between researchers across disciplines has the potential to better guide policymakers as they consider and address the effects of the digital economy. 

Following an extensive review process, eight projects were selected for funding support:

  1. A Framework for Assessing the Direct Energy Use of Blockchain Technology Systems—Eric Masanet, Northwestern University, and Jonathan Koomey, Stanford University
  2. Blockchain-Based Governance Implications for Sustainable Supply Chain Management—Sara Saberi and Joseph Sarkis, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  3. Legal Aspects of Transactive Energy Revolution: Transatlantic Perspectives on Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Platforms—Anna Butenko, Vermont Law School
  4. Uncovering the Structure and Dynamics of the Sharing Economy: Evidence From a Food Sharing Platform—Marian Chertow and Tamar Makov, Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies; Jonathan Krones, Boston College; and Alon Shepon, Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)
  5. Eliciting Ridesourcing Drivers’ Preferences and Perceptions of Electric Vehicles—Deepak Rajagopal, UCLA
  6. Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Emerging Transportation Services: Development of Inventory Methodology for Rapid Use and Policy Engagement—Joshua Skov and Anne Brown, University of Oregon; Aaron Toneys, Good Company
  7. Evaluating the Potential of Cooperative Ridesourcing: A Case Study of Arcade City in Austin, Texas—Adam Stocker, Transportation Researcher, and Sara Stephens, Sustainable Economies Law Center
  8. Investigating the Energy and Environmental Implications of Artificial Intelligence Applications in the Chemical Manufacturing Industry—Yuan Yao, North Carolina State University

A website consolidating relevant academic literature and other resources related to these three issue areas is currently in development and will be made public in early spring. 


This initiative is led by Jordan Diamond (CLEE), Dave Rejeski (ELI), and Reid Lifset (Yale F&ES).

General inquiries regarding this initiative should be directed to Aidan Smith via