- Clean Energy
- Climate Change Adaptation
- Climate Change Mitigation
- Energy Efficiency
- Energy Markets
- Energy, Climate and Environmental Policy
- Financing and Subsidies
- Information Programs
- Innovation and Diffusion
- Institutional Analysis
- Market-based Incentives
- Regulations and Standards
- Smart Grid
- Voluntary Programs
- Ph.D., Ohio State University, Geography
- M.R.P., University of Massachusetts, Regional Planning
- B.A., Rutgers University, Political Science
Marilyn Brown is a Regents' and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy. She joined Georgia Tech in 2006 after a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she led several national climate change mitigation studies and became a leader in the analysis and interpretation of energy futures in the United States. She is a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, 2007, for co-authorship of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III Assessment Report on Mitigation of Climate Change, Chapter 6.
Her research focuses on the design and impact of policies aimed at accelerating the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies, with an emphasis on the electric utility industry, the integration of energy efficiency, demand response, and solar resources, and ways of improving resiliency to disruptions. Her books include Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), Green Savings: How Policies and Markets Drive Energy Efficiency (Praeger, 2015), and Climate Change and Global Energy Security (MIT Press, 2011). She has authored more than 250 publications. Her work has had significant visibility in the policy arena as evidenced by her numerous briefings and testimonies before state legislative bodies and Committees of both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
Dr. Brown co-founded the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and chaired its Board of Directors for several years. She has served on the Boards of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Alliance to Save Energy, and was a commissioner with the Bipartisan Policy Center. She has served on eight National Academies committees and is an Editor of Energy Policy and an Editorial Board member of Energy Efficiency and Energy Research and Social Science. She served two terms (2010-2017) as a Presidential appointee and regulator on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public power provider. From 2014-2018 she served on DOE’s Electricity Advisory Committee, where she led the Smart Grid Subcommittee.
- United States
- United States - Georgia
- United States - Southeast
Awards & Distinctions
- 2017, Regents
- Brook Byers Chaired Professor, Institute of Sustainable Systems, 2014-2018.
- 2016 Alliance to Save Energy "Star of Energy Efficiency"
- DOE Electricity Advisory Board, 2014-2018
- 2013, “Who’s Who in Sustainability”, Atlanta Business Chronicle.
- DOE Ambassador for Clean Energy Education and Empowerment, 2013-2017
- 2012 Southface Energy Institute Award of Excellence
- Presidential Appointment: Board of Directors, TVA, 2010-2017.
- 2007 Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for co-authorship of the IPCC Report on Mitigation of Climate Change
"Relaxing Energy Policies Coupled with Climate Change Will Significantly Undermine Efforts to Attain US Ozone Standards"
Journal Article – October 2019
"Empowering the Great Energy Transition While Fossil Fuels are Still Abundant: The U.S. Challenge"
Conference – June 2019
Empowering the Great Energy Transition: Policy for a Low-Carbon Future
Book – 2019
"Low-Income Energy Affordability in an Era of Energy Abundance"
Journal Article – 2019
"How secure are national energy systems: A dynamic assessment approach"
Journal Article – 2019
"Expert perceptions of enhancing grid resilience with electric vehicles in the United States"
Journal Article – 2019
"Vulnerability of U.S. Infrastructure to Coastal Flooding"
Conference – December 2018
"EVs + Renewables: A Merger of Complementary Adaptation Strategies"
Conference – November 2018
"Low-carbon technology diffusion in the decarbonization of the power sector: Policy implications"
Journal Article – May 2018
The Chinese power sector faces a significant challenge in attempting to mitigate its CO2 emissions while meeting its fast-growing demand for electricity. To address this challenge, an analytical framework is proposed that incorporates technological learning curves in a technology optimization model. The framework is employed to evaluate the technology trajectories, resource utilization and economic impacts in the power sector of Tianjin in 2005–2050. Using multi-scenario analysis, this study reveals that CO2 emissions could be significantly reduced if relevant mitigation policies are introduced. The main technologies adopted are ultra-super-critical combustion, integrated gasification combined cycle, wind power, hydropower, biomass power, solar photovoltaic power and solar thermal power. Despite uncertainties, nuclear power and CO2 capture and storage technology could be cost competitive in the future. The CO2 emissions cap policy has the advantage of realizing an explicit goal in the target year, while the renewable energy policy contributes to more cumulative CO2 emissions reduction and coal savings. A carbon taxof 320 CNY/ton CO2 would contribute to early renewable energy development and more CO2 reduction in the short run. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to examine the impacts on the power system of learning rates, technology cost reductions and energy fuel price trajectories.
Liu, Xi, et al. "Low-carbon technology diffusion in the decarbonization of the power sector: Policy implications." Energy Policy 116 (2018): 344-356.
"Climate research priorities for policy-makers, practitioners, and scientists in Georgia, USA"
Journal Article – May 2018
Climate change has far-reaching effects on human and ecological systems, requiring collaboration across sectors and disciplines to determine effective responses. To inform regional responses to climate change, decision-makers need credible and relevant information representing a wide swath of knowledge and perspectives. The southeastern U. S. State of Georgia is a valuable focal area for study because it contains multiple ecological zones that vary greatly in land use and economic activities, and it is vulnerable to diverse climate change impacts. We identified 40 important research questions that, if answered, could lay the groundwork for effective, science-based climate action in Georgia. Top research priorities were identified through a broad solicitation of candidate research questions (180 were received). A group of experts across sectors and disciplines gathered for a workshop to categorize, prioritize, and filter the candidate questions, identify missing topics, and rewrite questions. Participants then collectively chose the 40 most important questions. This cross-sectoral effort ensured the inclusion of a diversity of topics and questions (e.g., coastal hazards, agricultural production, ecosystem functioning, urban infrastructure, and human health) likely to be important to Georgia policy-makers, practitioners, and scientists. Several cross-cutting themes emerged, including the need for long-term data collection and consideration of at-risk Georgia citizens and communities. Workshop participants defined effective responses as those that take economic cost, environmental impacts, and social justice into consideration. Our research highlights the importance of collaborators across disciplines and sectors, and discussing challenges and opportunities that will require transdisciplinary solutions.
"Theorizing the Behavioral Dimension of Energy Consumption"
Working Paper – January 2018
This chapter focuses on the well-documented misalignment between energy-related behaviors and the personal values of consumers, which has become a major source of angst among
policymakers. Despite widespread pro-environmental or green attitudes, consumers frequently purchase non-green alternatives. The chapter identifies 50 theoretical approaches that can be
divided almost equally into two types: those that emphasize beliefs, attitudes, and values; and those that also consider contextual factors and social norms. Three principles of intervention are recommended: provide credible and targeted information at points of decision; identify and address the key factors inhibiting and promoting the target behaviours in particular populations; and rigorously evaluate programes to provide credible estimates of impact and opportunities for improvements. The chapter recommends that research on the value-action gap be expanded beyond the traditional focus on individuals to include decision-making units such as households, boards of directors, commercial buying units, and government procurement groups.
Brown, Marilyn A. and Sovacool, Benjamin K. “Energy Efficiency: The Value-Action Gap” Energy and Society Handbook, Oxford University Press, Co-Editors: Debra J. Davidson and Matthias Gross, forthcoming.
"Recent Developments and Future Directions at Energy Policy"
Journal Article – 2018
Brown, Stephen PA, et al. "Recent Developments and Future Directions at Energy Policy." Energy Policy 121 (2018): A1-A2
"Estimating residential energy consumption in metropolitan areas: A microsimulation approach"
Journal Article – 2018
Zhang, Wenwen, et al. "Estimating residential energy consumption in metropolitan areas: A microsimulation approach." Energy 155 (2018): 162-173.
"Technologies and Policies for a Sustainable Energy Future"
Conference – November 2017
"Machine Learning Approaches to Estimating Commercial Building Energy Consumption"
Journal Article – September 2017
"Energy and Society"
Conference – September 2017