Gabriel Chan

Assistant Professor
science and technology; sustainable development; energy and environment; climate change

Gabe Chan is an assistant professor and chair of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs' Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) area. Chan's research examines policies to stimulate innovation in energy technologies and mitigate global climate change in the United States, China, and internationally. Chan's research blends economic methods and theory with a broader set of social science and technical knowledge. Recent research has been focused on several lines of inquiry.

First, Chan's work has examined the effectiveness and limitations of the U.S. publicly funded energy research and development (R&D) system. Here, Chan has studied methods for evaluating the benefits of energy R&D portfolios to improve decision making under the implementation constraints of public R&D funding agencies. He has also studied licensing agreements for patents discovered in publicly funded energy research laboratories, proposing a new approach to the quantitative analysis of patent data based on content analysis.

Second, Chan has studied the wind energy sector in China. In this line of inquiry, he has examined how the world's largest international carbon offset system, the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, has played out in the Chinese wind sector. Several projects in this line of research have provided new insight into the Chinese wind sector, now the world's largest, and the environmental effectiveness of carbon offset programs.

Finally, Chan conducts research examining how innovation systems operating transnationally can be better oriented towards achieving the goals of sustainable development. In this line of research, Chan has contributed to several projects seeking to improve understanding of the role of transnational actors, innovation mechanisms, and socio-technical characteristics in delivering the fruits of innovation in the context of developing countries. New research in this line of inquiry will explore forms of international cooperation around energy R&D as part of the climate mitigation regime.

Chan received his PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University in 2015 and bachelor's degrees in political science and earth, atmospheric and planetary science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2009. Chan is originally from San Francisco, California and had lived in Boston, Massachusetts, for 10 years before moving to the Twin Cities.

In The Media

Assistant Professor Gabe Chan reacts to a new study examining barriers to the expansion of community solar energy projects in the U.S. 

Energy News Network
June 16, 2020

Associate Professor Gabe Chan was interviewed about his new research project to help clarify the costs and benefits of distributed solar power for electric co-ops.

Energy News Network
April 20, 2020