Shan Zhou

Shan Zhou


Google Scholar

  • Assistant Professor, Environmental and Energy Policy
  • PhD, Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Summary

My research focuses on the intersection of public policy, clean technology and sustainability. I publish my research in a range of journal outlets, such as The Electricity Journal, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Energy PolicySocial Science Quarterly, Energy Research and Social Science, Journal of Asian Public Policy, Journal of Cleaner Production, Review of Policy Research and Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment.

1) Along the lines of my PhD dissertation, I have published several peer-reviewed articles on the role of public policies in promoting the adoption and diffusion of smart meters, renewable energy, and other low-carbon technologies. I am also interested in explaining why some governments decide to adopt certain policy instruments to promote clean energy, how policy design (i.e. policy stringency & compulsoriness) affects clean energy technology adoption, and how voluntary environmental/energy policy programs perform compared to mandatory policy instruments (i.e. voluntary green power market vs. mandatory RPS).

2) Another line of my research examines the justice implications of clean energy technology diffusion. In particular, I am interested in how the policy-driven clean energy transition influences the distribution of environmental burdens (i.e. air pollution) and amenities (i.e. smart grids, renewable energy, modern energy services) across communities in the U.S. and worldwide, as well as how utility and municipal solar policy design elements influence the distributive justice of solar adoption.

3) I received the 2020 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from ORAU for my proposal titled "Incorporating LEED into local green building policies: the blurred boundary between voluntarism and regulation". This line of research examines how the interplay between voluntary LEED certification and local green building policies affects green building adoption at the city level in the U.S. 

4) Recently, I have developed another research project focusing on environmental justice and urban environmental governance in my home country - China. I focus particularly on China's household registration system (Hukou) and the negative social construction of rural migrants, as well as their implications on government provision of urban environmental amenities (i.e. green space, pollution treatment facilities). I also examine the impact of bureaucratic career motivation for city mayors and CPC party chiefs on urban environmental amenities.

Research Interests

  • Environmental & Energy Policy
  • Smart Grids, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency & Green Buildings
  • Sustainable Technology Adoption & Diffusion
  • Environmental and Energy Justice
  • Urban and Local Sustainability
  • Policy Processes
  • Policy Analysis