Why we chose not to patent solar geoengineering technologies

By David Keith and John Dykema

We broadly oppose commercial development solar geoengineering. In our view, a central objective of solar geoengineering research is to develop credible assessments of its risks and efficacy. Credibility depends, in part, on confidence that the risks of solar geoengineering are not concealed, that its effectiveness is not exaggerated. Such credibility can, in our view, be best generated by a transparent multipolar research effort. Where, “transparent,” means open access to the full research process, including raw data, dead ends, and experimental failures. Where “multipolar” means the research is conducted by a diversity of independent entities including research by groups that focus on finding the ways that it will fail.... Read more about Why we chose not to patent solar geoengineering technologies

Apply to be an Environmental Fellow at Harvard

The Harvard University Center for the Environment is accepting applications for the 2017 class of Environmental Fellows. This exceptional program enables doctorate recipients to utilize Harvard resources and work with faculty to advance knowledge on a significant environmental problem.

Interested in becoming an Environmental Fellow? Consider the Keith Group as a host.

Under the leadership of David Keith, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of...

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Cheap Solar Power


Over the last few years solar PV has got cheap. Cheap enough to start impacting some commodity energy markets today. Cheap enough that with continued progress, but no breakthroughs, it might alter the global outlook for energy supply within a decade.

I have long been skeptical of solar hype. In 2008 we did an expert judgment exercise suggesting only even odds of getting to module prices of 0.3 $/W in 2030. In 2011 ...

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Harvard Grants for Solar Geoengineering

The Keith Group is grateful to have been the lead recipient of three grants from internal Harvard programs over the past few months: The Star Family Challenge for Scientific Research, The Weatherhead Initiative Research Cluster in International Affairs, and The Harvard Climate Solutions Fund. We thank these generous programs for funding research on a variety of important topics related to solar geoengineering. Grants with a total value of 450 $k (without overhead) will enable researchers to address key scientific and governance questions surrounding solar geoengineering:

The Star...

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