Sustainable and resilient infrastructure: TLN will provide research on global sustainable infrastructure development, and how the construction of such infrastructure influences both international cooperation and economic development. This includes nuclear power and reactors, digital infrastructure, 5G networks, pipelines, geologic storage, heavy industry, and renewable energy projects, among others. The disastrous consequence of grid failure in Texas in February 2021 demonstrated that innovation and sustainability must be complemented with resilience to unpredictable climate events. TLN’s research will investigate how smart grid technology and digitalization of power structures can ensure grid flexibility and survivability in its focus regions.
International relations and natural resources: TLN will expand its current research and analysis on the politics of energy and natural resources. This will include the geopolitics of rare earth elements, natural gas and its storage and transit, and petropolitics. It will also include hydro politics; blue economy industries are moving further offshore and new tidal technology continues to launch to take advantage of hydrokinetic marine energy resources that are abundant, geologically dense, predictable, and complementary to other renewables such as wind and solar. Research must further explore how ocean resource utilization affects maritime security and international relations.
Technological innovation: TLN will examine how new technologies synergize with international cooperation on the environment and climate. Innovation in carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies are essential to meeting decarbonization goals. New generations of nuclear reactors hold much promise for meeting those goals by 2050. Conversion to renewables, smart grids, battery storage, and making wholesale changes to resources and consumption will require significant investment. We must think of “infrastructure investment” in terms of smart technologies and autonomous systems as the next generation of infrastructure. Our research will explore how international cooperation can create commercial viability for the technologies necessary to get the world to net zero.
All research will be informed by the need for nonpartisan solutions to climate change, environmental stewardship, and the green transition. We will initially focus on Southeast Europe, the MENA and Mediterranean Basin regions, and the United States. Additionally, our research will be motivated by the need to expand access to the close to one billion people who still do not have access to modern energy services.