Policy Practicum: China's Solar Industry and its Global Implications


Course Code:
LAW 413O
2 - 3
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


China dominates and defines a growing global market for solar power. That market faces a stark dichotomy. Solar energy's prospects as a meaningful electricity source are increasingly bright. Yet, amid a global glut of solar panels, the future contours of the industry – the relative roles of leading players such as the United States and China – are increasingly unclear. Students in this seminar will analyze industry and policy data to assess China's competitive strengths in the global solar industry and, based on those conclusions, to suggest finance and policy approaches that the US and China each could adopt so that the two countries operate more strategically in an economically efficient global solar market – and, by extension, a globalizing market for cleaner sources of energy. This research will figure into a project on this theme underway at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. Course deliverables will vary among students and will be based on discussions at the start of the class between the instructors and the students. Some students will produce papers; others will develop and analyze key sets of data. Students from graduate programs around the university – the law school and others – are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those with demonstrated interest in energy finance and policy, particularly bearing on China, and with fluency in Mandarin, though neither is a firm requirement. Given that the Steyer-Taylor Center project will continue through the academic year, preference also will be given to students who intend to continue with the practicum in both the winter and spring quarters. Students have the option to write papers for W or R credit. If the paper involves independent research, then it will be eligible for R credit. The instructor and student must agree whether the student will receive an R or a W. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from the W writing section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. NOTE: Students may not count more than a combined total of eight units of directed research projects and policy lab practica toward graduation unless the additional counted units are approved in advance by the Petitions Committee. Such approval will be granted only for good cause shown. Even in the case of a successful petition for additional units, a student cannot receive a letter grade for more than eight units of independent research (Policy Lab practicum, Directed Research, Senior Thesis, and/or Research Track). Any units taken in excess of eight will be graded on a mandatory pass basis. For detailed information, see "Directed Research/Policy Labs" in the SLS Student Handbook. Elements used in grading: Class Participation, Written Assignments or Paper. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructors. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline.

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