Xi Wang

Assistant Professor


I am an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Energy Studies (IES) and in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy (UEPP).

I am interested in questions of energy and climate governance, especially in the context of energy system transitions and efforts at deep decarbonization. I approach these questions at the intersection of energy policy and planning and critical social science. My M.S. research focuses on understanding the development of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) as a policy instrument within the broader context of U.S. energy law and regulation. My Ph.D. work examines coal-led industrialization in post-Opening Up and Reform China to understand the pressing present-day issue of coal generation overcapacity. Not only do building too many coal power plants severely constrain our future emissions pathways, but has also had severe labor, social, and health consequences, especially for already-marginalized groups in China.

I have also been exploring audio as a form of art and a medium of knowledge production and public outreach. I recently co-produced an audio project, Homeward Bound, about how people’s relationship to home and access to shelter have changed during COVID-19 in Boulder, CO.

Outside of academia, I have also worked in community organizing for food, environmental, and social justice in Washington D.C., for the consulting firm Booz Allen, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


PhD in Geography, MS in Environmental Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder; BA in English Literature, Cornell University

Research Interests

energy policy and planning, political economy of electricity systems, energy infrastructures, industrial organization and labor, climate governance, community solutions to climate change

Teaching Schedule

Winter 2022:
ENRG 459/559 - Advanced Energy Policy

Spring 2022:
ENRG 449/549 - Northwest Energy Systems Transitions

ENRG 397X - Climate Change Politics and Policy