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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics

Studying at Cambridge


Benedict Probst

Benedict Probst

C-EENRG PhD Researcher


Clean technology development & diffusion

Energy economics

Climate policy


Benedict Probst is a PhD Researcher at the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG) at the University of Cambridge.

His background is in energy economics and development finance, with degrees from Cambridge (MPhil), the London School of Economics (MSc) and the Rotterdam School of Management & Erasmus School of Economics (BSc). He also has extensive coding experience, primarily in R, QGIS and SQL. 

Prior to the PhD, Benedict worked for the Oxford energy consultancy Aurora Energy Research and at the German Development Bank KfW conducting impact evaluations in Bolivia and India. In addition, Benedict spent several years living and working in low- and middle-income countries, including Paraguay, Brazil and South Africa and speaks fluent German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

His op-eds have appeared in a number of newspapers, including the Conversation UK & France and the Süddeutsche Zeitung.  

Benedict has won multiple awards, including the Best Overall Performance Award at LSE and the Best PhD Research Prize from the Department of Land Economy. 

Research Interests

Benedict combines traditional econometric methods with advances in data science and machine learning to answer pressing energy policy and development questions. These include:

  • What are the most effective public R&D programmes in accelerating clean technology development?
  • How can low-income countries most effectively meet their energy needs? How effective are broad-based financing mechanism for clean energy technologies, such as the Clean Development Mechanism, compared to other more direct investment support schemes?
  • How can we most accurately quantify the uncertainty in the future performance and cost trajectories of critical clean energy technologies, such as batteries?

Apart from working on energy issues, Benedict has also used satellite and geo-referenced property data to evaluate the impact of land rights on deforestation in Brazil (see papers). 

Research Supervision

Working papers & under review

  • Forthcoming (2019): Leveraging private investment to increase the deployment of renewable energy in developing countries: Evidence from Uganda (with Lotte Westermann, Andreas Kontoleon and Laura Diaz Anadon)
    • Forthcoming (2019): The impact of renewable energy policy with local content requirements on technology transfer and local production capacities in South Africa (with Antoine Dechezleprêtre)
    • Cold, dark and windless winter periods’ – Are rare weather events killing the electrification of the heating sector? (with Andreas Löschel, Benjamin Merle and Casimir Lorenz)
    • The costs and short-term benefits of local content requirements: Evidence from the Indian solar auctions (with Vasilios Anatolitis, Laura Diaz Anadon and Andreas Kontoleon)
    • Can land rights prevent deforestation? Evidence from a large-scale titling initiative in the Brazilian Amazon (with Ariel BenYishay, Andreas Kontoleon and Tiago Reis)
    • Spreading Good Ideas Faster: Evidence from Renewable Energy Technologies (with Laura Diaz Anadon, Andreas Kontoleon and Antoine Dechezleprêtre)