I am an Assistant Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and a Faculty Affiliate at the University's Energy Institute. My principal research interests are in technological change and energy; energy and development; and climate change policy.

Prior to joining UT Austin I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) at Stanford University. I received my Ph.D. and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

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Email: raivarun@utexas.edu


    (* denotes graduate student co-author)
  1. Venugopalan, S.* and Rai. V. "Topic Based Classification and Pattern Identification in Patents," In press:doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2014.10.006, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 2014. Download from ScienceDirect
  2. Rai, V., Schultz, K.*, and Funkhouser, E.* "International Low Carbon Technology Transfer: Do Intellectual Property Regimes Matter?" Global Environmental Change, 24, 60-74, 2014. Download from ScienceDirect
  3. Heguy, D. and Rai, V. "Technology Development and Learning: Coal Gasification in China and the United States," The Electricity Journal, 27(6), 69-85, 2014. Download from ScienceDirect
  4. Noll, D.*, Dawes, C.*, and Rai, V. "Solar Community Organizations and Active Peer Effects in the Adoption of Residential Solar PV," Energy Policy, 67, 330-343, 2014. Download from ScienceDirect
  5. Blackburn, G.*, Magee, C.*, and Rai, V. "Solar Valuation and the Modern Utility's Expansion into Distributed Generation," The Electricity Journal, 26(11), 1040-6190, 2014. Download from ScienceDirect
  6. Rai, V. "Expert Elicitation Methods for Studying Technological Change Under Uncertainty," Environmental Research Letters, 8(4), 041003, 2013. Download from ERL
  7. Rai, V. and Robinson, S. A.* "Effective Information Channels for Reducing Costs of Environmentally-Friendly Technologies: Evidence from Residential PV Markets," Environmental Research Letters 8(1), 014044, 2013. Download from ERL
  8. Rai, V. and Sigrin, B.* "Diffusion of Environmentally-friendly Energy Technologies: Buy vs. Lease Differences in Residential PV Markets," Environmental Research Letters , 8(1), 014022, 2013. Download from ERL
  9. Rai, V. "Fading Star: Explaining the Evolution of India's ONGC," in Oil and Governance: State-Owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply, Cambridge University Press, Jan 2012.
  10. Rai, V. and Victor, D. G. "Awakening Giant: Strategy and Performance of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)," in Oil and Governance: State-Owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply, Cambridge University Press, Jan 2012.
  11. Rai, V., Victor, D. G., and Thurber, M. C. "Carbon Capture and Storage at Scale: Lessons from the Growth of Analogous Energy Technologies," Energy Policy, 38:4089-4098, 2010. Download from ScienceDirect
  12. Bistline, J. E. and Rai, V. "The Role of Carbon Capture and Storage in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Models: A Parametric Study for the U.S. Power Sector," Energy Policy, 38(2):1177-1191, 2010. Download from ScienceDirect
  13. Rai, V. and Victor, D. G. "Climate Change and the Energy Challenge: A Pragmatic Approach for India," Economic and Political Weekly, 44(31):78-85, 2009. Download from CASI@UPenn
  14. Rai, V., Aryanpour, M., and Pitsch, H. "First-Principles Analysis of Oxygen-Containing Adsorbates Formed from the Electrochemical Discharge of Water on Pt(111), Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 112(26):9760-9768, 2008. Download from ACS
  15. Rai, V., Pitsch, H., and Novikov, A. "Effcient Dynamic Monte Carlo Algorithm for Time- Dependent Catalytic Chemistry," Physical Review E, 74:046707, 2006. Download from APS
  16. Aryanpour, M., Rai, V., and Pitsch, H. "Convergent Iterative Constrained Variation Algorithm for Calculation of Electron-Transfer Transition States," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 153(3):E52, 2006. Download from ECS
  17. Rai, R., Rai, V., Tiwari, M. K., and Allada, V. "Disassembly Sequence Generation: A Petri Net Based Heuristic Approach," International Journal of Production Research, 40(13), 2002. Download from IJPR/TandFOnline

PAPERS UNDER REVIEW (Drafts available upon request: raivarun@utexas.edu)

  1. Gillingham, K. et al. "Deconstructing Solar Photovoltaic Pricing: The Role of Market Structure, Technology, and Policy." (Download LBNL report version)
  2. Robinson, S.A.* and Rai, V. "Determinants of Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Energy Technology Adoption: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach." (Preprint PDF)
  3. Rai, V. and Robinson, S.A.* "Agent-Based Modeling of Energy Technology Adoption: Empirical Integration of Social, Behavioral, Economic, and Environmental Factors." (Preprint PDF)
  4. Rai, V. and Funkhouser, E.* "Emerging Insights on the Dynamic Drivers of International Low-Carbon Technology Transfer."

WORKING PAPERS (Drafts available upon request: raivarun@utexas.edu)

  1. Rai, V. and Beck, A. "Public Perceptions and Information Gaps in Energy Conservation and Solar Energy in Texas."
  2. Dong, C.*, Wiser, R., and Rai. V. "Incentive Pass-through for Residential Solar Systems in California." (Download LBNL report version)
  3. Rai, V., Nath, V.*, Treadwell, T., and Langheim, R. "Drivers of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Adoption in California: An Analysis of Individual Decision-Making, Information Channels, and Socio-Demographic Factors."
  4. Funkhouser, E.*, Rai, V., Blackburn, G.*, and Magee, C.* "Commercial Innovations in Community-scale Distributed Generation: Institutional, Regulatory, and Market Drivers of Community Solar."
  5. Beltran, M.* and Rai, V. "Electricity Consumption Patterns in Low-Income Households."
  6. Rai, V., Maureen, M.*, Dong, C.G.*, and Querejazu, D.* "Demand Pull and Innovation in the U.S. Solar Market."
  7. Dong, C.* and Rai, V. "Optimal Subsidy Design with Stochastic Learning: A Dynamic Programming Evaluation of The California Solar Initiative."
  8. Rai, V., Reeves, D.C.*, and Margolis, R. "Decision-making and Information Channels in the Adoption of Solar Systems."


  1. Impact of Gamifying Energy Information on Consumer Perception and Behavior Change (with Beck, A.)
  2. Sustainable Models for Funding Cleantech Innovations: Are We There Yet? (with Funkhouser, E.* and Udwin, T.*)
  3. Drivers of Clustering in the Diffusion of Energy Innovations (with Sebastian, S.* and Maiyya, S*).
  4. Demand Pull Policies and the Geography of Innovation: Evidence from Germany, Japan, and the U.S.
  5. Buy, Lease, or PPA? Risk Perceptions and Mode of Technology Adoption (with Reeves, D.C.* and Margolis, R.)


  1. Rai, V. "Energy Innovation: Tortuous But Sure Path To A Successful Future," The Alcalde, November 2012.
  2. Rai, V. "Under the Roof: A New UT Study Reveals How Households Decide to Install PV," Solar Power World, July 2012.
  3. Rai, V. "India's Energy Policy: Truths and Myths," Modern Energy Review, 2(2):13-15, 2010.
  4. Rai, V. "Climate Change Mitigation in India," Seminar Journal, 606:35-40, 2010.
  5. Morse, R., Rai, V., and He, G. "Digging in Deep," BusinessForum China, 30-32, 2010.
  6. Rai, V. and Victor, D. G. "Identifying Viable Options in Developing Countries for Climate Change Mitigation: The Case of India," International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) Energy Forum, First Quarter:9-13, 2010.
  7. Rai, V. "Promoting Clean Development Competing Market Mechanisms Post-2012," Harvard International Review, 31(3):70-75, 2009.
  8. Vishwanathan, V., Rai, V. and Pitsch, H. "First-principles-based Reaction-Kinetics Model for Oxygen Reduction Reaction on Pt3Ni(111)," Electrochemical Society (ECS) Transactions, 25(1):1353-1361, 2009.
  9. Victor, D. G. and Rai, V. "Dirty Coal is Winning," Newsweek International, 2009.
  10. Rai, V. "Changing Face of Indian Energy System: A March towards Normalcy," India in Transition, University of Pennsylvania, 2008.
  11. Rai, V., Aryanpour, M., Dhanda, A., Walch, S. and Pitsch, H. "PEMFC Electrochemistry: Simulation of Non-equilibrium Surface Chemistry on 3-Dimensional Geometries," Proceedings of the Joint International Meeting of the Electrochemical Society, 2005-11: 264, 2005.