DPRK Energy Development Measures in Alignment to the CTR
Special Reports

DPRK Energy Development Measures in Alignment to the CTR

This special report by Nautilus Institute Senior Associate Dr. David von Hippel and Nautilus Institute Director and APLN Research Director Peter Hayes provides an extensive plan on the provision of humanitarian energy efficiency, renewable energy, and micro-grid measures to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as complementary to engagement-focused Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) activities. 

The CTR Program was created by the United States after the dissolution of the Soviet Union to provide financial assistance and technical expertise to secure or eliminate nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. A modified and improved version of this program can be applied to the DPRK, where the dismantling of the weapons of mass destruction would be followed with additional measures to provide energy consortium, regional micro-gridification, and public health security.

The first step of the program should focus on energy sector assistance, prioritizing the installation of energy efficiency measures in the DPRK buildings sector and mini-grid systems powered by renewable energy for electricity generation. If deployed successfully, it could meet the requirements of a substantial pilot engagement project that would help kickstart other projects contributing to cooperative threat reduction on the Korean Peninsula.

The authors analyze DPRK’s energy supply and demand, identify key elements of a cooperative project, and illustrate what the project might include, how it might be organized, what organizations and skills would be needed, an example project budget and timeline, and thoughts on the types of organizations that might be involved in a project consortium.

Click on the adjacent link to download the full report.


Dr. David von Hippel is a Nautilus Institute Senior Associate based in Eugene, Oregon. His work with Nautilus has centered on energy and environmental issues in Asia, and particularly in Northeast Asia. He has done extensive analyses of the patterns of fuels use and prospects for energy efficiency and energy sector redevelopment in North Korea. Dr. Von Hippel holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Energy and Resources from the University of California-Berkeley, and M.A. and B.S. degrees from the University of Oregon.

Peter Hayes is an Honorary Professor, Center for International Security Studies, Sydney University, Australia and Director, Nautilus Institute in Berkeley, California. He is also the Research Director of Asia-Pacific Leadership Network. He works at the nexus of security, environment and energy policy problems. Best known for innovative cooperative engagement strategies in North Korea, he has developed techniques at Nautilus Institute for seeking near-term solutions to global security and sustainability problems and applied them in East Asia, Australia, and South Asia.


Image: Pixabay stock, Valentin J-W.