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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Sabbatical and Research Leave 23-24 and 24-25 (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms)


Dr Cristina Peñasco is an Associate Professor in public policy at POLIS. At Cambridge she is also a Bye-Fellow at Queens' College, a Centre Fellow at Centre for the Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG) hosted at the Department of Land Economy, and an associate researcher of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. She holds a PhD in Economics from the Spanish National Research Council and the University Rey Juan Carlos and an MPhil in Research in Economics and Business from ICADE Business School in Spain. Prior to joining POLIS in September 2019, she was an Assistant Professor in Applied Economics in the University of Alcalá (Spain) and a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge (UK).

Previously, she conducted multidisciplinary research in several organisations. She was a Postdoctoral Researcher and a Junior Researcher, in conjunction with a competitive PhD scholarship, in the Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the largest public research institution in Spain. In 2014, she was visiting researcher at the Energy Economics Group (EEG) of the Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives at the Vienna University of Technology (TU WIEN).



Her research lines bring together multidisciplinary research in environmental economics, innovation policy and energy economics in green and energy efficiency technologies, with a focus on the policy instruments enabling the transition to low-carbon economies. She has a strong background on statistical and quantitative methods of analysis and econometric techniques that has served her to publish several articles in world-class journals such as Technological and Economic Development of the Economy, Energy Policy or Business Strategy and the Environment, among others.

She has participated in several European-funded projects on renewable energy support schemes in the EU as well as in a range of Spanish funded projects. As part of her current research activity, she is working on the project called Innovation Pathways for a Low-carbon Transition (INNOPATHS), directed by Professor Laura Diaz Anadon and funded in the EC’s Horizon2020 framework. For that project, she is designing an online Policy Evaluation Tool intended to be a helpful reference for policy makers and academics as it allows them to foresee possible trade-offs and co-benefits in environmental policy. 


Key publications: 
  1. Grubb, M., Drummond, P., Poncia, A., McDowall, W., Popp, D., Samadi, S., Peñasco, C., Gillingham, K., Smulders, S., Glachant, M., Hassall, G., Mizuno, E., Rubin, E.S., Dechezlepretre, A., & Pavan, G. 2021. Induced innovation in energy technologies and systems: a review of evidence and potential implications for CO2 mitigation. Environmental Research Letters. Accepted
  2. Peñasco, C., Anadon, L.D., Verdolini, E. 2021. Systematic review of the outcomes and trade-offs of ten types of decarbonisation policy instruments, Nature Climate Change, 11(3): 257-265.
  3. Cruz-Castro, L., Martínez, C., Peñasco, C., Sanz-Menéndez, L. 2020. The classification of public research organisations: taxonomical explorations. Research Evaluation, 1-15.
  4. Peñasco, C., Romero-Jordan, D., Del Río, P. 2019. The Impact of Policy on the Efficiency of Solar Energy Plants in Spain: A Production-Frontier Analysis. Economics of Energy and Environmental Policy, 8 (2): 99-116.
  5. Peñasco, C., Anadon, L.D. 2018. A comparative analysis of renewable energy policy in Spain and the United Kingdom- a focus on innovation outcomes. Papeles de Energia, 5:69-150.
  6. Del Rio, P., Peñasco, C., Mir-Artigues, P. 2018. An overview of drivers and barriers to concentrated solar power in the European Union. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 81(1): 1019-1029.
  7. Peñasco, C., del Río, P., Romero-Jordán, D. 2017. Gas and electricity demand in Spanish manufacturing industries: An analysis using homogeneous and heterogeneous estimators, Utilities Policy, 45: 45-60.
  8. Peñasco, C., Del Río, P., Romero, D. 2017. Analysing the role of international drivers for eco-innovators. Journal of International Management, 23 (1):56-71.
  9. Del Río, P., Peñasco, C., Romero, D. 2017. Analysing firm-specific and type-specific determinants of eco-innovation. Technological and Economic Development of the Economy, 23 (2): 270-295.
  10. Del Río, P., Peñasco, C., Romero, D. 2016. What drives eco-innovators? A critical review of the empirical literature based on econometric methods. Journal of cleaner production, 112 (4): 2158-2170.
  11. Romero-Jordán, D., Del Río, P., Peñasco, C., 2016. An analysis of the welfare and distributive implications of factors influencing household electricity consumption. Energy Policy, 88: 361-370.
  12. Del Río, P., Peñasco, C., Romero, D. 2015. Distinctive features of environmental innovators. An econometric analysis. Business Strategy and the Environment, 24 (6): 361-385.

Teaching and Supervisions


Dr Peñasco has extensive experience teaching at undergraduate level in higher education at different institutions, e.g. the BSc in Business Administration at the University Carlos III (Madrid-Spain), BSc in Economics at the University of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid-Spain). Furthermore, she has conducted several seminars in different organisations at postgraduate level, more recently in the MPhil in Environmental Policy of the University of Cambridge. Currently, Cristina is on the faculty of the MPhil  in Public Policy (MPP) at the Department of Politics and International Studies. At POLIS, she was the course convenor and lecturer for the module in Statistical Thinking for the MPhil in Public Policy (Michaelmas 2018) and she leads the Science, Evidence and Environmental Policy module. 

Sabbatical and Research Leave 23-24 (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms)
Sabbatical and Research Leave 24 - 25 (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms)
University Teaching Officer
Fellow, Queens' College
 Dr Cristina  Peñasco

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