Author Archives: Lucas Davis

About Lucas Davis

Lucas Davis is an Associate Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on energy and environmental markets, and in particular, on electricity and natural gas regulation, pricing in competitive and non-competitive markets, and the economic and business impacts of environmental policy.

Too Big to Fail?

(This post is co-authored by Catie Hausman) The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) was closed abruptly in February 2012. During the previous decade, SONGS had produced about 8% of the electricity generated in California, so its closure had a pronounced … Continue reading

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A Small Bet with Big Stakes

Back in November 2011, I made a bet with economist Geoff Rothwell about the future of nuclear power.  By making a bet we weren’t trying to trivialize the issue. To the contrary.  We had different predictions, and we saw this … Continue reading

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Why Would Google Pay $3.2 Billion for Nest?

(This blog is co-authored by Howard Chong) Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs Inc. is puzzling. It’s nice that Nest is about reinventing previously “unloved things” like thermostats and smoke detectors. But is it really worth $3.2 billion? To put it … Continue reading

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Global Gas Guzzlers

Recently I have been spending a lot of time thinking about global fuel subsidies. The most extreme example is Venezuela, where gasoline costs only 6 cents per gallon.  That’s not a typo. The price in Venezuela is less than 1/50th of what … Continue reading

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20/20 Vision

A new EI@Haas Working Paper by Koichiro Ito offers a fresh look at California’s well-known 20/20 program.  The paper is available here.  During the summer of 2005, California households could receive a 20% discount on their electricity bills if they … Continue reading

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Ex Post Evaluation of the Empire State Building Retrofit

The Empire State Building is the tallest and most well-known building in the United States to have received LEED certification. The certification was part of a massive retrofit undertaken between 2009 and 2011. Engineering models predicted that the retrofit would reduce … Continue reading

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Deconstructing the Rosenfeld Curve

The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and, most recently, the Sacramento Bee have pieces on Arik Levinson’s new NBER working paper, “California Energy Efficiency: Lessons for the Rest of the World, or Not?”   The paper makes a nice point, but I worry that … Continue reading

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A Step in the Right Direction for Indonesia

Indonesia has been in the news this week for taking an important step in the right direction with energy pricing. Prior to last week, Indonesia had some of the lowest gasoline and diesel prices in the world. In the data … Continue reading

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Price at the Pump Worldwide

This figure plots gasoline prices for 44 countries. These are domestic consumer prices including all relevant taxes and come from a survey administered November 2012. I have excluded countries with fewer than 25 million people, but if you would like to see the complete list it is … Continue reading

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Venezuelan Gas Guzzlers

Since reading Catherine’s post last week (link here), I have been thinking a lot about Venezuela’s gasoline subsidies. Venezuela has the cheapest gasoline on the planet. At official exchange rates, gasoline costs only $.06 per gallon; at black market exchange rates gasoline is even cheaper. … Continue reading

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