Author Archives: Catherine Wolfram

About Catherine Wolfram

Catherine Wolfram is the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration at the Haas School of Business, Co-Director of the Energy Institute at Haas, and a Faculty Director of The E2e Project. Her research analyzes the impact of environmental regulation on energy markets and the effects of electricity industry privatization and restructuring around the world. She is currently implementing several randomized control trials to evaluate energy efficiency programs.

The Future of (Not) Driving

We have a momentous event coming up in my household: my son will turn 16 at the end of the month and will – if the DMV gods are agreeable – get his drivers license. This has sparked a lot … Continue reading

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Why Does the Media Ignore Grid-Scale Solar?

Last month, I went to a talk by someone I surprisingly hadn’t heard of before. Yosef Abramowitz is an entrepreneur whose company, Gigawatt Global, just constructed and commissioned the largest solar power plant in East Africa. The 8.5 MW solar … Continue reading

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The Risks of Going Solar

If you’re thinking of putting solar panels on your roof to save money on your electricity bills, you should recognize that there is risk involved. In some ways, this is no different from any other long-lived investment. For example, if … Continue reading

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“Real” Electricity Still Comes from the Grid

A recent article in the New York Times describes how a solar home provider will, “help some of the 1.2 billion people in the world who don’t have electricity to leapfrog the coal-dependent grid straight to renewable energy sources.” Does … Continue reading

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Good Energy Books for 2015

Soon, many of you will be asked what you might want as a Hanukkah or Christmas gift. Or, maybe you’ve already been asked by a Cyber-Monday-ing relative. Others may soon be on planes to or from Paris. So, what better … Continue reading

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RIP Incandescent Light Bulbs?

People do strange things around Halloween. I swear – I usually do not walk into our house with 8 pounds of store-bought candy (Butterfingers and Heath Bars, of course). A couple days before Halloween, as I fumble around looking for … Continue reading

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Are We Too Fixated on Rural Electrification?

“Rural electrification” and “energy access” are catchphrases in many energy and development circles. Multilateral lending agencies, many NGOs and the UN are highlighting the 1.3 billion people who currently do not have electricity in their homes. For example, of the … Continue reading

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If Someone Replaced Your Car with a Prius, Would You Drive More?

Most of us drive cars that are less fuel efficient than a Prius, but this is likely to change over the next decade as the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are phased in. Regulators project that these new … Continue reading

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Is the U.S. Investing Enough in Electricity Grid Reliability?

We had a 2-hour power outage at our house last week, together with 45,000 other customers in the East Bay. The lights flickered off just after 8PM and didn’t come back on until after 10PM. Nothing like going without something … Continue reading

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Energy Tourism: The Tesla Taxi in Oslo

I suspect a fair number of you know what I mean by energy tourism – sure, you’re up for sight-seeing and museums, but you also note the local gas prices, gawk as you fly over wind turbines and grill anyone … Continue reading

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