Preliminary survey results from California suggest that long outages are leading people to buy backup generators, possibly instead of rooftop solar. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a very bright light … Continue Reading Electricity Outages Lead to Substantial Backup Generator Purchases
A utility bill moratorium could put extra money into the pockets of business owners and households during the pandemic. Utility services – like electricity, water and natural gas – are … Continue Reading Can We Stop Paying Utility Bills for a Bit?
Does an electricity connection help the very poorest households? To many people, connecting rural households to the electricity grid in places like Kenya seems like a great way to help … Continue Reading Electrification and the Poverty Trap
With new carbon capture and sequestration technologies, can fossil fuels be part of the zero-carbon solution? The start of a new year – and decade – is a good time … Continue Reading Fossil Fuels are Dead, Long Live Fossil Fuels
A book by Russell Gold on the US wind industry, and a bumper crop of other energy books. Happily, for my annual book review, a number of energy books have … Continue Reading 2019 Energy Books: A Superpower-ed Selection
A randomized controlled trial demonstrates the importance of providing financing for energy-efficient appliances in Kenya. On one of my first trips to Nairobi, Kenya, our local research assistant took me … Continue Reading Closing the Energy Efficiency Gap for Low-Income Households
Some simple spreadsheet math suggests the outage cost about 100,000 MWh. What does that mean in $$? There’s been a lot of discussion about the potential economic losses due to … Continue Reading Measuring the Economic Costs of the PG&E Outages
A new book explores the precipitous decline. One of the most remarkable trends in energy economics over the last 50 years is the tremendous reduction in solar photovoltaic (PV) prices. … Continue Reading What Drove Solar PV Price Reductions?
Electricity can provide more than we think. People talk a lot about the potential benefits of bringing electricity to some of the billion homes in the world that do not … Continue Reading Are We Looking for the Benefits of Rural Electrification in the Wrong Places?
A recent working paper highlights the importance of accounting for environmental protection in measures of GDP. Last November, I gained new appreciation for clean air. It wasn’t because I went … Continue Reading A Better Way to Measure Economic Growth
Addressing, and even measuring, EJ is harder than it looks. Lots of people are talking about environmental injustice – from the Flint drinking water crisis to claims that cap-and-trade policies … Continue Reading An Economic Perspective on Environmental Justice
A recent experience with Uber/Lyft brought home the limits of market incentives. Max has been dreaming about a clean, autonomous future. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft are both talking about initial … Continue Reading How Should We Regulate Safety for Autonomous Vehicles?
(Today’s post is co-authored with Susanna Berkouwer, a Ph.D. candidate at the Energy Institute.) A UC Berkeley-based engineering team thinks the answer is “yes.” Many of us are in the … Continue Reading Can Cell Phones Help Improve Electricity Reliability?
The economics of the emerging platform. I’ve heard a lot about the Green New Deal since the midterm elections. And, it’s not just me – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshwoman Representative … Continue Reading What’s the Deal with the Green New Deal?
An inventor, fracking, history and the future. If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that we rotate Mondays. And, if you’ve been following it for … Continue Reading 2018 Energy Books
Covering roofs with solar panels will block cool roofs. Have you heard of cool roofs? The idea is that if we paint a lot of roofs white, or generally make … Continue Reading How Should We Use Our Roofs?