Category Archives: Uncategorized

Can California Ignore its Neighbors?

Today’s post is coauthored by Benjamin Hobbs from Johns Hopkins University The U.S., almost alone among developed economies, has operated its power system as a collection of balkanized fiefdoms. Evidence from around the country, from work by Mansur and White , and ongoing … Continue reading

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The Decline of Sloppy Electricity Rate Making

Back in the “good old days” most customers had no choice about how to buy electricity and a regulator’s life was pretty easy.  The utility needed sufficient revenue to cover its costs, but the regulator approving rates was mostly just … Continue reading

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Why the Pope is Wrong on Markets

On a recent speaking engagement in Germany I ran into Prof. John Schellnhuber, who was on his way to the Vatican to present Pope Francis’ major coming out document on climate change. After I got over feeling oh so cool … 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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What We Can Learn from Germany’s Windy, Sunny Electric Grid

Today’s release of the final Clean Power Plan by President Obama ushers in an exciting period of change on US power grids. Wind and solar energy will get a big boost through the plan. The plan recognizes that to sustain … Continue reading

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Membership has its Co-benefits

Last week marked the first “informal ministerial consultations” in the run up to the UN climate talks in December. The objective of these informal meetings before The Meeting is to provide the opportunity to find common ground and an organizing … Continue reading

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Are Clean Energy Tax Credits Equitable?

A new Energy Institute working paper finds that income tax credits for weatherization, solar panels, hybrids, and electric cars go predominantly to higher-income households. Over the last decade, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax … Continue reading

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Hawai’i – The Next Frontier

Aloha, dear readers. It’s quiet at the Energy Institute as most of us are out in the field. I just got to spend some time with a number of the world’s smartest economists on Oahu and some vacation time on … Continue reading

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Do Residential Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver?

Today’s post is co-authored by Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago) and Catherine Wolfram We recently released a paper presenting the findings of a first-of-its kind, randomized controlled evaluation of the returns to some common residential energy efficiency investments. The study’ … Continue reading

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Winners and Losers from Flattening Tiered Electricity Prices

The California Public Utilities Commission is moving closer to major changes in the steeply increasing-block residential electricity rates that the state has had since the 2000-01 California electricity crisis.  This Friday the Commissioners may decide to significantly flatten the tiered … Continue reading

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