Category Archives: Uncategorized

Is Clean Coal Too Expensive?

Policies that subsidize the demonstration of large-scale technologies make economists queasy. Severin explored this topic in a recent blog. In retrospect it’s easy to point to failures, including the United States Synthetic Liquids Fuels Program that died in the 1980s … Continue reading

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Subsidizing renewables for the damage not done

In this divided age, few topics beyond motherhood, apple pie, and the iPhone 6 enjoy widespread public approval. So it is notable that, in a recent Gallup Poll, two out of three Americans support an increased reliance on solar and … Continue reading

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Is the Future of Electricity Generation Really Distributed?

Renewable energy technologies have made outstanding progress in the last decade.  The cost of solar panels has plummeted.  Wind turbines have become massively more efficient.  In many places some forms of renewable energy are cost competitive.  And yet…just as these … Continue reading

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Air Conditioning and Global Energy Demand

Sales of air conditioners have exploded worldwide over the last few years, driven by middle-income countries where households and businesses are buying air conditioners at startling rates. My colleagues Max and Catherine have written about China, for example, where sales … Continue reading

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Building Codes That Work

If I got a dollar each time someone says that California’s energy efficiency codes have led to significant decreases in electricity consumption, I could buy a Tesla to help reverse that trend. In the halls of power, climate regulators discuss … 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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For energy (and water) conservation, moral suasion is no substitute for getting the prices right

My office light switch recently acquired a little sticker that politely reminds me to turn it off when I leave: Over the past year, an edgy Lawn dude  and an amicable  Bear  have been urging Californians to cut back on … Continue reading

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In Praise of Cleaner-burning Gasoline

Last week was spring break at UC Berkeley, so I took a few days off for a very pleasant vacation, walking by the ocean with friends and enjoying the beauty of California. As a result, I wasn’t able to be … Continue reading

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How Should We Design Government Policies to Stimulate Innovation?

Last Friday was our 20th Annual POWER Conference. Thanks to all who attended and an especially large thanks to the conference sponsors who made the event possible. For those of you who couldn’t attend, the program is available here with … Continue reading

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The Economics of EV Charging Stations

I live in the northern end of the Silicon Valley and here EVs and Plug-in hybrids are everywhere. From Tesla P85s to C-Max Energis – it’s what the cool kids drive. As the minority academic economist in this nerdster crowd, … Continue reading

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