Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Promise and Perils of Linking Carbon Markets

The theme of the week is “We’re stronger together“.  This rallying cry applies in lots of places.. including climate change mitigation!   So this week’s blog looks at how this theme is playing out in carbon markets. A good place to start … Continue reading

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Who’s Stranded Now?

Utility costs are like taxes.  Everyone knows they have to be paid, but most people have a reason that their own share should be smaller.  And, just as with taxes, there are limitless ways to divide up the revenue burden. … Continue reading

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Move Over PEMEX

Gasoline stations in Mexico have all been exactly the same for decades. PEMEX, the state-owned behemoth has been the only show in town. Pull up to any of 11,400 stations nationwide and the experience is very similar: PEMEX stations selling … Continue reading

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Mitigation Bingo

I am clearly not a historian, but has there ever been a more dynamic, physically fit and forward-looking trio in charge of North America’s future? It’s not gender balanced, but hey, maybe we can fix that in November. At their … Continue reading

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Finding Energy Efficiency in an Unexpected Place – The Cockpit

I suspect that most energy economists think there are more unexploited opportunities for energy efficiency in homes than in firms. Firms are cost-minimizers, after all – they’re in the business of making things with the fewest possible inputs. And, energy … Continue reading

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Time to Unleash the Carbon Market?

What’s a ton of carbon (dioxide equivalent) worth? Not much if you ask the world’s carbon markets. The graph below summarizes prices and quantities covered by existing carbon emissions trading programs (green) and carbon taxes (blue).  Nearly all carbon market … Continue reading

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Is Electricity Pricing Different from “Real Markets”? Should It Be?

“No company in a real market would ever price that way.”  If you’ve discussed electricity pricing much, you’ve surely heard this said by a person opposed to one retail tariff or another.  In almost every instance, however, the claim is … Continue reading

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Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver During Crunch Time?

(Today’s post is co-authored with Judson Boomhower, who recently received his Ph.D. at Berkeley where he was a graduate student researcher at the Energy Institute and is now a post-doc at Stanford) Along with everyone else in Berkeley, we’ve enjoyed … Continue reading

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Is US Climate Policy Killing Nuclear Power?

These are strange times for competitive power markets in the United States.  Baseload power plants, many of them nuclear, are reportedly struggling to stay out of the red. About 10 years ago, plants like these were thriving with high wholesale prices set … Continue reading

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Giving Up on Carbon Markets in Favor of a Giant Vacuum in the Sky?

I sat next to a distinguished climate scientist at a recent dinner, who told me point blank that “carbon markets have failed, which means one should give up on market based approaches to reducing emissions”. After the ecologist on my … Continue reading

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