Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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How Should Distributed Generation be Distributed?

Growth in the residential solar market continues apace. In the United States, residential solar PV installations last quarter were up 11 percent over the previous quarter: Source: http://www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmi The figure  illustrates this impressive growth rate (in dark blue). However, this is … 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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A Deeper Look into the Fragmented Residential Solar Market

(Today’s post is co-authored with Alex Chun, who just received his MBA at Haas and is an alumnus of our Cleantech to Market class.  Alex is the Business Intelligence Manager at Sungevity.) Who sells residential solar photovoltaic systems (PV) in … Continue reading

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Exiting Coal?

On March 11, 2011 I was sitting in a coffee shop in Berlin, dressed appropriately in a black turtleneck and leather jacket, reading about the terrible Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster. The next day I read that the German government was … Continue reading

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What Put California at the Top of Residential Solar?

California leads the nation in residential solar photovoltaic installations.  In fact, nearly half of all systems installed have been in the Golden State. So why is California the leader?  Sure, California has plenty of sunshine, but there are many other … Continue reading

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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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