Government needs to be more hands-on when it comes to keeping the lights on and shutting them off. Last week more than 700,000 homes and businesses, customers of Pacific Gas … Continue Reading Northern California Goes Dark
It will still be a headache, but doing a few simple things now can help. It looks like PG&E is going to shut off power in large parts of the … Continue Reading Some Suggestions for Getting Through a Power Shutoff
Regional market coordination delivers a win for climate change mitigation. There’s an important experiment underway in the Western United States as we inject more and more renewable energy into the … Continue Reading The Little Energy Market That Could
It won’t reduce energy use much, but it can fundamentally alter where that energy comes from. A decade ago, there seemed to be a Kumbaya trend in climate policy. Politicians … Continue Reading What Can Carbon Pricing Do?
The latest twist in the Trump fuel economy rollback. The year 1969 was highly notable—Apollo 11 landed on the moon, free love blossomed at Woodstock, and Richard Milhous Nixon was … Continue Reading Waving Goodbye to the California Waiver?
U.S. energy-efficiency requirements for air conditioners illustrate the inherent limitations of standards. This was a hot summer. July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded globally. Even in temperate Oakland, … Continue Reading Limitations of Standards
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?
This emerging trend could spell trouble… Over the past weeks, we’ve been confronted with a sobering example of what can happen when enforcement of environmental regulations falls slack. Following a … Continue Reading What’s Up with the Downtrend in EPA Enforcement Effort?
A young “Climate Warrior” sails into New York with a powerful message. Christopher Columbus in 1492 found some evidence supporting the theory that the Earth is actually round. (Pythagoras “a … Continue Reading The Economic Case For Greta Thunberg
Many factors go into electricity rate setting, but the economic guidance is short-run marginal cost. Economists can be so judgy. We don’t just study how the world is, like scientists, … Continue Reading Pricing for the Short Run
Mexico’s decision to suspend renewables auctions is bad news for Mexican electricity consumers. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (“AMLO”) has only been in office for 8 months, but he … Continue Reading Mexico Goes Backward on Renewables
Saving energy and saving the climate are not the same thing. A couple years ago I took Severin’s advice and proactively replaced many of my still-working incandescent light bulbs with … Continue Reading Redirecting Energy Efficiency Policies for the Climate
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?
Is Berkeley’s newest initiative paving the way for an all-electric future? I like economics. But I love cooking. I recall making jams using berries from the garden with my mom at … Continue Reading Outlawing Gas
Will we hamstring climate change mitigation to pay for adaptation? Our lush California spring has turned to a hot and dry summer. Fire season is upon us, and this has … Continue Reading What Wildfire Costs Will Depend on How We Pay
Appeals to equity don’t salvage the argument for demand charges. In the past, I have said some pretty unkind things about demand charges in electricity tariffs. Demands charges are fees paid … Continue Reading Are Demand Charges Fair?