Tag Archives: electricity

“Real” Electricity Still Comes from the Grid

A recent article in the New York Times describes how a solar home provider will, “help some of the 1.2 billion people in the world who don’t have electricity to leapfrog the coal-dependent grid straight to renewable energy sources.” Does … Continue reading

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Double Counting Virtue

If you’ve installed solar at your home and are now basking in the I’m-saving-the-planet warm glow, you may be in for a splash of ice water.  There’s a good chance someone else has purchased your halo and is wearing it … Continue reading

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Billing Tweaks Don’t Make Net Metering Good Policy

Just before Christmas, an administrative law judge at the California Public Utilities Commission put a shiny package with a big bow under the tree for distributed solar PV companies, and gave the state’s regulated utilities a lump of coal. That … Continue reading

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Don’t Be a Grinch When It Comes to Holiday Lights

We bought them more than a decade ago. Several sets of Christmas lights. Every year we decorate the tree listening to Willie Nelson’s Pretty Paper, the greatest Christmas album of all time. We have two boxes, adding up to a … Continue reading

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If You Like Your Time-invariant Electricity Price, You Can Keep It

Shouldn’t a 2000-square-foot house in San Francisco cost the same as in Omaha?  If you answered yes, then time-varying electricity pricing won’t make much sense to you either.   And you are probably puzzled, or outraged, at how much more expensive … Continue reading

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RIP Incandescent Light Bulbs?

People do strange things around Halloween. I swear – I usually do not walk into our house with 8 pounds of store-bought candy (Butterfingers and Heath Bars, of course). A couple days before Halloween, as I fumble around looking for … Continue reading

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Could Microgrids Be Big in the US?

Three years ago this week, Hurricane Sandy began forming in the Caribbean Sea. It went on to wallop several Caribbean islands and the Eastern Seaboard. In the US the storm caused an estimated $75 billion in damage. The electricity system … Continue reading

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Are We Too Fixated on Rural Electrification?

“Rural electrification” and “energy access” are catchphrases in many energy and development circles. Multilateral lending agencies, many NGOs and the UN are highlighting the 1.3 billion people who currently do not have electricity in their homes. For example, of the … Continue reading

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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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