Tag Archives: electricity

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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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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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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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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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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