Preliminary survey results from California suggest that long outages are leading people to buy backup generators, possibly instead of rooftop solar. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a very bright light … Continue Reading Electricity Outages Lead to Substantial Backup Generator Purchases
How do we foster innovation to solve COVID-19 and climate change? Ten days ago the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval for remdesivir. It’s too soon to know … Continue Reading Remdesivir, Low-Carbon Energy, and the Origins of Innovation
High retail electricity prices, not economic value, are driving U.S. investments in rooftop solar. If you were starting from scratch and could install the United States’ 22,500 MW of rooftop … Continue Reading Putting Solar in All the Wrong Places
Millennials, carbon pricing, falling solar prices and Greta Thunberg topped our most-read list. I’m often asked, “Who actually writes the Energy Institute’s blog posts?” These questioners expect to hear that … Continue Reading Top 10 Blog Posts for 2019
A book by Russell Gold on the US wind industry, and a bumper crop of other energy books. Happily, for my annual book review, a number of energy books have … Continue Reading 2019 Energy Books: A Superpower-ed Selection
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
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?
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?
You aren’t getting “green electrons”, but charging at the right times still lowers GHG emissions. I spent a fascinating few days at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) last month, … Continue Reading Charging With the Sun
Covering roofs with solar panels will block cool roofs. Have you heard of cool roofs? The idea is that if we paint a lot of roofs white, or generally make … Continue Reading How Should We Use Our Roofs?
(This post is co-authored with Catherine Wolfram and Derek Wolfson, Energy Institute PhD student researcher) Microgrids are difficult to implement and can be undermined by promises of grid expansion. Nuclear … Continue Reading Are Solar Microgrids the Future in the Developing World?
An opportune moment to revisit a pair of prescient studies by Michael Cohen and coauthors. A couple of months ago I wrote a blog post called “Why Am I Paying … Continue Reading Does Rooftop Solar Help the Distribution System?
What the Solar Rooftop Standard has to tell us about our climate policies. If you follow this blog, you are probably already aware that last Wednesday, the California Energy Commission, … Continue Reading Lessons in Regulatory Hubris
700,000 California homes now have solar panels; what does this mean for everyone else’s rates? “This is the future,” one of my neighbors recently told me, proudly showing off his … Continue Reading Why Am I Paying $65/year for Your Solar Panels?
The winning bids in the latest Mexican renewables auctions were below two cents per kilowatt hour. (Today’s post is co-authored with Veronica Irastorza, who is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Goldman … Continue Reading Are Mexican Renewables Really this Cheap?
Solar gets all the attention, but another explanation is at least as important. Even during extreme promotions like “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”, it is rare to see anything sold … Continue Reading Is Solar Really the Reason for Negative Electricity Prices?