Rising electricity demand from air conditioning will exacerbate problems during heat waves. The Bay Area has definitely felt dystopian recently. Our Covid cases are high, we’ve had heat waves and … Continue Reading Are There More Blackouts in California’s Future?
Customers can help avoid blackouts if they are given better information and prices. Even if you don’t live in California, you probably heard about the rotating power outages we had … Continue Reading Why Don’t We Do It With Demand?
On the economics of building back greener. With a high-stakes election on the horizon, the Democrats are working hard to shore up a winning policy platform. The Biden-Sanders Unity Task … Continue Reading Biden’s New Climate Plan
Time to reexamine how utility losses will be shared among customers. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown public finances into turmoil. Legislators and city councils are wrestling with what services to … Continue Reading How Utility Customers Will Pay for the Pandemic
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?