Using Technology and Prices to Empower Electricity Consumers

Lynne Kiesling I am currently in the Harrisburg Airport, awaiting my flight home after having spent the past day at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Dickinson College has an interesting history; Philadelphia physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush, founded the college in 1783 as an educational institution to serve as a … More Using Technology and Prices to Empower Electricity ConsumersMore Using Technology and Prices to Empower Electricity Consumers

Txu Going Private: Private Equity Buys Into Competitive Power Markets

Lynne Kiesling TXU is going private. KKR and other private investors will acquire TXU and take it private. This is fascinating. Note from the press release two important things: the focus on environmental attributes of the deal, and $400 million planned for “demand side management”: Planned Coal Units Reduced from Eleven to Three, Preventing 56 … More Txu Going Private: Private Equity Buys Into Competitive Power MarketsMore Txu Going Private: Private Equity Buys Into Competitive Power Markets

Futurepundit on Co2 Emissions Reductions

Lynne Kiesling I’m late to the party, but check out this post from Randall Parker at FuturePundit about using nuclear and wind power to meet most of our electricity demand: Most drastically, we could halt all carbon dioxide emissions from electric generation (cutting out a third of US CO2 emissions) by switching to only non-fossil … More Futurepundit on Co2 Emissions ReductionsMore Futurepundit on Co2 Emissions Reductions

Debunking Myths About Markets

Lynne Kiesling I frequently argue that markets provide the most effective institution for coordination of individual economic activity to improve well-being and create growth and prosperity. Market processes aggregate and transmit information among decentralized, distributed agents, enabling them to make decisions in their own individual interest while still (inadvertently) communicating information about their decisions (and … More Debunking Myths About MarketsMore Debunking Myths About Markets

Utility Competition Breaks out in Virginia

Michael Giberson There were several bits of competition-related news items in Friday’s Washington Post. Catching my interest were Steven Pearlstein’s column advocating against the XM-Sirius merger (See also Howard Kurtz article from Wednesday and Rob Pegoraro’s tech column on Thursday) and a story on the passage of a bill by the Virginia state legislature that … More Utility Competition Breaks out in VirginiaMore Utility Competition Breaks out in Virginia

Retail Competition in Electric Power: The Chicago Cubs Go Shopping

Lynne Kiesling The Chicago Cubs will buy their power from Constellation New Energy, a competing retailer in Illinois (as well as several other states). Constellation will purchase the power from generators, transmit it to the local distribution network, where they will pay ComEd to distribute it to 1060 W. Addison St. [Note: technically, because of … More Retail Competition in Electric Power: The Chicago Cubs Go ShoppingMore Retail Competition in Electric Power: The Chicago Cubs Go Shopping

Whole Foods-wild Oats Merger: An Antitrust Concern?

Lynne Kiesling Instead of worrying about XM-Sirius satellite radio, should antitrust authorities investigate the Whole Foods-Wild Oats merger? Here’s my unsurprising answer (particularly unsurprising to my three very close friends who are antitrust economists): probably not. The core first questions are the same: what are the relevant substitutes, and would consumers be better or worse … More Whole Foods-wild Oats Merger: An Antitrust Concern?More Whole Foods-wild Oats Merger: An Antitrust Concern?

The Problem of Unconventional Oil

Lynne Kiesling The Wall Street Journal Energy Roundup has a post on new estimates of the supply of “unconventional oil and gas”. Not surprisingly, it’s good news and bad news: there’s lots of potentially recoverable stuff out there, which means that there is indeed potential for rightward shifts of the supply curve, but the Wood … More The Problem of Unconventional OilMore The Problem of Unconventional Oil

Personal Carbon Offsetting

Lynne Kiesling Yesterday’s New York Times had an article about voluntary purchases of carbon offsets and their efficacy. Importantly, this article points out that private options exist for those who want to negate the carbon effects of their behavior. The couple highlighted in the story used Climate Care. Other organizations that provide carbon offset purchase … More Personal Carbon OffsettingMore Personal Carbon Offsetting

Are Volatile Natural Gas Prices Unreasonable?

Michael Giberson In letters to the chairmen of FERC and the CFTC, Senator Jeff Bingaman asks what actions the agencies have taken in response to recent episodes of natural gas price volatility. Particularly of concern to the Senator were allegations of manipulation of the NYMEX gas futures contract price at the end of August 2006. … More Are Volatile Natural Gas Prices Unreasonable?More Are Volatile Natural Gas Prices Unreasonable?