On the Development of Mineral Resources in Latin America

Michael Giberson And while linking to the Master Resource blog (as I did in the prior post), check out Guillermo Yeatts’s excellent article posted this morning, “Subsoil Oil and Gas Privatization: Private Wealth for the Common Good.” Privatization, or at least partial privatization, has been tried and has failed in several Latin American countries, as Yeatts … More On the Development of Mineral Resources in Latin America

Samuel Insull’s Argument for State Regulation of Monopoly Electric Utilities

Michael Giberson In the course of making a point about current political actions pursued by some in the electric power industry, Rob Bradley points to the views of industry pioneer Samuel Insull: Where did the drive for automatic pass-through of  “reasonable” costs begin? For the electric industry, it began in Chicago in June 1898 in … More Samuel Insull’s Argument for State Regulation of Monopoly Electric Utilities

Where Water Management Meets Electricity Consumption, and Other Notes from New Orleans

Michael Giberson Phil Carson reports a few parting thoughts from last week’s IEEE Power and Energy Society’s Transmission and Distribution Conference in New Orleans.  One of those thoughts centered on the last-mile link up of communications and energy systems: Marty Travers, president for telecommunications at Black & Veatch, reminded me that the “telecom” piece at … More Where Water Management Meets Electricity Consumption, and Other Notes from New Orleans

Apple and Adobe: It Depends on What Your Definition of “Open” is

Lynne Kiesling I’ve seen two interesting things today in the ongoing debate between Apple and Adobe over Apple’s refusal to allow developers for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad to develop Flash-based applications. First is an open letter from Steve Jobs with an extensive discussion of Apple’s long relationship with Adobe (including an ownership share … More Apple and Adobe: It Depends on What Your Definition of “Open” is

Integrating Variable Energy Resources to the Electric Power Grid (cont.)

Michael Giberson In January we noted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s questions concerning the integration of “variable energy resources” to the electric power grid.  FERC asked for comments; over 120 comments have been submitted in reply (so far).  Peter Behr, of ClimateWire, characterizes some of the positions submitted in the FERC inquiry in an article available … More Integrating Variable Energy Resources to the Electric Power Grid (cont.)

Pigou As Public Choice Economist, Not a Pigouvian

Lynne Kiesling I was intrigued last week to read Bruce Yandle’s short piece in Regulation discussing Pigou and his ideas about taxation in the context of modern “Pigouvian” policy proposals. I recommend his essay highly; it communicates eloquently how Pigou’s ideas are currently being used as a justification for a variety of forms of taxation. … More Pigou As Public Choice Economist, Not a Pigouvian

Peak Oil and the Mainstream Economist

Michael Giberson Kate MacKenzie at the FT Energy Source blog asks, “Are policymakers, economists and peak oilists starting to speak the same language?” A rash of papers, comments and interviews have made us think this recently. It’s not as simple as ‘policymakers are waking up to peak oil’, but that all those groups — and … More Peak Oil and the Mainstream Economist

More Smart Grid Insight

Michael Giberson According to Accenture, 46 percent of consumers surveyed said they didn’t want smart grid-based energy management systems if it leads to higher electricity bills.  My guess is that the other 54 percent of consumers didn’t understand the question.  The summary distributed by Accenture contains several other bits of should-be-obvious information – consumers are … More More Smart Grid Insight

Knowing What We Don’t Know

Michael Giberson In the WSJ, Numbers Guy columnist Carl Bialik explains, “What We Don’t Know About the Economy,” a column about the making of economics statistics and the limits of the process. Of this column John Whitehead commented, “This is required reading for all those who think that economists should have a crystal ball that … More Knowing What We Don’t Know

Two Stories About Integrated Utility Smart Grid Programs

Michael Giberson Obviously the electric utility industry is very much in the experiment and learning phase (also known as “trial and error”) of the smart grid.  Two examples are provided by PG&E in California and Xcel in Colorado.  It is tempting to rush to judgment on the impossibility of an efficient, well-run, customer-centric smart grid … More Two Stories About Integrated Utility Smart Grid Programs