Starbucks’ Energy Efficiency Competition

Lynne Kiesling Starbucks is having an internal energy efficiency competition among its stores. The goal for each store: reduce energy use by the most during a 30-day period, starting from last Wednesday. 10 stores are involved, and while the article is not specific, it looks like they are all in Washington state. The goal is … More Starbucks’ Energy Efficiency Competition

An Austrian Theory of Cooking … or a Cooking Metaphor for Austrian Entrepreneurial Theory

Lynne Kiesling As a fellow cook, food lover, and economist who incorporates Austrian entrepreneurial theory into my work, I love Mike’s post commemorating Julia Child’s birthday today. Let’s push it even further. One way to create value in cooking is through new combinations of what Mike calls “raw elements”. We can think of three categories … More An Austrian Theory of Cooking … or a Cooking Metaphor for Austrian Entrepreneurial Theory

An Invisible Hook Q&a, and Other Items of Interest

Michael Giberson At the Freakonomics blog, a Q&A with Peter Leeson about his book The Invisible Hook. Here is the first exchange: Q.The Invisible Hook is more than just a clever title. How is it different from Adam Smith‘s invisible hand? A. In Adam Smith, the idea is that each individual pursuing his own self-interest is led, … More An Invisible Hook Q&a, and Other Items of Interest

Economic Theories As Recipes

Michael Giberson Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Child, and surprisingly, it was a blog post on economic theorizing reminded me of the famous cookbook author this morning. I’m sure it wasn’t quite the metaphor Rajiv Sethi had in mind when he posted “On Prices, Narratives, and Market Efficiency,” but the … More Economic Theories As Recipes

Financial Regulations Add Burden to Wind Power Projects

Michael Giberson Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s recently published 2011 Wind Technologies Market Report (pdf) provides a fairly focused look at wind power industry developments. Among the insights: At the same time [as the European debt crisis began creating trouble for some lenders], new banking regulations took hold, driving considerably shorter bank loan tenors (institutional lenders, meanwhile, continued … More Financial Regulations Add Burden to Wind Power Projects

Nest Thermostat Featured on Cbs Sunday Morning

Michael Giberson A good, quick introduction to the Nest thermostat along with some discussion of utility and other efforts to bring home energy management into the internet age: CBS Sunday Morning, “Dialing the thermostat into the digital age”

Gayer & Viscusi: Energy Efficiency Regulations, the Environment, and Consumer Sovereignty

Lynne Kiesling Ted Gayer of the Brookings Institution and Kip Viscusi of Vanderbilt University have a new Mercatus working paper that is a careful and thoughtful critique of the rationale, the methodology, and the outcomes of federal energy efficiency regulations. Using standard Pigouvian externality theory, most environmental regulations are based on the “market failure” rationale … More Gayer & Viscusi: Energy Efficiency Regulations, the Environment, and Consumer Sovereignty

Losing the Race to Sound Conclusions on the Production Tax Credit

Michael Giberson When I worked on public policy issues in Washington, DC, I used to read the National Journal. It tended a bit toward Washington-establishment thinking, but at least it gave evidence of thinking. Now much farther from the daily fray, I only occasionally come across the National Journal, and usually just the so-called Energy … More Losing the Race to Sound Conclusions on the Production Tax Credit

Something Not-so-funny Happened on the Way to the Smart Grid: Xcel, Boulder and the Colorado Puc

Michael Giberson Four-and-a-half years ago I relayed on these pages Xcel’s announcement of its Smart Grid City project. It was exciting stuff, I thought, and I said it “should prove to be a very useful project.” (See also Lynne’s post on a NYT‘s article discussing the project.) It has proven useful, but not entirely in … More Something Not-so-funny Happened on the Way to the Smart Grid: Xcel, Boulder and the Colorado Puc

Newspaper Report Implicates Politicians, Industry Insiders in Attempt to Manipulate Renewable Credits Market

Michael Giberson Consumers remain wary of attempts to manipulate energy markets, but it can be hard for consumers to tell when markets are being manipulated. For example, JP Morgan has been accused of manipulating the California ISO power market, but the company denies the accusation. The markets are complicated, the regulatory filings in the complaint … More Newspaper Report Implicates Politicians, Industry Insiders in Attempt to Manipulate Renewable Credits Market