John Neufeld’s Selling Power: Economics, Policy, and Electric Utilities Before 1940

At the fantastic economic history website EH.net, I recently reviewed John Neufeld’s new book, Selling Power: Economics, Policy, and Electric Utilities Before 1940. TL;DR: if you’re interested in the electricity industry you should read this book, even if you aren’t an academic. You’ll gain an important historical perspective on how we got to where we are, … More John Neufeld’s Selling Power: Economics, Policy, and Electric Utilities Before 1940

NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee

The electric power network is becoming increasingly digital. I started working on digital technology and smart grid topics in 2004, and served on the GridWise Architecture Council 2005-2009, focusing on enhancing understanding and use of interoperability principles in business and regulatory decisions. One of the important partners in expanding awareness of interoperability and its importance … More NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee

Worstall: Hurricane Harvey Is When We Need Price Gouging

Tim Worstall reminds us of the value of relying on prices to help get resources to where they are most useful: The economics of this is really terribly, terribly, simple. As a result of the disaster–of any disaster that is–some things are in short supply. Perhaps because some of the supply got damaged, or perhaps … More Worstall: Hurricane Harvey Is When We Need Price Gouging

Solar eclipses and the electric grid: Markets and automation

Yesterday’s solar eclipse across the US amplified a dominant issue in electricity policy discussions over the past couple of years — does increasing use of distributed energy resources like solar photovoltaics make the grid more resilient, or does it lead to imbalance and inadequacy? In California during the eclipse (Financial Times), solar generation dropped compared to … More Solar eclipses and the electric grid: Markets and automation

Nancy MacLean’s generalized rewriting of James Buchanan’s views on democracy

I have only read a small bit of Nancy MacLean’s book on James M. Buchanan, public choice, and politics. I’m reluctant to buy a copy, but I wanted to see if it was as bad as some critics have said. (Now you know something of my limited knowledge of and pre-existing bias against the book. … More Nancy MacLean’s generalized rewriting of James Buchanan’s views on democracy

Fun with Footnotes (A game of scholarly discovery)

“Let’s … have … fun … with … footnote[s],” MacLean said.* Here is a simple game of scholarship that anyone can play and everyone who plays by accepted norms of scholarship wins!** How to play: Take the recently published book Democracy in Chains, open it randomly to a page in the text, find a footnote … More Fun with Footnotes (A game of scholarly discovery)