Happy New Year! At Forbes Brian Potts asks a pithy question: will 2018 be the year of solar or coal? He starts with an observation familiar to most who have a passing familiarity with energy innovation in the past decade: the decline of coal as an electricity generation fuel source is a consequence of the … More Will 2018 be the year of solar or coal?
Last week the Environmental Defense Fund released a new report on grid modernization, Grid Modernization: The Foundation for Climate Change Progress (pdf). This short report provides a clear overview of how grid modernization enables a cleaner energy future, examining six areas where investment and regulatory policy should focus to make that happen. The focus of this … More EDF on Grid Modernization
Chicago’s National Public Radio affiliate, WBEZ, started their fall/winter pledge drive earlier this week. As usual, the station offers a range of “thank you” gifts, with different gifts for different donation amounts. Going beyond the ubiquitous tote bag and coffee mug, this year WBEZ offers a stylish black and red (good color combo when you … More Dynamic pricing is everywhere … even NPR
Recently on EconTalk Russ Roberts talked with Duke University’s Mike Munger about permissionless innovation. The discussion focused on Mike’s recent essay on permissionless innovation, in which he claimed that “permissionless innovation, a strong presumption in favor of allowing experimentation with new technologies and with new business platforms that use those technologies” is the most important, … More Complexity, Permissionless Innovation, and the English Dance
The Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) is a foundation that uses its grantmaking to “create a more energy-literate society that’s ready for the smart grid“. Working through local community organizations including educational and religious organizations, ISEIF provides grants to promote understanding of and use of markets and technology to promote behavior change in … More Energy literacy, innovation, and economic history: a recent talk
When Bruce Springsteen decided to do a run of shows at a Broadway theater with fewer than a thousand seats, he appeared to reject the laws of economics — or at least what would seem to be in his financial best interest. He limited ticket prices to between $75 and $850 and has been allocating … More Surge pricing like a boss
Recently the Illinois Commerce Commission kicked off its “utility of the future” initiative, called NextGrid. This 18-month stakeholder study will gather ideas to map out a strategic direction for electricity in Illinois. I spoke on a panel at the kickoff event that focused on platforms and transactive energy; here’s a summary of the panel from … More Illinois NextGrid, platform economics, and a new working paper
Recently I spoke at the Surge Summit event of the Illinois Science & Engineering Innovation Foundation (ISEIF). ISEIF’s mission is customer education, awareness, and engagement as Illinois implements policies enabling a digital distribution grid and transactive energy. I am honored to serve as a peer reviewer on ISEIF’s Peer Review Committee. As a lead-up to … More Three little questions about behavioral energy economics and transactive energy
This article in the OECD Observer by Chris Pike provides a concise overview of some of the current issues and challenges that innovation is creating for existing business and regulatory models in electricity (and cites Kiesling & Munson 2016, thank you for that!). The main argument is that digital innovation is disrupting the traditional regulated retail … More OECD on competition and new electricity business models
Many of the prospects for a cleaner and prosperous future — autonomous vehicles, economical renewable energy, more efficient electronics — are made more likely and/or more affordable with improvements in energy storage. Tesla’s advances in the technology, form factor, and scale of production of lithium ion batteries are well known (and in fact I think … More How cool is this liquid battery?