Job Change, and a Blogging Renaissance

  I’m pleased to announce that I have accepted a new position at Carnegie Mellon University, as Visiting Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Co-Director of the Institute for Regulatory Law & Economics (IRLE), and Faculty Affiliate in the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, starting July 1. Founded in 2004 … More Job Change, and a Blogging Renaissance

The Uk Smart Meter Transition: Industry Structure, Market Power, and Interoperability

The UK government started an energy digital smart meter rollout in 2008, an “… £11bn scheme to put 53m devices in 30m homes and small businesses by 2020” to yield an estimated gross benefit of £16.7bn. Calling the rollout a disaster would be generous — it’s behind schedule, about £1bn over budget, and full of technical … More The Uk Smart Meter Transition: Industry Structure, Market Power, and Interoperability

Should Your Electricity Distributor Also Be Your Electricity Retailer?

Maximilian Auffhammer explored the question, “How Local Should Your Energy Retailer Be?” at the Energy Institute at Haas blog. He said the issue had come up over lunch in the office. The distribution utility of the future is going to buy electrons in this reordered market (mostly renewables and some fossils) and sell them to its … More Should Your Electricity Distributor Also Be Your Electricity Retailer?

Two Ev Entries in the “How Cool is This?” File

Economical energy storage has long been the Holy Grail of electricity. Since 1800, when Alessandro Volta invented the electric pile (a forerunner of the modern battery), hobbyists, scientists, and engineers have experimented with chemicals and materials to create economical storage at a smaller scale than a hydroelectric dam and with a more portable technology than, … More Two Ev Entries in the “How Cool is This?” File

Barry Smitherman: How Texas Used a Free Market to Reduce Electricity Prices and Pollution

Barry Smitherman has an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, “How Texas used a free market to reduce electricity prices and pollution.” Smitherman is former chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission and before that of the Texas Public Utilities Commission. He highlights price reductions available to consumers as compared to prices immediately before the retail … More Barry Smitherman: How Texas Used a Free Market to Reduce Electricity Prices and Pollution

Will 2018 Be the Year of Solar or Coal?

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?

Edf on Grid Modernization

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

Energy Literacy, Innovation, and Economic History: a Recent Talk

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

Integrating Reliability-must-run Practices into Wholesale Electricity Markets

One of the challenges of electric power market design comes in the need to consider the consequences of design choices for both market outcomes and grid reliability. Strictly speaking, the two kinds of consequences are not neatly separable, as market choices affect system reliability and system reliability affects market outcomes. The interaction between the two … More Integrating Reliability-must-run Practices into Wholesale Electricity Markets

Illinois Nextgrid, Platform Economics, and a New Working Paper

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