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

Early reactions to the DOE grid reliability study

The much anticipated, objected to, lobbyied about, editorialized on US Department of Energy study on electric grid reliability, markets, and policy has finally been released. Finally us commenters will actually know what we are talking about. Maybe. You can find the report on the DOE website along with Secretary Perry’s cover letter. I may comment … More Early reactions to the DOE grid reliability study

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

Utahns get low-cost, reliable electric power. What is wrong with that?

Utah is doing just fine with monopoly electric service, says a state legislator who oversees the Utah Public Utilities Commission. The legislator, Carl Albrecht, was responding to an op-ed appearing in the Deseret News the week earlier by Ethan Dursteler and me in which we encouraged Utahns to consider retail electric competition. Albrecht is right … More Utahns get low-cost, reliable electric power. What is wrong with that?

Lobbyists for wind and solar energy ready to fight DOE grid policy study

Soon after Energy Secretary Rick Perry requested DOE staff to prepare a report on how public policies affected the electric power grid, lobbyists for the wind energy and solar energy industries struck back. In an op-ed appearing in The Hill, Megan Hansen and I identify why we think the renewable power industries are so sensitive … More Lobbyists for wind and solar energy ready to fight DOE grid policy study

The weak case for continued regulation of the electric power industry

In today’s Wall Street Journal special section on energy issues, a pair of articles presents the case for and against restructuring the electric power industry to introduce more competition. In favor of reform is Andrew Kleit: “YES: It Is the Best Way to Lower Costs and Increase Innovation.” In favor of the traditional regulated electric utility … More The weak case for continued regulation of the electric power industry