Kiesling & Munson: A Revolution in Power

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund’s Midwest clean energy director, and I have been working with, thinking about, and doing research on the evolution of technologies and regulation in the electricity industry for a long time. I have used Dick’s book From Edison to Enron in my own work, and his blog posts at EDF are … More Kiesling & Munson: A Revolution in Power

Apple’s Jack and Incumbent Vertical Market Power

  Apple’s controversial decision to remove the universal 3.5mm audio jack from its just-released iPhone 7 has several economic dimensions. All of them are a consequence of Apple’s proprietary architecture (colloquially known as “Steve’s walled garden”) and the extent to which Apple is trying to/able to exercise incumbent vertical market power. How much market power … More Apple’s Jack and Incumbent Vertical Market Power

Widespread Access to Thermal Imagery Will Boost Home Energy Efficiency

When the cameras built in to everyday phones have smart thermal imaging capability, then – finally – the dreams of energy efficiency experts will come true. Consumers will have easy access to pictures showing hot spots and cold spots around windows and doors and on walls and ceilings. People will spend more to replace windows and … More Widespread Access to Thermal Imagery Will Boost Home Energy Efficiency

Power Up: The Framework for a New ERA of UK Energy Distribution

The Adam Smith Institute has published a research report I wrote for them, Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution. From the press release: The report … argues that new technologies such as smart grids and distributed energy production can revolutionise old models of energy distribution and pricing, in the … More Power Up: The Framework for a New ERA of UK Energy Distribution

Technological Change, Culture, and a “Social License to Operate”

Technological change is disruptive, and in the long sweep of human history, that disruption is one of the fundamental sources of economic growth and what Deirdre McCloskey calls the Great Enrichment: In 1800 the average income per person…all over the planet was…an average of $3 a day. Imagine living in present-day Rio or Athens or … More Technological Change, Culture, and a “Social License to Operate”

How Cool is This? A Transparent Solar Cell

I’ve not been sharing enough of my “how cool is this?” moments, and believe me, I’ve had plenty of them in the digital and clean tech areas lately. I find this one very exciting: Michigan State researchers have developed a fully transparent solar cell that could be used for windows or device screens: Instead of trying … More How Cool is This? A Transparent Solar Cell

Forthcoming Paper: Implications of Smart Grid Innovation for Organizational Models in Electricity Distribution

Back in 2001 I participated in a year-long forum on the future of the electricity distribution model. Convened by the Center for the Advancement of Energy Markets, the DISCO of the Future Forum brought together many stakeholders to develop several scenarios and analyze their implications (and several of those folks remain friends, playmates in the … More Forthcoming Paper: Implications of Smart Grid Innovation for Organizational Models in Electricity Distribution

The New York Rev and the Distribution Company of the Future

We live in interesting times in the electricity industry. Vibrant technological dynamism, the very dynamism that has transformed how we work, play, and live, puts increasing pressure on the early-20th-century physical network, regulatory model, and resulting business model of the vertically-integrated distribution utility. While the utility “death spiral” rhetoric is overblown, these pressures are real. … More The New York Rev and the Distribution Company of the Future

Geoff Manne in Wired on Fcc Title Ii

Friend of Knowledge Problem Geoff Manne had a thorough opinion piece in Wired yesterday on the FCC’s Title II Internet designation. Well worth reading. From the “be careful what you wish for” department: Title II (which, recall, is the basis for the catch-all) applies to all “telecommunications services”—not just ISPs. Now, every time an internet … More Geoff Manne in Wired on Fcc Title Ii

FCC Title Ii and Raising Rivals’ Costs

As the consequences of the FCC vote to classify the Internet as a Title II service start to sink in, here are a couple of good commentaries you may not have seen. Jeffrey Tucker’s political economy analysis of the Title II vote as a power grab is one of the best overall analyses of the … More FCC Title Ii and Raising Rivals’ Costs