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 NPR economics podcast Planet Money offers a great five-part introduction to the oil business and the place it plays in our economy. Along the way they offer insights into prices and market processes, innovation and industry change, and the many uses of fossil energy. The five part series does not go deep, but the reporters do cover the … More Planet Money buys oil, loses about $800 on the deal, and makes some great podcast journalism
The Texas Public Utility Commission has implemented a fix to the “gaming the rankings” problem. The fix itself can be gamed a bit – is already being gamed a bit – but the offers gaming the fix are less misleading than before. It is an improvement. Here is what is going on: Creative retail electric … More Gaming the rankings on the Texas Power to Choose website: TPUC’s simple solution
PJM has issued a report that, no surprise, finds the regional power promotes efficiency in operation and offers the right incentives for market entry and exit. The report does a few things, but none perhaps as useful as reminding policymakers that transparent, well-functioning markets do not always deliver the outcomes they wish for. From the … More PJM report says the regional power market works, doesn’t always give regulators what they want
When I posted the suggestion that adding thermal imaging capability to the cameras on ordinary smart phones would boost energy efficiency, I did not know there was published research offering some support for claim. As it turns out…. Julie Goodhew, Sabine Pahl, Tim Auburn, and Steve Goodhew, “Making Heat Visible: Promoting Energy Conservation Behaviors Through Thermal Imaging” Environment & … More Promoting energy conservation through thermal imaging
From the Washington Post: “This mystery was solved: Scientists say chemicals from fracking wastewater can taint fresh water nearby.”* The article itself mentions one study done by the USGS looking upstream and downstream from a single wastewater storage site in near Lochgelly, WV. But a study by the U.S. Geological Survey appears to have answered … More The mystery of fracking revealed by intrepid Washington Post reporter
Severin Borenstein asks whether growth of distributed energy is mostly an uneconomic response to regulatory dysfunction, and raises the question of whether uneconomic responses might lead to regulatory improvements. He doesn’t quite frame the issues quite like that, his post is somewhat exploratory in form, but I think this is the question he is aiming at. … More Does bad regulatory policy sow the seeds of better regulatory policy?