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?

Nancy MacLean’s generalized rewriting of James Buchanan’s views on democracy

I have only read a small bit of Nancy MacLean’s book on James M. Buchanan, public choice, and politics. I’m reluctant to buy a copy, but I wanted to see if it was as bad as some critics have said. (Now you know something of my limited knowledge of and pre-existing bias against the book. … More Nancy MacLean’s generalized rewriting of James Buchanan’s views on democracy

Fun with Footnotes (A game of scholarly discovery)

“Let’s … have … fun … with … footnote[s],” MacLean said.* Here is a simple game of scholarship that anyone can play and everyone who plays by accepted norms of scholarship wins!** How to play: Take the recently published book Democracy in Chains, open it randomly to a page in the text, find a footnote … More Fun with Footnotes (A game of scholarly discovery)

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