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

Does bad regulatory policy sow the seeds of better regulatory policy?

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?

My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering

Institutional persistence creates some of the thorniest problems in public policy, including electricity policy. Institutions change more slowly than technology and markets, because of both  design and status quo bias, which means that dynamic processes of economic and technological change can make regulatory institutions outdated. This mismatch is showing up right now in the electricity … More My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering

Looking for renewable policy certainty in all the wrong places

From EnergyWire comes the headline, “In Missouri, industry wants off the ‘solar coaster’.” (link here via Midwest Energy News). A utility rebate program authorized by voters in 2008 is making Missouri into a solar leader in the Midwest. But $175 million set aside to subsidize solar installations is [nearly] fully subscribed … and the same small … More Looking for renewable policy certainty in all the wrong places

Europe wood. Wood you?

Michael Giberson From The Economist, “Wood, The fuel of the future“: WHICH source of renewable energy is most important to the European Union? Solar power, perhaps? (Europe has three-quarters of the world’s total installed capacity of solar photovoltaic energy.) Or wind? (Germany trebled its wind-power capacity in the past decade.) The answer is neither. By … More Europe wood. Wood you?

Fossil energy subsidies and renewable energy competitiveness

Michael Giberson Some, not all, of you believe that fossil fuel energy gain massive and undeserved subsidies from the federal government, that such subsidies way outweigh subsidies for renewable energy, and that subsidies for fossil fuels undermine the market success of renewable energy. You may want to read Severin Borenstein’s post, “Are Fossil Fuel Subsidies … More Fossil energy subsidies and renewable energy competitiveness

NYT Energy For Tomorrow Closing Plenary video

Lynne Kiesling Last week the New York Times hosted a conference called “Energy For Tomorrow”, and they have made video from all of the sessions available; there are several sessions discussing energy efficiency, natural gas, renewables, etc. I watched the closing plenary on Friday, for which the topic was subsidies in any or all energy … More NYT Energy For Tomorrow Closing Plenary video

Measuring success by how much you spent on the program: A renewable energy example

Michael Giberson In general, in public policy analysis, you’d like to judge ultimate success or failure of a program by its net results, by actual benefits less the costs involved in achieving those benefits. Admittedly sometimes benefits are hard to measure, but ultimately the point of a policy change is to bring about some improvement … More Measuring success by how much you spent on the program: A renewable energy example

Natural gas is too cheap and too plentiful

Michael Giberson Russel Smith thinks we should use government power to limit natural gas production in order to boost gas prices. Why? Because he is the executive director of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association and cheap and plentiful gas is cutting into the business opportunities of renewable energy companies. “The price is so low, there’s so much … More Natural gas is too cheap and too plentiful