Insights from Our Experts

We Need a Lorry-Load of Energy Savings; in the new ECO, the Government Delivers a Hatchback

by Jan Rosenow Richard Cowart on

The United Kingdom was once a world leader in energy savings. We proved that investing in buildings, insulating lofts, and switching to efficient boilers, motors, and lighting created jobs, saved money, and lowered the environmental costs of energy systems. But in recent years we have turned our back on our own evidence, reducing the breadth…

Hot Showers and Cool Rides: Wind, Sun, and the Duck Curve

by Jim Lazar on

As we look out over the power sector transformation that is unmistakably upon us, there are those who warn of the sacrifices, the risks, and the costs that could come with more and more intermittent electricity generation—wind and solar energy, for example—on the grid. They show us the “duck curve” that suggests that balancing supply…

Lighting the Path to a Brighter Future

by John Shenot on

With so many attention-grabbing headlines coming from sunny places like Nevada, Arizona, California, and Hawaii, one could easily be led to think that’s where all of the solar power action is in the United States. Not true! In fact, solar power is steadily gaining ground in all corners of the country. Consider, for example, the…

Carbon Markets: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future

by David Littell on

Neo-classical economics tells us that markets reduce costs and increase social welfare. It also teaches that pollution not properly accounted for is a classic economic externality. That is, if clean air and clear water are not properly valued, degrading them reduces economic efficiency, impacts social welfare, and increases social costs. Pollution not-paid-for represents a market…

Energy Efficiency in the UK: Time to Get Out of Reverse Gear

by Jan Rosenow Richard Cowart on

In recent years across the UK, citizens, government, and the business community have all demonstrated a willingness to lead the world in the fight against climate change. So the mystery today is: Why is the UK walking away from energy efficiency, the most effective and least-cost way of reducing carbon emissions? We certainly know better….

If Europe Wants Integrated Markets, it Should Take the Leap to Regional Grids

by Philip Baker on

Europe is progressing towards an integrated, interconnected pan-European electricity market. However, the governance and regulatory arrangements that the EU has established to support this process are inadequate to the task. They are more focused on preserving the sovereignty of national TSO and regulators than addressing the wider interests of the market. According to Baker, the…

It’s Aready Happening: New EIA Numbers Show a Utility Sector in Transformation

by John Shenot on

My colleague David Littell recently wrote about the inexorable shift of the US power sector toward cleaner sources of electric energy, noting that the cost of renewables has been dropping, energy efficiency continues to grow, and storage technologies have been improving, among other things. Shortly after we published his article, the US Energy Information Administration…

China’s String of New Policies Addressing Renewable Energy Curtailment: An Update

by Max Dupuy Wang Xuan on

In late March, the Chinese government issued a major policy announcement (Chinese, known as “Document 625”) on renewable energy, aimed at reducing the perennially high level of curtailment of energy from wind, solar, hydro, and other renewable resources. The central feature of Document 625 is a mandated “guarantee” that grid companies purchase output from renewable…

Lower Emissions, Costs Possible with Two-Part Pricing and Dispatch Reform in China

by Wang Xuan Fredrich (Fritz) Kahrl on

China’s power sector is one of the key causes of coal consumption and pollution emissions. The Chinese government has achieved great progress in decarbonizing the power sector in the past ten years through increasing energy efficiency, installing pollution treatment equipment, and supporting renewable energy. However, some problems still remain, including: “Equal shares dispatch,” which gives…