Insights from Our Experts

Britain’s capacity market: What Europe can learn

By Philip Baker
The U.K.’s marketwide capacity mechanism for electricity provides a solution to a supply problem that has yet to emerge, writes Phil Baker. A targeted strategic reserve is likely to be a more cost-reflective alternative, he argues. In 2014 Great Britain introduced a marketwide capacity mechanism in the belief that necessary investment in generation capacity ... Read More

Building efficiency is crucial to a fair energy transition

By Jan Rosenow, Sibyl Steuwer
When we think of the complex transition to clean energy, we often think in terms of broad “how” questions. One question rightfully gaining increasing attention across the EU is how to address energy poverty as part of the clean energy transition. In Germany, even conservative estimates assume that one in ten households cannot afford to keep adequately warm. T... Read More

Smart Grid and Community Benefits—with No Rate Increase? How Burbank Made it Happen

By Jim Lazar
Burbank Water and Power (BWP) is a 50,000-customer, community-owned municipal utility in the Los Angeles area. BWP has implemented an advanced smart grid network, and did so with no rate increase to consumers. How did they do this? BWP received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) as well as a grant from the California Energy Co... Read More

Timing Is Everything: How Smart Rate Design Helps Make Electrification Beneficial

By Max Dupuy
In talking about beneficial electrification, we have emphasized the benefits of various kinds of flexibility. For example, loads that can be scheduled at different times of day without too much inconvenience to the user can be beneficial, because they can help the power grid run more efficiently and use more clean renewable energy. Owners of electric vehicles ... Read More

Karnataka’s power sector: History, politics of development have consequences

By Meera Sudhakar
When Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy announced crop loan waivers in his first budget after he came to power in May this year, there was widespread concern about how the state would finance these. Many who thought the loan waiver was a valid response to agrarian distress argued for managing costs by cutting the other biggest subsidy component in the budget – gover... Read More

Purple Haze, or Purple Mountain Majesties? How Energy Efficiency Can Reduce Regional Haze

By Nancy Seidman
Tourists visit our national parks to see the majestic vistas, not haze-obscured views. The two images of the Grand Canyon below illustrate this point: In the view on the left, one can see for more than 200 miles, while on the right, visibility is only about 60 miles. That’s because the view in the right-hand picture is obscured by air pollution, which also impa... Read More

A Tale of Two Reforms: The Power Sector in Andhra Pradesh

By Ashwini K. Swain
Andhra Pradesh’s power sector is going through a second phase of reforms. The first (1999-2004) was widely seen as focused on privatization of electricity distribution; this time the goal is to ensure affordable and reliable power supply for all. To do so, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has pledged to keep retail tariffs unchanged in the coming years for all ... Read More

A Window for Power Sector Transformation in Uttar Pradesh

By Jonathan Balls
A rare window is open for power sector reform in Uttar Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in office in both Lucknow and New Delhi, has a sweeping mandate to transform Uttar Pradesh’s troubled electricity situation. The party has made two important commitments on this front. First, to ensure every household in the state has an electricity connection and ... Read More

Electricity Reforms in India Depend on Getting the Politics Right

By Navroz Dubash, Sunila Kale, Ranjit Bharvirkar
The Indian economy is among the fastest-growing in the world. Sustaining this growth requires a healthy electricity sector that is able to meet increased demands, ideally alongside an eye to environmental sustainability. Yet electricity consumers continue to face unreliable supply, distribution utilities are in poor financial health, and, most problematic, pow... Read More

Replacing copper with negawatts—how RIIO-2 could revolutionise network regulation

By Jan Rosenow
Ofgem’s recent framework decision on improving its performance-based regulation scheme, RIIO, indicates that it may be ready to take a much-needed step toward levelling the playing field between supply-side and customer-side resources. However, it is not yet clear what the details will look like. According to Jan Rosenow of the Regulatory Assistance Project, a ... Read More