Insights from Our Experts

Calming Chicken Little: An EV Grid Tale Without the Scary Ending

By Jim Lazar
When kids hear the fairy tale Chicken Little, they learn that a confused little bird is hit on the head with an acorn and concludes the sky is falling. It then manages to convince a handful of other animals of this, and they do a whole lot of running around for absolutely no good reason before a wily fox takes advantage of their confusion and eats them. It is a g... Read More


By Wang Xuan
2017年底国家发改委、国家能源局联合发布了《关于开展分布式发电市场化交易试点的通知》  (发改能源[2017]1901号),为就近利用分布式能源资源迈出了新的一步。这一通知规定了分布式发电交易模式和组织形式,并对其中关键问题,如“过网费”、相关补贴和可再生能源配额�... Read More

Time for German network operators to come clean about tariffs

By Andreas Jahn
Network tariffs are an important part of energy costs for consumers, yet, surprisingly, the way these fees are established in Germany is completely opaque, writes Andreas Jahn, Berlin-based senior associate at global energy policy advisors Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). According to Jahn, it is unclear how network operators and the regulator calculate costs... Read More

The quiet power market transformation behind the new carbon market in China

By Max Dupuy
In December, the Chinese government announced the launch of a national carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS), which is expected to become the largest ETS in the world. This is a major development, writes Max Dupuy, senior associate at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), but its success depends on an even deeper power sector transformation that is taking plac... Read More

Environmental Permits Can Help to Implement Power Sector Reform

By Christopher James
During my trip to China this past October and November, my tenth such during that time of year, I wore my facemask only once, on a day when the air quality index (AQI) was 260. While an AQI of 260 is unacceptable and hazardous, just five years ago during the same calendar period, I experienced weeks of the AQI being at 400-500 (or higher), and there were many day... Read More

Reflections on 2017: Key Trends Shaping the Power Sector

By Jessica Shipley
Reflection comes naturally during the holiday season. As I come to the end of my first year at RAP, I am reflecting on many interesting power sector developments from 2017. I will focus on a handful here—trends that stood out in the past year and will continue to change the electricity industry, and how it is regulated, in 2018 and beyond. Regulatory Innovatio... Read More

What’s Next for Distributed Generation in China?

By Max Dupuy, Wang Xuan
Investment in solar photovoltaic (PV) generation is surging in China, and, although utility-scale solar continues to dominate, distributed solar is also growing rapidly. The country is estimated to have added 54 GW of solar in 2017, and distributed solar accounts for about one-third of that capacity. Now, policymakers appear to be emphasizing continued growth ... Read More

On the Road to “Efficiency First” in the Energy Union – Are we there yet?

By Edith Bayer
In 2015, the European Commission adopted moderating energy demand as a pillar of the Energy Union and “Efficiency First” as a guiding principle underpinning it. Last Friday, the Commission released its third State of the Energy Union. So how is Europe doing on implementing “Efficiency First”? The Commission states that it “has presented nearly all ... Read More

Across the Pond, but in the Same Boat: The 2017 California–Germany Bilateral Energy Conference

By Carl Linvill, Andreas Jahn
Germany and California hold the distinctions on their respective continents of being first movers in decarbonization policy. Both have aggressively pursued power sector decarbonization with ambitious renewable energy policies, and both have now set their sights on decarbonizing the building and transport sectors. While they have differences, their implementation ... Read More

How Do You Know If “The Price Is Right” for Community Solar Programs?

By John Shenot
In television’s longest running game show, contestants are challenged to guess the prices of a wide variety of consumer goods. The contestant who comes closest to the actual price, without going over, is the winner. I found myself thinking about The Price Is Right at a recent workshop in Denver, hosted by the Community Solar Value Project—one of 14 innovat... Read More