Insights from Our Experts

Hybrid Heat: the Cool Path to Home Heating

By David Farnsworth
The opportunity: If the over 50 million US homes that have central air conditioning and a separate heating system just replaced their AC with a look-alike and more efficient “two-way” heat pump unit, those households could not only cool over the summer, but they could also heat during the spring and fall. This would produce the immediate benefit of cutting a ... Read More

Making the last mile electric

By Julia Hildermeier, Hussein Basma
E-commerce has grown significantly during the COVID crisis, recording a 15% increase in activity and delivery traffic in urban areas between 2019 and 2021. Replacing diesel delivery trucks with battery-electric trucks can help cut harmful emissions and local pollution and reduce noise levels from last-mile delivery.   Given their low daily driving ranges of ... Read More

A Win for Building Electrification: EPA Elevates Heat Pumps over One-Way ACs

By David Farnsworth, Max Dupuy, Matt Malinowski
Millions of U.S. homes have central air conditioning for the summer and separate fossil fuel heating systems for the winter. A great way to boost home heating electrification is to replace those central air conditioners with look-alike “two-way” heat pump units, which can provide highly efficient heating in addition to cooling, at little extra up-front cost. ... Read More

How the European Union incentivises inefficient renewable heating

By Duncan Gibb
The EU’s renewables directives count what fuel is burned for heating, as opposed to the amount of heat produced. Never has the spotlight shone so brightly on Europe’s heating and cooling sector. And for a good reason. Fossil gas makes up around 39% of the energy used to heat buildings and much of Europe wants to rapidly phase it out. To help do so, the ... Read More

EV smart charging: A golden opportunity for distribution system operators

By Jaap Burger, Julia Hildermeier
Electric vehicles (EVs) offer a cleaner, more energy efficient means of transportation than vehicles with internal combustion engines. Less well known is that they also provide a still largely unused resource to improve grid operation. Although the additional electricity demand from EVs will be manageable on a power system level, it may create the occasional chal... Read More

An Escape from the “Jaws of Delusion”: Planning for the End of Cheap Gas

By David Farnsworth
In 2013, Marty Kushler, senior fellow at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), gave a presentation in Chicago on gas efficiency programs. He argued that one should not make decisions about programs with lengthy multi-year effects based on the record-low spot market prices for domestic natural gas.  Gas at that time was $2 per thousand cub... Read More

‘Game on’ for Germany’s heat pump transformation

By Duncan Gibb, Andreas Jahn
Time is of the essence if Germany hopes to meet its ambitious net-zero emissions target by 2045. To achieve this goal, the country will have to rapidly transform how it heats its buildings while ridding itself of Russian gas. Alongside increasing the renovation rate of buildings and rolling out clean district heating, heat pumps are one of the key technologies th... Read More

Making sense of India’s fast-changing policy landscape: Integrated modelling to inform decision-making

By Kakali Mukhopadhyay, Ranjit Bharvirkar, Frederick Weston
With several notable recent economic reforms, India is one of the fastest-growing emerging economies. The country aspires to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25 and a $10 trillion one by 2030. There is ample evidence that India’s growth has been highly unequal in the past. Therefore, transforming this vision of growth into reality will require a comprehens... Read More

The E3-India model: It’s come a long way

By Hector Pollitt, Ranjit Bharvirkar, Frederick Weston
In 2016, the Regulatory Assistance Project approached Cambridge Econometrics about building a new macroeconomic modelling tool for India. The rationale for the model was simple: India needed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but much of the policy to do so is set at the state level. A model that could identify the impacts of policies to boost state-level su... Read More

House power: the hidden powerhouse of the new energy landscape

By Sophie Yule-Bennett
Raoul Dufy’s 1937 fresco La Fée Électricité — an arresting 600 square metre tribute to “the great adventure of electricity” — depicts science and technology leaps such as Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction, Gramme’s direct current dynamo, Baudot’s telegraph, and Edison’s incandescent light bulb. These developments changed the wo... Read More