Insights from Our Experts

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

By Philip Baker
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. Accord... Read More

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

By John Shenot
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 Adminis... Read More

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

By Max Dupuy, Wang Xuan
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... Read More

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

By Wang Xuan, Fredrich (Fritz) Kahrl
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: ... Read More

Deja Vu All Over Again

By David Farnsworth
Yogi Berra famously had a quote for every occasion. If asked to describe the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s February 9 stay of the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), I’d bet he’d say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” The post-McCain-Lieberman and Waxman-Markey world of failed federal climate policy was one of uncertainty and apprehension for ... Read More

How Much Excess Coal-fired Generation Capacity Does China Have?

By Fredrich (Fritz) Kahrl
Since the beginning of 2014, demand for electricity in China has fallen dramatically, following more than a decade of double-digit growth. Despite slowing demand growth, there are indications that a large amount of coal-fired generation capacity is currently under development. While a recent policy announcement temporarily suspends the construction of coal-fired ... Read More


By Wang Xuan, Fredrich (Fritz) Kahrl
近年来,随着我国经济发展,能源消费不断增加,这一方面保障了我国经济发展和人民生活水平的提高,另一方面也带来巨大的污染物排放,对环境和人民身体健康的破坏日益严重。电力行业是能源消费和污染物排放的大户,是全国节能减排工作的重点。过去几年中,提高能... Read More

Capacity, Competition, and Consumers Top RAP’s List of Missing Market Priorities

By Michael Hogan
The European Commission's Market Design Initiative (MDI) rightly identifies investment and security of supply, demand-side participation in markets, and market governance as three central pillars of a successful market reform. In framing the initiative's priorities, however, the Commission has neglected some of the most important obstacles to success in each of t... Read More

Long Live the Duck — and May He Fly Flat

By Jim Lazar
Utilities and grid operators from Germany to Hawaii have expressed concern about their ability to maintain reliable service as increasing amounts of variable renewable energy–primarily wind and solar–are added to a grid that has historically consisted overwhelmingly of “dispatchable” resources such as coal, natural gas, and hydropower units. This has been... Read More

The Inexorable Shift of the US Power Sector

By David Littell
While the U.S. Supreme Court’s temporary stay on enforcement of the Clean Power Plan has grabbed headlines recently, it’s important that we read deeper, and consider the broader context, of which the CPP is only one part. In recent years, and in the last several months in particular, there have been foundational, even tectonic, shifts in the U.S. power secto... Read More