Insights from Our Experts

Efficiency First: Unlocking the Promise of the Energy Union

As the Energy Union concept begins taking form, it is essential to consider how to effectively meet the goals of an integrated, secure, competitive, and sustainable energy market. A new policy brief by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) suggests that success of the Energy Union rests on an organizing principle called “Efficiency First”. The key to thi... Read More

Energy Efficiency as an Air Quality Strategy: Connecting the Dots Using a Mobile Source Analogy

By Ken Colburn
Every year states invest more than $6 billion in energy efficiency programs, which also improve air quality. Yet, states rarely receive any credit for the resulting emissions reductions! The benefits don’t stop with air quality. Energy efficiency not only reduces multiple pollutants, but also generates additional economic and environmental benefits. For example... Read More

Tackling 111(d) Compliance Planning: It’s Not a SIP!

By Christopher James
States asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for flexibility in crafting plans to meet the requirements of the proposed Clean Power Plan (also known as 111(d), after the pertinent section of the Clean Air Act), and EPA listened. EPA’s proposal uses four broad “building blocks” (heat rate improvements, re-dispatch to natural gas, non-emitting ... Read More


By Christopher James
2010年以来中国发布了一系列综合且严厉的措施来改善空气质量,其中国务院于2013年9月颁布的《大气污染防治行动计划》标志着里程碑。这些措施包括制定对区域空气质量达标计划、设定禁煤区,承诺煤炭消费总量控制、重点城市具体污染物减排目标的要求,例如北京,上海... Read More

Opportunities to Strengthen China’s Air Pollution Control Law

Since 2010, China has announced a series of increasingly comprehensive and stringent measures to improve air quality, including the landmark Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013–2017) issued by the State Council in September 2013. These include requirements for regional air quality planning, plans for elimination of coal consumption in certai... Read More


By Fredrich (Fritz) Kahrl, Wang Xuan
尽管就中国可再生能源存在海量的文献,但人们对中国电力行业基本机构的设置和运行,及其如何构成可再生能源扩展和并网的约束,缺乏足够的了解。本篇文章作为三个技术启蒙读本之一,旨在填补这一空白,文章主要针对电力系统的运作—在电力系统物理限制下匹配电力... Read More

Integrating Renewables: Opportunities to Create More Flexibility in Power System Operations

Despite extensive literature on renewable energy in China, the constraints faced by industry and regulators in expanding and integrating renewable energy into power systems remain opaque. Even power sector insiders can find it difficult to fully appreciate the overall picture of institutions and practices governing China’s power sector and the complex ways in w... Read More

Economic Value of Demand Response

China has used demand response to solve power supply shortages and react to power incidents since the 1990s. Traditional Chinese demand response is organized under the “orderly use of electricity,” led by the government to shift peak load and control power usage during emergency periods. This method played an important role in assuring safe grid operation in ... Read More

Low-Carbon Power Sector Regulation: International Experience from Brazil, Europe, and the United States

With the power sector in China accounting for more than half of annual coal consumption, it will play a key role in meeting the government’s goals to reduce carbon emissions, reduce coal consumption, and improve air quality. Under the auspices of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011–2015) and the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013–2017), many p... Read More

Grid Tariffs and Role of Distribution Operators for the Energiewende

In Germany, high growth in decentralized renewable generation combined with the very large number of distribution system operators (~850) raises critical questions about the role of distribution operators, increasing grid costs, and how the charges (tariffs) to recover these costs should be designed and allocated among grid users. Grid tariffs are under particula... Read More