Insights from Our Experts

Revisiting the Public Good, Part 1: A Better Understanding of “Public”

By David Farnsworth
Ensuring the “public good” has been a central regulatory goal since the US Supreme Court decided Munn v. Illinois in 1876, a case in which the court determined that grain elevators — because of their key role in the ability of farmers to get their goods to market — were affected with the “public interest.” Today, nearly a century and a half later, we ... Read More

Efficiency First must tackle implementation issues to be effective

By Jan Rosenow, Zsuzsanna Pató
Efficiency First policy needs to be effectively applied across the EU in order to meet decarbonisation goals. As is the case in many countries in Europe, households in Great Britain can benefit from public subsidies if they install renewable heating systems. This is not surprising given that heating our buildings results in about 20% of the nation’s carbon e... Read More

Heating homes with hydrogen: Are we being sold a pup?

By Jan Rosenow
Hydrogen has an important role to play in the clean energy transition, but there are better options for decarbonising heating in our homes. The expression ‘to sell someone a pup’ comes from an old confidence trick, where a bag purportedly containing a piglet would be sold, only for the new owner to discover that it actually contained a puppy. It was a crue... Read More

Adiós al carbón, bienvenida flexibilidad de demanda: Cómo puede España liderar la transición energética

By Christos Kolokathis
Cuando varias centrales térmicas cierran simultáneamente, aproximadamente 4’6 GW el 30 de junio de 2020, sería de esperar algún comentario sobre la preocupación en torno a los cortes de energía. No así en España: el reciente cierre de la mitad de las centrales de carbón aún existentes no ha sorprendido a casi nadie, y con motivo.  En la última d... Read More

Adios to coal, bienvenido demand flexibility: How Spain can lead the way in the energy transition

By Christos Kolokathis
When a bunch of thermal power plants shut down simultaneously, around 4.6 GW on 30 June 2020, one would normally expect to hear concerns about emerging blackouts. But not in Spain. The recent closure of half of the remaining coal fleet has hardly raised an eyebrow, and rightly so. The country is suffering from an acute overcapacity problem that has persisted f... Read More

California’s Outages Are a Teachable Moment

By Carl Linvill
Two keen observers of the power sector, Jigar Shah and Cheryl LaFleur, have noted that the responses to the rotating power outages in California on August 14 and 15 became a Rorschach test of individual preexisting biases. Before many facts were known, a favorite villain was chosen and a conclusion drawn: too much solar, not enough gas, underperforming gas, corru... Read More

Why would anyone finance another coal power plant in China?

By Max Dupuy
Government officials and state-owned energy enterprises in China are currently debating another wave of coal power investment, despite a severely diminished business case for the technology. These companies that own and operate China’s coal fleet are already facing financial losses, thanks to increasing competition from renewables, market reforms and ov... Read More

EV charging infrastructure in Europe: A clear path for a competitive market

By Julia Hildermeier
Electric mobility will play a key role in helping Europe’s transport sector recover from the current crisis. European and national recovery programmes, which are based on the European Commission’s Green New Deal, are already showing clear signs of this. Germany, for example, has decided to double its support for consumers purchasing electric vehicles (EVs). E... Read More

Extended ETS outperforms carbon border adjustment in the power sector

By András Mezősi, Zsuzsanna Pató, László Szabó
The European Commission’s proposal to introduce a carbon border adjustment mechanism would not work as well as extending the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to reduce global emissions and further integrate energy exporting countries into the European power market. Carbon leakage occurs in any carbon pricing regime that is not global, which means all of them so f... Read More

With the Shift Toward Electrification, Decoupling Remains Key for Driving Decarbonization

By Rachel Gold, Jessica Shipley
States across the United States are increasingly prioritizing electrification of transportation and buildings to meet their decarbonization goals. Utilities are an important driver of this investment, so it’s critical that their business incentives be aligned with the public policy goals of an affordable, reliable, decarbonized and efficient energy system. T... Read More