Insights from Our Experts

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

by David Farnsworth Max Dupuy Matt Malinowski on

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…

How the European Union incentivises inefficient renewable heating

by Duncan Gibb on

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…

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

by David Farnsworth on

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…

‘Game on’ for Germany’s heat pump transformation

by Duncan Gibb Andreas Jahn on

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…

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

by Kakali Mukhopadhyay Ranjit Bharvirkar Frederick Weston on

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…

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

by Hector Pollitt Ranjit Bharvirkar Frederick Weston on

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…

House power: the hidden powerhouse of the new energy landscape

by Sophie Yule-Bennett on

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 world in ways that were previously unfathomable….

Utilities Want to Provide EV Fleet “Advisory Services.” Should Regulators Approve?

by Jeff Ackermann on

As the electrification of vehicle fleets goes mainstream, fleet owners are facing a gauntlet of challenges, starting with engaging their electric service provider. The utility response of providing “advisory services” is both creative and presents new challenges for utility and air regulators. Advisory services, whether offered by utilities or third parties, are designed to educate…

Navigating towards net-zero power system: it is not the ‘heading’ but the ‘course’

by Zsuzsanna Pató on

The energy price and supply risks we are facing today are making the decarbonisation of the power sector by 2035 an even more significant challenge. But if we deviate the heading of our ship from the course for longer than necessary, we will lose the course we set for ourselves: cost-efficient power sector decarbonisation writes…

A Song in the Key of E: Emissions, Efficiency, Equity, and Electrification

by Frederick Weston on

A lot of folks out there (including we at RAP) have, for the last four decades, been devising ways to make utilities more economically efficient, their customers more energy-efficient, and the power system cleaner, sustainable, more equitable, and non-emitting. But now they have a problem: the world has changed, and suddenly we need more of…