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Rationalizing California's Residential Electricity Rates

September 30, 2014 by Severin Borenstein
1

California Home Electricity Rates

California is talking seriously about changing the way utilities price electricity for residential customers. As a result of recent legislative actions, the CPUC now has some flexibility to modify the extreme increasing-block pricing schedules that were adopted after California’s 2000-01 electricity crisis.[read more]

Future Energy Fellows post

Power Markets and the Changing Color of the Grid

September 30, 2014 by Alexander Goodman
1

Markets and the Grid

Across the Midwest and Eastern US and into Canada, the extreme weather events of 2014’s winter tested the regional energy markets in unprecedented ways. Successive polar vortexes swept cold over North America and pushed energy prices to record highs.[read more]

Solar Policy Battle: IRS Now Part of Fierce Debate Over How to Value Solar Energy

September 30, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
3

The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), a downstream solar advocacy group whose members include SolarCity, Solar Universe, Sungevity, Sunrun, and Verengo, just sent out a release revealing that the conflict over solar valuation has escalated to the point of requiring a decision from the IRS.[read more]

Information and Efficiency: Is Data A Painkiller?

September 30, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

Can data kill your pain? Los Angeles is hoping it will, at least where some data sources are concerned. Back in May, the city launched a new DataLA site that features data downloads on topics such as crime statistics and budget information, as well as easy to understand visualizations of key metrics.[read more]

A New Approach to Valuing the Benefits and Costs of Distributed Energy Resources

September 30, 2014 by Ryan Katofsky

Distributed Energy Resources

For "Reforming the Energy Vision" (REV) program to be successful, utility regulators need a new framework for benefit-cost analysis (BCA) to accurately assess the full value of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and to compare it to traditional solutions.[read more]

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Can Mitigating Global Climate Change be a Free Lunch?

September 29, 2014 by Matthew Stepp
3

Krugman and Climate Change Mitigation Costs

Paul Krugman launched the latest salvo in the battle over the economics of climate change when he recently announced: “Saving the planet would be cheap; it might even be free.” But he ignores critical nuances on policy and technology that lead him to the wrong conclusion that climate mitigation is a free lunch.[read more]

How a Top Liberal State Is Creating an Electricity Market That Conservatives Should Love

September 29, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
6

Imagine an electricity market that gives small businesses and consumers the same ability to compete and make money that utilities have always had. The market has no explicit technology mandates that require utilities or individuals to "pick winners and losers." It simply sets some basic rules.[read more]

11 Wonktastic Charts that Will Help You Understand Climate Change

September 29, 2014 by Lindsay Wilson
3

Climate Change and Information

One of the great shames about the communication of climate science is that it most often comes in two forms. It is either dumbed down to the point of backyard greenhouse analogies, or indigestible on the level of the IPCCs Summary for Policy makers.[read more]

The Politics of Distributed Generation

September 29, 2014 by James Greenberger
3

Properly understood, and properly represented, wealthier and better informed consumers are using distributed solar and behind the meter storage to do what they have been trying to do for years with other technologies: use electricity more efficiently and reduce their energy costs.[read more]

Sustainability and the Concept of a 'Circular Economy'

September 29, 2014 by Roman Kilisek
1

Sustainability and Circularity

In an article for the World Economic Forum blog, Leo Schlesinger makes the argument for a regenerative ‘circular economy’. This concept would basically embed sustainability firmly within society and effectively restore much of the life-supporting biosphere for our generation and future generations as well.[read more]

Future Energy Fellows post

Eye on the Prize: Solar Market Potential in Saudi Arabia

September 28, 2014 by Tanya Malik
2

When 13 MW of renewable capacity is installed in the United States, understandably, no one bats an eyelash. When 13 MW of renewable capacity is installed in the Gulf, there’s a multimillion-dollar inauguration party, in true Gulf opulence.[read more]

Creating an Integrated Grid: Regulators, Legislators Can Help

September 28, 2014 by Chris King
1

Grid Integration and Regulation

Integrating more distributed power generation and energy storage can help make a grid more flexible, resilient, sustainable and environmentally friendly. But in the U.S., there's a catch -- so far, utilities here are effectively barred from owning generation and storage assets at the distribution level.[read more]

What the McKinsey GHG Abatement Curve Tells us About CDR

September 28, 2014 by Noah Deich
2

Abatement Curve and CDR

CDR has begun to emerge out of relative obscurity recently as scientists have grown more confident that we will need to remove carbon from the atmosphere to prevent climate change. But CDR is not a new concept. In fact, there are a handful of CDR approaches that have been hiding in plain sight.[read more]

As Hawaii Prepares for Utility Reform, the State's Solar Industry Sheds 3,000 Workers

September 28, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Hawaii's solar industry is in a precarious situation. As regulators and the state's utility company prepare to negotiate a sweeping reform plan to support more distributed energy, solar installers are finding it harder than ever to get permits for residential solar projects from the utility.[read more]

Advanced Energy Technology of the Week: Energy Service Company (ESCO) Services

September 27, 2014 by Matt Stanberry

Energy Service Companies

Energy Service Companies reduce customers’ energy use and costs by implementing comprehensive efficiency solutions. This involves retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficient equipment like efficient lighting, heating, AC, and motors, as well as energy management and control systems.[read more]