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Driving Restrictions and Air Quality

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Recently we traveled south of the border for an update on Mexico City’s well-known driving restrictions. What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Some people prefer margaritas, but here at the Energy Institute we like...

Posted May 7, 2014    

Too Big to Fail?

Co-authored by Catie HausmanThe San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) was closed abruptly in February 2012. During the previous decade, SONGS had produced about 8% of the electricity generated in California, so its closure had a pronounced...

Posted April 1, 2014    

A Small Bet with Big Stakes

Back in November 2011, I made a bet with economist Geoff Rothwell about the future of nuclear power.  By making a bet we weren’t trying to trivialize the issue. To the contrary.  We had different predictions, and we saw this as a way of...

Posted February 19, 2014    

Why Would Google Pay $3.2 Billion for Nest?

Co-authored by Howard ChongGoogle’s acquisition of Nest Labs Inc. is puzzling. It’s nice that Nest is about reinventing previously “unloved things” like thermostats and smoke detectors. But is it really worth $3.2 billion? To put it into context,...

Posted January 23, 2014    

Global Gas Guzzlers

Recently I have been spending a lot of time thinking about global fuel subsidies. The most extreme example is Venezuela, where gasoline costs only 6 cents per gallon.  That’s not a typo. The price in Venezuela is less than 1/50th of...

Posted December 4, 2013    

California Energy Incentive Programs: 20/20 Vision

A new EI@Haas Working Paper by Koichiro Ito offers a fresh look at California’s well-known 20/20 program.  The paper is available here.  During the summer of 2005, California households could receive a 20% discount on their electricity...

Posted October 22, 2013    

Ex Post Evaluation of the Empire State Building Retrofit

The Empire State Building is the tallest and most well-known building in the United States to have received LEED certification. The certification was part of a massive retrofit undertaken between 2009 and 2011. Engineering models predicted that...

Posted September 8, 2013    

Energy Efficiency: Deconstructing the Rosenfeld Curve

The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and, most recently, the Sacramento Bee have pieces on Arik Levinson’s new NBER working paper, “California Energy Efficiency: Lessons for the Rest of the World, or Not?”   The paper makes a nice...

Posted August 6, 2013    

A Step in the Right Direction for Indonesia on Energy Pricing

Indonesia has been in the news this week for taking an important step in the right direction with energy pricing. Prior to last week, Indonesia had some of the lowest gasoline and diesel prices in the world. In the data I examined for my blog post...

Posted July 2, 2013