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Energy Risk: Cutting Down Trees for Biofuels?

Lynne KieslingCutting down trees to generate biofuels to substitute for fossil fuels can’t make sense in terms of carbon accounting, can it? I never thought so, but apparently some people have contended that it does. This Project Syndicate essay...

Posted May 26, 2013    

Iowa Solar Energy Ruling: Private vs. Public Energy Companies

Eagle Point Solar, a for-profit solar power installer and operator, proposed to build a solar PV array on a Dubuque, Iowa municipal building under a long-term contract with the city. Under the contract, Eagle Point would own the solar array and sell...

Posted April 14, 2013    

Europe is Burning More American Coal

Natural gas production is booming in the United States. The resulting low natural gas prices are helping the fuel displace other energy sources, most particularly the use of coal to produce electric power. As U.S. demand for coal falls, so has its...

Posted February 9, 2013    

Reforming the EPA: Five Commissioners Better than One Administrator?

Steven Hayward makes the unremarkable observation that the EPA is politicized followed by the somewhat surprising recommendation to fix things by adding more political appointees at the top! He recommends a five-person commission structure within...

Posted January 15, 2013    

Gas Prices During Natural Disasters

One idea advanced by proponents of anti-price gouging laws is that after disaster strikes people should put aside their usual self-interests, join in with the community, and share in the burden of recovery. What these proponents often miss is that...

Posted December 4, 2012    

The One-Sided Debate over Gas Price Gouging

John Carney proposes declaration of free-trade zones for gasoline in shortage-afflicted areas. Prices could stay regulated elsewhere, but consumers and merchants would gain the option to trade at higher prices within the zones. Great idea, but there...

Posted November 4, 2012    

‘Demand Response’ in Electricity: Economists vs. FERC on (Over)Pricing

As noted here at KP in August, a group of electric power economists (including me) filed an amicus brief on FERC’s demand response pricing rule.At the Master Resource blog, Travis Fisher examines the issue with some detail. Here is a bit:In Order No...

Posted September 25, 2012    

Did China Cause North Dakota’s Oil Boom?

News about the Chinese economy has become a bit worrisome, for instance from the New York Times earlier this week, “China Confronts Mounting Piles of Unsold Goods“:After three decades of torrid growth, China is encountering an unfamiliar problem...

Posted August 25, 2012    

The rebound effect: the ACEEE strikes back

The significance of the “rebound effect”  remains a matter of some debate. (The rebound effect is the frequently observed tendency for energy efficiency improvements to increase consumer use of the now more efficient good or service)....

Posted August 9, 2012    

India’s electrical system produces largest power blackout ever

From the New York Times: 2nd Day of Power Failures Cripple Wide Swath of IndiaIt had all the makings of a disaster movie: More than half a billion people without power. Trains motionless on the tracks. Miners trapped underground. Subway lines...

Posted August 1, 2012    

No, the federal solar power subsidy does not pay for itself

Last Friday the US Partnership for Renewable Finance, a coalition of financiers who invest in renewable energy, issued a report in which they claimed the federal investment tax credit for solar power is not a taxpayer burden because the tax credit “...

Posted July 26, 2012    

Price gouging worries in the aftermath of Mid-Atlantic thunderstorms, power outages

The thunderstorms that tore up the Mid-Atlantic at the end of June left many thousands of people without power, sometimes for several days, during some unusually hot early summer weather. Among other things, the aftermath has been filled with price...

Posted July 10, 2012