Letter: Whether ’tis nobler in the lungs to suffer

If we’re going to allude to Shakespeare in the debate over a carbon tax, let’s bring out the iambic pentameter. Our July 18 op-ed on the carbon tax (“To tax or not to tax”) continues to draw reader response, including this treatment from Jeffrey Rissman, who notes that “Hamlet was the Prince of Denmark, and Denmark is known for wind turbines….”

Alternatives to Conventional Utility Compensation Can Unlock Untapped Value

Like any corporation, investor-owned electric utilities have a duty to maximize shareholder profits. There’s no problem with this in principle – as long as what maximizes profits also maximizes benefits in the public interest, given their regulatory monopoly status. But today, how utilities make money must change to adapt to new grid needs, customer demands and technological realities.

8 Ways China is ‘Winning’ on Transportation

Transportation systems represent a huge portion of public and private spending — to the tune of $1.2 to $1.4 trillion globally each year. And, in an era rocked by climate change and other disruptions, those systems must be able to weather all kinds of shocks — from fuel shortages to flooding. They must be, in a word, resilient. Here are eight ways China is taking the lead on resilient transportation

Poll Shows Widespread Consumer Support for NY REV

New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative is transforming how utility stakeholders view the power sector’s future, but for the first time polling has revealed widespread support from consumers themselves. Evidence of strongly positive attitudes toward clean energy in general, and NY REV in particular has major implications for utilities and regulators.

You Get What You Pay For: Moving Toward Value in Utility Compensation

This paper examines three cases where cost-of-service regulation (COSR) clearly motivates utilities to pursue sub-optimal outcomes compared to an alternative regulatory strategy. We find COSR often creates utility incentives that misalign with societal value, and improvement to the existing regulatory model holds immense potential to create value for customers and society.

The goal of cap-and-trade is to fight climate change, not raise tax revenue

California’s cap-and-trade program should be viewed as part of the state’s comprehensive package of climate policies. Yes, greater legal certainty will help, but keep in mind high carbon prices aren’t a goal of California’s climate policy. The goals are emission reductions, efficiency, consumer protection, and growing businesses set to compete in the 21st century economy.

Texas Regulators Saved Customers Billions by Avoiding a Traditional Capacity Market

Texas’ decision for an energy-only market design with an operational reserve demand curve has likely saved Texas consumers billions, as well as improving reliability, providing evidence of an energy transition driven by load reductions, significant increases in renewable generation, and…

California’s Cap and Trade Law Is a Success

High carbon prices aren’t a goal of the system. The goals are emission reductions, efficiency, consumer protection and growing businesses set to compete in the 21st-century economy. California’s climate policy is succeeding, thanks in part to cap and trade.

Bay Area energy meeting is where climate protection gets real

The Paris Agreement on climate change set the world on track to avoid catastrophe. Or did it? More than 180 nations have committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but now we need to see whether these commitments are real. On June 1-2 in San Francisco, energy ministers from the world’s 24 largest-emitting nations will report on their progress and plans.

Three Steps to Making the New Urban Agenda Implementable

In zero draft form, theUN’s New Urban Agenda outlines a fantastic vision for cities. It speaks of inclusion, equality, transit-oriented development and safety. But how do we get there? What does a “blueprint of the city” actually look like? We see three steps to policymaking that ensures any policy is implementable.