Energy & Environment

Santiago Miret How To Build A Microgrid

While developed countries have enjoyed access to reliable electricity for nearly a century, energy access across the world remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. Globally, over 1 billion people still live without access to electricity today, putting them at a major developmental disadvantage. It has been shown … More >

Meredith Fowlie One university’s attempt to reduce energy waste at work

If you work outside your home, chances are you don’t pay (directly) for the energy you use at work. At my place of work, the UC Berkeley campus, most employees never see – let alone pay – their energy bills.

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Of course, there are plenty of … More >

Ethan Elkind ‘Moving Dollars’ puts California’s transportation spending in focus

California spends approximately $28 billion on transportation infrastructure each year.  But are we spending that money as cost-effectively as possible?  And given the major impact that transportation investments have on our land use patterns and the amount of driving we need to do, are we spending this money in ways … More >

Santiago Miret The Promise of Energy Storage

In spite of its critical importance to modern technologies and infrastructures, electricity has remained a transient resource that has virtually no shelf-life. Once electricity is generated from an energy reservoir, which can supplied by any type of energy sources, the electric current has to be used instantaneously by an electricity consuming … More >

David Zilberman Keystone Pipeline and the Carbon Tax: A shotgun marriage that can work

We recently learned that Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) suggested amending a bill that approves the building of the Keystone pipeline and abolishes the corn ethanol mandate. This is a very unwise proposal. If Congress needs a face-saving way to approve the Keystone pipeline, it should be … More >

Dan Farber Don’t know much ’bout climatology

Why should we believe the scientists about climate change?  Nobody — not even any individual scientist — understand all the details of the 1552-page “summary” of climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). So why buy into the idea that tiny amounts of gases from beneficial energy production can cause … More >

Steven Weissman To erode confidence in public-utility decisions, meet behind closed doors

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has an unusual way of doing business. Most state and federal regulatory agencies prohibit private, closed-door discussions with interested parties about contested matters (ex parte communications). Even though it makes decisions affecting the welfare of Californians and the disposition of billions of dollars, the … More >

Dan Farber Public opinion and energy politics

The Pew Research Center published some intriguing polling results on energy issues just before Christmas. Americans have clearly noticed falling prices at the gas pump, but only half realize that U.S. oil and gas production has soared. So far, the changes haven’t affected policy views: a large majority favors expanding … More >

Ethan Elkind California breaks ground on high-speed rail, at last

It’s been over six years since California voters approved a bond measure to fund a two-hour-and-forty-minute Los Angeles-to-San Francisco high-speed rail system. Today [Jan. 6], groundbreaking finally takes place in Fresno. In the intervening six years, lawsuits and political compromises have delayed the system and likely made the timetables promised … More >

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