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Are Clean Energy Tax Credits Equitable?

A new Energy Institute working paper finds that income tax credits for weatherization, solar panels, hybrids, and electric cars go predominantly to higher-income households.Over the last decade, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in...

Posted July 22, 2015    

A Deeper Look into the Fragmented Residential Solar Market

(Today’s post is co-authored with Alex Chun, who just received his MBA at Haas and is an alumnus of our Cleantech to Market class.  Alex is the Business Intelligence Manager at Sungevity.)Who sells residential solar photovoltaic systems (PV) in...

Posted June 9, 2015    

Air Conditioning and Global Energy Demand

Sales of air conditioners have exploded worldwide over the last few years, driven by middle-income countries where households and businesses are buying air conditioners at startling rates. My colleagues Max and Catherine have written about China,...

Posted April 29, 2015    

How Should We Design Government Policies to Stimulate Innovation?

Last Friday was our 20thAnnual POWER Conference. Thanks to all who attended and an especially large thanks to the conference sponsors who made the event possible. For those of you who couldn’t attend, the program is available here with links to...

Posted March 25, 2015    

Raise the Gas Tax

On January 1st, California’s cap-and-trade program was expanded to include gasoline and diesel.  Allowance prices are currently $12.58/ton (link), so this increases gasoline prices by $0.10 per gallon and increases diesel prices by about $0.13...

Posted January 7, 2015    

Going for Broke in Texas: Protecting the Environment without Slowing Economic Growth

U.S. crude oil production has reached almost 9 million barrels per day, driven by enormous production increases in the Permian, Eagle Ford, and Bakken formations. This is one of the biggest oil booms in history and it is fueling economic growth and...

Posted December 3, 2014    

Better Yellow Labels

Information provision is a key element of energy-efficiency policy. Just think of the ubiquitous yellow EnergyGuide labels, which are required by law to be displayed on all major appliances sold in the United States. This information...

Posted October 29, 2014    

Raising Gas Prices to Grow An Economy

Two weeks ago, Yemen increased gasoline prices from $2.20 to $3.50 per gallon, while increasing diesel prices from $1.70 to $3.40.And last month, Egypt increased gasoline prices from $.47 to $.83 (premium gasoline went from $1.00 to $1.40), while...

Posted August 19, 2014    

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