economics


Photo: Rennett Stowe/Flickr

Three Possible Solutions to Uneconomic Coal Generation

, Senior Energy Analyst

 This year, utility regulators in Missouri and Minnesota are looking into a practice known as self-committing, which research from UCS shows is costing customers a billion dollars a year in unnecessary costs. Now that this uneconomic and inefficient practice has caught the attention of a few regulators it is time to dive deep into just a few options utility regulators and state policy makers could avail themselves of as potential solutions to uneconomic coal generation.

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Photo: Rennett Stowe/Flickr
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Tribute to Dr. Frank Ackerman, a Second Draft

, Senior Energy Analyst

The confidence a good mentor places in you can give you confidence in yourself. When a good mentor is willing to invest in you, you can become willing to invest in yourself. Good mentors can be hard to come by, and earlier this month the most influential mentor I’ve ever had passed away. Read more >

Patrick Fore on Unsplash
http://frankackerman.com/
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Photo: aisletwentytwo/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)

Is the USDA Relocation Just Good Old-Fashioned Rent Seeking?

, Economist

One of things I cherish about economists is their ability to call BS when they see it. In research settings economists tend to have a reputation for asking hard-hitting questions during seminars. They are known for having the most unpopular opinion and for being unabashedly proud of it. I’ve personally seen non-economists bristle at the thought of giving a talk to an economics-oriented audience. As someone who straddles the worlds of public health and economics I get it, trust me. I’ve been there. Read more >

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Xcel Energy's Sherco Generating Station Coal Power Plant Photo: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

The Billion-Dollar Coal Bailout Nobody Is Talking About: Self-Committing In Power Markets

, Senior Energy Analyst

Nearly two-thirds of the United States’ power plants operate in competitive wholesale markets.  Market rules typically prescribe that only the cheapest set of resources may run—nowadays, those are often renewable energy resources. Despite a growing trend of coal losing on cost to renewables and natural gas, coal generation remains a dominant player in many of these markets. Read more >

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Photo: Mike Poresky/CC BY (Flickr)

The Coal Bailout Nobody is Talking About

, Senior Energy Analyst

My latest research has uncovered that every month, millions of consumers are unwittingly bailing out coal-fired power plants to the tune of over a billion dollars a year. Read more >

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