What is the role for carbon pricing in the future of decarbonization policy?
That’s the question implicitly raised by this article in the New York Times from late August. The article surveys a range of criticisms of the use of carbon taxes as a tool to address greenhouse gas emissions, and criticisms of the focus of many economists on carbon taxes as the primary tool to address climate …CONTINUE READING
Increasing public control of energy systems may not facilitate decarbonization
Over the past few years, there has been a push in both Europe and the United States for a “Green New Deal” in which decarbonization efforts would be pushed by aggressive, direct government investments in clean energy technology and infrastructure. But in much of the United States and in Europe, large portions of the electricity …CONTINUE READING
Geothermal power could play an important role in decarbonization.
There’s been a lot of recent interest in geothermal energy. It can complement other renewables as they become a bigger part of the power mix. A recent study by DOE suggests that geothermal capacity could reach 60 Gigawatts by 2050. The basic technology is pretty simple: drill down into a reservoir of super-hot water (up …CONTINUE READING
Nuclear has some serious problems, but it may be worth hedging our technology bets.
Nuclear power has been an important source of zero-carbon energy, though it has been plagued by other problems. Does it have a future in our effort to decarbonize the grid? According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a third of U.S. nuclear plants, or about twenty percent of the nation’s total nuclear capacity, are …CONTINUE READING
David Spence is Professor of Law, Politics & Regulation at the University of Texas at Austin
Recently the New York Times published an article chronicling the financial problems experienced by one of the world’s premier developers of concentrated solar power (CSP) facilities. The financial headwinds facing CSP are a sign of a more fundamental problem electricity markets face: namely, capturing all of the important values we attach to electricity production. Most …CONTINUE READING