Showing 9 of 87 Publications in Energy & Environment

Do We Need a ‘New Strategy Paradigm’? No

Scholarship Abstract Bansal et al.’s Point piece, “Strategy’s Ecological Fallacy: How strategy scholars have contributed to the ecological crisis and what we can do about it,” . . .

Abstract

Bansal et al.’s Point piece, “Strategy’s Ecological Fallacy: How strategy scholars have contributed to the ecological crisis and what we can do about it,” calls for reforming the strategy field to focus on the natural environment, ecological cycles, and interconnections across natural and social levels, in service of value creation for ‘a defined ecosystem that comprises respect for the natural environment’. We doubt that such new foundations are necessary or useful. We argue that Bansal et al. misconstrue the evolution and content of strategy thinking; downplay the usefulness of existing tools for dealing with their issues of concern; overlook problems of measurement, collective action, government failure, and cronyism encouraged by their preferred policies; embrace an unnecessarily alarmist worldview; and underappreciate the social benefits of the market-based institutions they criticize. We suggest instead that a market system based on clearly delineated property rights, prices that freely adjust to reflect scarcities, and an institutional environment that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation remains an underappreciated instrument for protection of the natural environment, one that is superior to centralized and regulatory alternatives.

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Financial Regulation & Corporate Governance

Decentralizing the Grid

Popular Media The impetus for change in monopoly electric systems has ebbed and flowed for over three decades. Over the past 15 years the interest in and . . .

The impetus for change in monopoly electric systems has ebbed and flowed for over three decades. Over the past 15 years the interest in and ability to update electricity system technologies has grown, due to the combination of changing policy objectives and widespread digital innovation. Whether you call it smart grid or grid modernization, digital technologies by now have long had the potential to transform electric systems, improving their operations, reducing waste and idleness, and (but I repeat myself) having more market-based systems. Separate but complementary improvements in the performance and production costs of distributed energy resources like solar PV, electric vehicles, and battery storage, along with the policy focus on decarbonization, have amplified interest in and work on digitalization. Digitalization has reduced transaction costs and created unforeseeable types and amounts of value in the rest of the economy. Shouldn’t it do so too in electricity?

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Innovation & the New Economy

The View from Australia: A TOTM Q&A with Allan Fels

TOTM Our latest guest in Truth on the Market’s “Global Voices Forum” series is Professor Allan Fels, AO, of the University of Melbourne Law School. Allan is . . .

Our latest guest in Truth on the Market’s “Global Voices Forum” series is Professor Allan Fels, AO, of the University of Melbourne Law School. Allan is the retired foundation dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). Perhaps more famously, he was the chair of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) from its inception in 1995 until June 2003.

Read the full piece here.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

Energy Justice Beyond the Wire: Exploring the Multidimensional Inequities of the Electrical Power Grid in the United States

Scholarship Abstract This Perspective applies a multidimensional, whole-systems energy justice lens to the electrical power grid, conceived of as the national electricity transmission and distribution network . . .

Abstract

This Perspective applies a multidimensional, whole-systems energy justice lens to the electrical power grid, conceived of as the national electricity transmission and distribution network in the United States. The electrical power grid exists primarily to provide reliable and safe energy services to anyone and everyone, and at any time of the day. It represents a massive system of physical infrastructure that most scholars treat as agnostic and inherently void of equity dimensions. But underlying the poles and wires are a complicated set of challenges that have equity implications. For example, better power lines are installed in wealthier neighborhoods; lower-income neighborhoods experience blackouts significantly more often than higher-income neighborhoods; and the siting of transmission infrastructure infringes on local communities and ecosystems. In this Perspective, we discuss the philosophical underpinnings of justice and equity, define energy justice, and discuss how the grid can cause and perpetuate four different types of inequity: demographic within social groups and communities, spatial across urban and rural locations, temporal across time, and interspecies in terms of damaging the environment. We chart these four dimensions with twelve distinct examples and provide recommendations to create a more equitable and just future grid.

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Innovation & the New Economy

Network Reliability as a Differentiated Product

Popular Media In March 2023 I wrote a post reiterating my argument that grid reliability is not a public good, at least not according to the technical . . .

In March 2023 I wrote a post reiterating my argument that grid reliability is not a public good, at least not according to the technical definition of a public good as nonexcludable and nonrival. Instead I argued that grid reliability is a common-pool resource, potentially somewhat excludable or at least differentiable, and if not nonrival at least congestible. Given recent discussions in electricity policy about reliability in general and winter reliability in particular, I think it’s worth reconsidering now.

Read the full piece here.

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Innovation & the New Economy

Lynne Kiesling on the Economics of Energy

Presentations & Interviews ICLE Academic Affiliate Lynne Kiesling was a guest on the The Answer Is Transaction Costs podcast to discuss distributed energy resources (DERs) and the complex . . .

ICLE Academic Affiliate Lynne Kiesling was a guest on the The Answer Is Transaction Costs podcast to discuss distributed energy resources (DERs) and the complex regulatory frameworks that shape smart-grid technologies. The full episode is embedded below.

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Innovation & the New Economy

No End in Sight for Our Gasoline Use

Popular Media Despite Biden’s attempts to “end fossil fuel” some basic economic analysis indicates his efforts are not in line with what the public wants. If you . . .

Despite Biden’s attempts to “end fossil fuel” some basic economic analysis indicates his efforts are not in line with what the public wants. If you think back to your Econ 101 class, you’ll probably remember something called revealed preference.

This basic insight of economics says that people’s actions in a market place are a much better indicator of what is going on in their heads than asking them in a poll. Someone might tell you they like Biden’s attempts to kill off reliable, inexpensive energy, but when the rubber meets the road, their purchasing decisions say otherwise.

Read the full piece here.

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Innovation & the New Economy

Share Excess Clean Energy Fund Dollars with Portlanders

Popular Media The unexpected $540 million coming to Portland’s Clean Energy Fund should go back to Portlanders (“Portland’s Clean Energy Fund expected to raise additional $540M over . . .

The unexpected $540 million coming to Portland’s Clean Energy Fund should go back to Portlanders (“Portland’s Clean Energy Fund expected to raise additional $540M over next 5 years,” Dec. 13). Since the tax took effect in 2019, consumer prices have increased by about 20%, straining family budgets. The tax on sales underpinning the Clean Energy Fund worsens this strain. If the projections are correct, the clean energy taxes, including the $750 million that was already anticipated as well as this additional bump, amount to more than $900 a year per Portland household. Commissioner Carmen Rubio suggests spending half of the new windfall to boost the budget of cash-strapped city bureaus. She should send the other half back to Portland families.

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Telecommunications & Regulated Utilities

Predictably, the Rush to Electric Cars Is Imploding

Popular Media My appreciation for our freedom of movement was re-ignited recently when I finished up an engine swap into my rare-but-not-collectable 1995 Ford Thunderbird. It had . . .

My appreciation for our freedom of movement was re-ignited recently when I finished up an engine swap into my rare-but-not-collectable 1995 Ford Thunderbird. It had blown a head gasket and had far more than 200,000 miles on it, so in went a junkyard-fresh 4.6L V8 with only 40,000 miles on the clock, or so said the yard I bought it from.

Read the full piece here.

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Innovation & the New Economy