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Building 'Risky' Energy

News / October 29, 2015

6th Annual PESD Conference

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research/Gunn Building

366 Galvez Street, Stanford University

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Stanford course provides opportunity for students to see textbook methods in action

Q&A / October 28, 2015

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and Office of International Affairs (OIA) launched a pilot collaboration last year to provide a rigorous, immersive teaching and training program for students interested in international fieldwork.  The result was a program that included a quarter-long course in the spring of 2015 followed by three weeks in Mexico during the summer to design and conduct a field research study.

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PESD Releases New Book on Global Coal Market

News / August 21, 2015

Coal is the leading energy-related cause of climate change and creates serious local air pollution; it also remains, for now, an essential energy source for many growing economies. PESD's new volume studies key coal producing and exporting countries--China, India, Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, and the United States--for insights into how coal production, transport, and consumption will evolve in the future, and what this may mean for the environment.

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Wolak Participates in Radio Segment on Community Control Aggregation in California

News / August 13, 2015

On August 13th, 2015, Professor Wolak was interviewed along with Monica Padilla and Ted Ko by KALW, a public radio station in San Francisco. The particular topic of interest for the hour-long segment was CCAs (Community Choice Aggregation), which provide an alternative way for communities to recieve electricity other than the commonplace utilities. Although the CCA bill came out in 2002, there are only three remaining CCAs today. 

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Nuclear Energy Can Play A Role In Zero-Carbon Grid

News / July 28, 2015

Professor Frank Wolak was recently interviewed by Julian Spector of CityLab regarding the use of nuclear energy in a zero-carbon grid. According to Professor Wolak, "It makes very little economic sense to phase [nuclear energy] out, particularly given how successful the U.S. nuclear industry has been over the past 30 years". Professor Wolak also points out that American nuclear generators are safer than ever while still boasting an impressive capacity factor.

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Wolak: In Short Term, Lower Water Levels At Hoover Dam Will Not Impact Electricity Bills

News / July 28, 2015

In a recent article by Sarah Tory, Professor Frank Wolak states that in the near term consumers should not expect a rise in electricity bills. This fear of soaring electricity costs comes from the decreased generation of Hoover Dam due to the low water levels of Lake Mead. However, Professor Wolak says that utilities frequently buy "future" contracts, which limits their ability to raise prices. Professor Wolak also states that, because of the mix of renewable resources in the West, other energy sources may help to alleviate the strain on the system from the loss of hydropower.

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In Puebla, PESD Researchers Team Up With Stanford Students To Conduct Energy Use Survey

News / July 7, 2015

Stanford students, under the guidance of the Stanford Program on Energy and Sustainable Development and in partnership with the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), are currently administering surveys throughout Puebla, Mexico. The surveys primarily consist of three stages: determining a household's energy consumption, educating the household on how their electricity bill is calculated, and suggesting at least one cost-saving strategy the household could adopt.

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Students trade carbon allowances and renewable energy certificates

News / July 6, 2015

Stanford students traded carbon allowances and renewable energy certificates as part of a new web-based simulation developed at PESD. The game taught students how complex energy and environmental markets work while also yielding insights that could help policymakers design better markets.

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Stanford professor developing water usage model that could help California meet conservation goals

News / May 22, 2015

As California heads into a fourth year of drought, water agencies are scrambling for new ways to conserve.

Gov. Jerry Brown has mandated 25 percent water reductions and has called on resource managers to create new incentives for conservation. Tiered pricing – charging more per gallon to customers who use more – could be an effective mechanism. In fact, many water utilities in California and elsewhere already use tiered pricing structures. However, a recent court decision in a case brought by ratepayers in San Juan Capistrano may stymie such efforts.

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How to Keep Green Policies from Crashing the Electricity Grid

News / May 22, 2015

Many Californians still remember the electricity crisis in 2000 and 2001, when a combination of tangled state and federal regulations and opportunistic behavior by market participants led to soaring wholesale prices and rolling blackouts.

Could something similar happen today, but this time as a result of trading tied to policies for reducing carbon emissions and mandating a higher share of electricity produced from renewable energy?

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The End of Expensive Oil?

Commentary / April 8, 2015

The shale oil and gas revolution in the United States (U.S.) has led to a more than 4 million barrels per day increase in domestic oil production since 2008. Combined with an almost 1 million barrel per day increase from the Alberta tar sands, the surge in North American oil production has significantly reduced the region’s demand for imported oil. Increased production of shale gas in North America and the significantly lower dollar per million British thermal unit (BTU) price of natural gas versus oil have caused a number of sectors of the U.S.

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The global oil price drop may last for the next couple decades, Stanford economist says

Commentary / March 30, 2015

Global oil prices may stay low for the next 10 or 20 years, according to Stanford economist Frank Wolak.

The most likely medium-term outcome is $50 to $70 per barrel, according to Wolak. He is the Holbrook Working Professor of Commodity Price Studies in the Department of Economics at Stanford University.

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Energy Dispatches: Climate Action Personality Types on Campus

Commentary / February 10, 2015

 

 

The Scientist

 

Characteristic Insight: Climate change is real and it is going to hurt—a lot.

Characteristic Blind Spot: This doesn’t mean people will do anything about it.

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International Conference on Regional Carbon Policies

News / October 31, 2013
We invite you to an international conference on “Regional Carbon Policies” that PESD is hosting at Stanford University on Thursday, December 5th.
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To promote adoption of household health technologies, think beyond health

News / September 30, 2013
PESD associate director Mark Thurber and research collaborators at Stanford have found in a review of the medical and public health literatures that health improvement is rarely the principal reason why households adopt health-improving technologies like insecticide-treated nets, point-of-use water treatments, and improved biomass cookstoves. These findings, which appear in the American Journal of Public Health, suggest that wider health impact can be achieved by paying more attention to non-health motivations for adoption.
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Thurber and Wolak simulate carbon cap and trade in Stanford GSB course

News / September 30, 2013
PESD associate director Mark Thurber and director Frank Wolak taught a course on "Energy Markets and Policy" at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in which student teams played the role of California power companies bidding generation into wholesale electricity markets and trading carbon allowances to cover their emissions. The surprising results of this cap and trade simulation are published in the Aug/Sep 2013 issue of The Electricity Journal.
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Thurber discusses outlook for Latin American NOCs

News / September 30, 2013
PESD associate director Mark Thurber spoke with David Casallas of Business News Americas about how the outlook for national oil companies in Latin America is shaped by governance and risk.
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Market Monitoring in the US Energy Market by Frank Wolak /FSR Monthly Interview

Q&A / April 16, 2013
During a visit to Toulouse, France to present at “The Economics of Energy Markets” conference at the Toulouse School of Economics, PESD Director Frank Wolak was interviewed by Professor Jean-Michel Glachant of the Florence School Regulation about his work monitoring wholesale electricity markets.
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U.S. shale gas prompts PRB coal producers to look to Asia

Q&A / March 27, 2013
In advance of the 2013 Pacific Energy Summit, which took place April 2-4 in Vancouver, Canada, PESD Associate Director Mark Thurber spoke with the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) about how the U.S. shale gas revolution has pushed coal producers in the U.S. Powder River Basin to look to Asia for a more robust market.
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Misguided “Oil Scarcity Ideology” Has Distorted US National Security Policy

News / February 8, 2013
The “peak oil” fallacy is not new; in fact it has long inflicted real harm in the geopolitical sphere despite persistent evidence of its falsity. Roger Stern, Research Assistant Professor of Energy at the University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business, describes in a new PESD working paper how “oil scarcity ideology” influenced US national security policy in profoundly detrimental ways from 1909 to 1980.
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Do State-Owned Companies Have Inside Access to the World’s Oil and Gas Resources?

News / January 28, 2013
In a public lecture at the University of Tulsa, PESD associate director Mark Thurber critically considers the idea that national oil companies (NOCs) are elbowing aside private players, both on their home turf and abroad. Live feed at 5 pm PST on January 28, 2013.
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