PESD - News Page
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
For 14 years, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar has been a tireless Stanford professor who has strengthened the fabric of university’s interdisciplinary nature. Joining the faculty at Stanford Law School in 2001, Cuéllar soon found a second home for himself at the Freeman Spogli for International Studies.