Follow our energy experts in the media.

Power for the People: How Should Governments Develop Electric Grids?

November 21, 2019
The Oxford Policy Management Blog

Graduate Researcher Susanna Berkouwer examines her work with the Economic Development & Institutions on governments optimizing electricity programs. In the Oxford Policy Management Blog, she says that over a billion people currently live without access to electricity in their homes – specifically in rural areas of Africa.

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Solar Panels Will Soon Be Required For Newly Constructed Homes In California

December 16, 2019
KPIX

KPIX reports that starting January 1st, 2020, all newly built homes in California will require solar rooftop panels. Faculty Director Severin Borenstein expresses some concerns, but says that if we want people to be invested this has to remain affordable.

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Gov. Newsom Floated The Idea Of A State Takeover Of PG&E. How Would That Look And How Would It Impact Customers?

November 5, 2019
KPCC

Governor Newsom considers a state takeover if PG&E is unable to manage its utility operations. Severin Borenstein says on KPCC that this is an area that should certainly be explored, as the state steps in when it comes to other natural disasters but this has not been the case thus far when it comes to electricity.

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Millions Are Out of Power in California, But Were the PG&E Shutoffs Necessary?

October 16, 2019
PBS, San Francisco Chronicle, and More

Severin Borenstein, Faculty Director of the Energy Institute describes the difference between transmission lines and local distribution lines, and how PG&E had mostly conducted shutoffs in rural areas as opposed to urban areas up to recently. Borenstein tells PBS that PG&E should have had a better communication plan in place.

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Should the State Take Control of Wildfire Blackouts?

October 23, 2019
PoliticoPro

Following the recent wildfires and PG&E shutdowns, industry experts believe that the state should begin managing grids. Andrew Campbell, Executive Director of the Energy Institute tells PoliticoPro that the government might not only keep the customer in mind first, but that they would have greater insight on the best timing for the shutdowns.

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Should Electric Vehicle Drivers Pay Per Mile?

July 24, 2019
CityLab and Pacific Standard

Government coffers are taking a hit as drivers switch to electric vehicles and avoid paying gasoline taxes. CityLab features a recent working paper that looks at this issue by Faculty Lucas Davis and James Sallee. The researchers ask whether or not electric vehicle drivers should pay a mileage tax instead. Davis and Sallee explain how this may not be so simple after all.

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Californians Want Answers on High Gas Prices

July 27, 2019
KQED, Los Angeles Times, and More

Californians are paying $20 million per day in higher fuel costs due to a “mystery gasoline surcharge”, according to Energy Institute Faculty Director Severin Borenstein. KQED, the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, AP News, NBC Bay Area, Fox Business, KSRO, and Trucker discuss the surcharge and potential causes with Borenstein, and report on how California Governor Gavin Newsom and the legislature have responded to Borenstein’s analysis by calling for an investigation.

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America's Light Bulb Revolution

March 8, 2019
New York Times, The Bulletin, and More

Faculty Director Lucas Davis is quoted in the New York Times discussing the shift in light bulb usage by households. Consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of switching to LEDs, and Davis analyzes the significant savings that come with this.

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Electricity Does Not Change Poor Lives as Much as We Thought

February 12, 2019
The Economist

The Economist references a study that Faculty Affiliate Catherine Wolfram did on electrifying rural Kenya. Wolfram addresses the importance of aiding households by providing them connection to electricity grids for free or at various discounts, but questions whether its results are impactful enough to solve the long-term problem.

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