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GET TIMELY INSIGHTS. Our blog showcases a variety of voices from our home at the University of Pennsylvania—including faculty, students, staff, senior fellows, and visiting scholars. Opinions and perspectives are from the authors; not the Kleinman Center.

Apr25
2016

Opportunity Remains as CEO Mavericks Fall Short

Christina Simeone
What do SunEdison’s CEO Ahmad Chatila, NRG’s David Crane and Shell’s Marv Odum have in common? Your first responses might be bankruptcy, being ousted or failure. And you wouldn’t be wrong.  You also wouldn’t be totally right. These leaders gambled big because they know the game (theory that is). SunEdison, once...
Apr21
2016

Pennsylvania Highlights the Local Debate on Nuclear Waste Storage

Christina Simeone
Communities across the country might be surprised over how little say they have about the nuclear waste being indefinitely stockpiled in their neighborhoods. The United States government planned to develop a centralized facility to store in perpetuity (think hundreds of thousands of years) the high-level radioactive...
Apr19
2016

Gas Trust Fund to Help Communities Faces Uphill Battle

Mark Alan Hughes and Christina Simeone
It’s hard to make a deal when two sides have little trust in each other. So, society has developed many ways of overcoming distrust: contracts define remedies, treaties have inspectors, suspects post bonds.   The Brookings Institution’s new report, “Permanent Trust Funds: Funding Economic Change with Fracking Revenues...
Apr12
2016

Grid Assurance LLC to Offer Resiliency Subscriptions to Major Utilities

Christina Simeone
Electric “grid resiliency” – or “the ability to adapt to changing conditions and prepare for, withstand, and rapidly recover from disruption” - has increasingly become an operational and policy concern for utilities in light of extreme weather events, cyber or physical attacks, geomagnetic storms and an aging...
Apr08
2016

Put Your Money Where the Risk Is

Mark Alan Hughes
April 6, 2016 My main takeaway from the rollout of the Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team’s new “A Pipeline for Growth” report is this: the use of the word “molecules” in any discussion of energy policy should be avoided at all costs. It strikes me as the oral equivalent of trying to look smart by putting on a...
Apr07
2016

Emergency Plans Needed for the Power Grid in the Age of Gas

Christina Simeone
The massive, multi-month gas leak in California’s underground Aliso Canyon storage facility has major implications for millions of California’s electricity users, with state regulators warning of up to 14 days of planned electricity blackouts this summer. In the new age of gas, are electricity systems prepared to...
Apr05
2016

Blue Skies over Beijing

Angela Pachon
When I think of pictures of Beijing, for example prior to the 2008 Summer Olympic games or those images shown in the 2015 documentary film Under the Dome, by Chai Jing, the last thing that comes to my mind are blue skies. This may change in the near future. According to Matt Kahn, Professor of Economics at the...
Apr04
2016

PUCO Rules Against Competitive Markets

Christina Simeone
On March 31, the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) issued orders approving power purchase agreements (PPA) with FirstEnergy (FE) and American Electric Power (AEP) owned coal and nuclear plants, sending ripple effects of controversy throughout stakeholders in the 13-state PJM grid footprint. The 8-year term PPA’...
Apr01
2016

DOE’s Lifeline to Transmission Siting for Renewables

Christina Simeone
On March 25, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the agency’s participation in a first-ever public-private partnership authorized by the 2005 Energy Policy Act, to enable construction of a large-scale electricity transmission infrastructure project to bring cheap wind energy to the southeast U....
Mar24
2016

IMF Links Low Interest Rates to Missing Stimulus from Oil Price Declines

Christina Simeone
Back in my February blog post, I explored a phenomenon baffling economists, low oil prices coupled with slow economic growth. Typically, low oil prices mean consumers spend less on energy and have more money in their pockets to spend on other things, creating economic stimulus.  But this isn’t happening, and...

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