The Private and Public Economics of Renewable Electricity Generation
Professor of Business Administration & Public Policy
Haas School of Business / Director, U.C. Energy Institute
University of California at Berkeley
Generating electricity from renewable sources is more expensive than conventional approaches, but reduces pollution externalities. Analyzing the tradeoffs is much more challenging than often presumed, because the value of electricity is extremely dependent on the time and location at which it is produced, which is not very controllable with some renewables, such as wind and solar. Likewise, the pollution benefits from renewable generation depend on what type of generation it displaces, which also depends on time and location. Without incorporating these factors, cost-benefit analyses of alternatives are likely to be misleading. However, other common arguments for subsidizing renewable power - green jobs, energy security and driving down fossil energy prices - are unlikely to substantially alter the analysis. The role of intellectual property spillovers is a strong argument for subsidizing basic science research, but less persuasive as an enhancement to the value of installing current renewable energy technologies.
12:30pm Presentation / Q&A
When & Where
Power Association of Northern California
The Power Association of Northern California is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of the power industry in California and all of its component parts. PANC sponsors monthly luncheon meetings and educational seminars to help professionals better understand the challenges confronting the power industry. Monthly luncheon meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month in San Francisco. Guest speakers include legislators, CEO's, Commissioners and other experts from both the regulated and unregulated side of the industry.