Twenty-five years since the passage of the Energy Policy Act, HEPG continues to serve as the key incubator of concepts that have shaped many aspects of the North American electricity market.
At HEPG plenary sessions, regulators, policy-makers, and industry leaders test ideas, hear comprehensive analysis of challenges, and address the consequences of different approaches to address them.
The next session of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group will focus on CLEAN ENERGY POLICY with Steve Koonin from New York University, Karsten Neuhoff from DIW Berlin, John Weyant from Stanford, and HEPG Research Director William Hogan, moderated by FERC Chairman Rich Glick.
Clean Energy Policy: Ends, Means, and Playing Fields
The level playing field metaphor has long been a mantra of electricity market reform and regulation. The goal was an efficient and reliable system that supported investment. The costly experience with failures of monopoly planning pointed to using markets to help achieve the benefits of competition. Although always a work in progress, the policy had a coherent framework of balancing costs and benefits. Has clean energy policy upset this coherent framework? Does the science of climate change dictate clean energy targets and replace the need for cost-benefit analysis and tradeoffs? Has the end of balancing the costs and benefits of mitigating climate damages been replaced by a focus on the means through mandates for favored clean technologies? Is the proliferation of different mandates and subsidies across the states a symptom of dysfunction or innovation? Are the implied marginal costs of clean energy targets consistent with the estimates of the social cost of carbon? Are the means consistent with the ends? How can we pursue our objectives while minimizing the creation of new stranded assets? And how should the answers affect electricity market design and regulation?