Jurgen R. Weiss

jurgen weiss.

Senior Fellow

After more than two decades in consulting, Jurgen joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 2020 as a member of the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit. He currently teaches the first year BGIE core course and is developing an energy focused second year elective course. He is a Faculty Affiliate of the Business & Environment Initiative as well as a Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Environmental Economics Program. In addition, Jurgen continues to be a Princial at The Brattle Group, an international economic consulting firm.

Jurgen Weiss, Publications

Weiss, Jurgen, Ryan Hledik, Roger Lueken, Tony Lee, and Will Gorman. “Estimating the Value of Electricity Storage in PJM: Arbitrage and Some Welfare Effects.” Energy Economics 31, no. 2 (2020): 269-277. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Significant increases in prices and price volatility of natural gas and electricity have raised interest in the potential economic opportunities for electricity storage. In this paper, we analyze the arbitrage value of a price-taking storage device in PJM during the six-year period from 2002 to 2007, to understand the impact of fuel prices, transmission constraints, efficiency, storage capacity, and fuel mix. The impact of load-shifting for larger amounts of storage, where reductions in arbitrage are offset by shifts in consumer and producer surplus as well as increases in social welfare from a variety of sources, is also considered

    Weiss, Jurgen. “Who's afraid of 100%?Utility Dive, 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
    The articles describes 100% renewable/clean energy systems and argues that they may be less costly and easier to achieve than is often argued in the industry.
    Weiss, Jurgen. “ "The Electrified Future Is Shared: Mobility Services and Electrification's Pace, Shape."Public Utilities Fortnightly, 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
    The article examines the potential impacts of new mobility services such as ride sharing and ride hailing on the speed and depth of electrification of personal transportation. The article explores how a shift of transportation towards shared mobility services might accelerate electrification of transportation if mobility service providers switch to EVs more rapidly than individual car owners.
    Weiss, Jurgen. “The Electrification Accelerator: Understanding the Implications of Autonomous Vehicles for Electric Utilities.” The Electricity Journal 30, no. 10 (2017): 50-57. Publisher's VersionAbstract
    The intersection of autonomous vehicles, ride sharing and transportation electrification could have significant implications for electric utilities. This paper analyses how the development of shared autonomous electric vehicles may make electrified transportation more likely and why this may lead to a more rapid than expected shift in the current transportation paradigm. We also discuss how these trends may affect utilities and suggest what they can do to prepare for the transition
    Weiss, Jurgen, and Eleanor Denny. “Hurry or Wait: The Pros and Cons of Going Fast or Slow on Climate Change.” Economists' Voice 12, no. 1 (2015): 19-24. Publisher's VersionAbstract
    Climate change risk will likely force the de-carbonization of our electricity sector and thus involve massive investments in long-lived assets using many new and emerging technologies. Since technological progress (independent or dependent on deployment) will likely lower the future cost of those technologies, investing early and rapidly forecloses saving money by installing those technologies at a lower cost later. There are thus benefits to waiting until the costs of renewables fall further. However, there are also costs to waiting. First, given the longevity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, cumulative emissions matter and lowering greenhouse gas emissions earlier is beneficial. Second, there is significant uncertainty not only over the rate of change of the cost of low carbon technologies, but also over the cost of greenhouse gas emissions. The costs of waiting are complex in that the distributions themselves are unknown (and quite possibly have “fat” tails). There may also be complex timing issues such as points of no return in terms of global greenhouse gas concentrations, beyond which the costs of adapting to climate change effects become essentially infinite. Hurrying can therefore be considered an insurance policy against the unknown but perhaps increasing risk of catastrophic damage.
    Weiss, Jurgen, and Hoff Stauffer. “A Simple Solution to a Very Old Problem.” The Electricity Journal 19, no. 4 (2006): 56-59. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    The authors propose to eliminate the perverse incentives utilities have to resist energy-reduction options by guaranteeing approved fixed-cost recovery, while offering positive incentives, as well.

      View all Jurgen Weiss's Publications