Governing Green Power

Effects of alternative pricing structures on electricity consumption and payments in the commercial and industrial sector November 28, 2023 Abstract: We investigate the distributional and welfare impacts when commercial and industrial (C&I) electricity end users face a dynamic pricing structure as opposed to a constant volumetric price with demand charge on individual users’ peak usage. While demand charge does not necessarily reduce the system-wide peak, it often constitutes a large share of C&I users’… Read More
A Comparison of State-Level Carbon Reduction Strategies: A Case Study of Hawai‘i March 16, 2023 Abstract: State-level electricity standards are proliferating and becoming more ambitious, with numerous US states adopting a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and a small but increasing number of states participating in carbon pricing programs. The State of Hawai‘i has an ambitious RPS that requires 100% electricity generation through renewable sources by 2045. This study uses a… Read More
Real-Time Pricing and the Cost of Clean Power August 9, 2022 Solar and wind power are now cheaper than fossil fuels but are intermittent. The extra supply-side variability implies growing benefits of using real-time retail pricing (RTP). We evaluate the potential gains of RTP using a model that jointly solves investment, supply, storage, and demand to obtain a chronologically detailed dynamic equilibrium for the island of… Read More
Governing Green Power III: Refining Plans for the Electricity Grid of the Future November 4, 2019 University of Hawai‘i at MānoaEast West Center -- Pacific Room (directions and map) GGP’s goal is to hasten a fair and efficient transformation to renewable energy by focusing on necessary institutional changes. Earlier conferences focused on inefficiencies of current policies, the need for improved rate design to incentivize load shifting and demand response, and challenges… Read More
Four Alternative Models for Regulating an Investor Owned Utility of the Future April 3, 2019 How do you coerce a monopoly to act as if it were operating in a ruthlessly competitive industry? This is the billion-dollar question of Public Utilities Commissions (PUCs). It’s a tricky thing to do with a mixed history of success. And it’s getting trickier, especially here in Hawaiʻi, where renewable energy and so-called “distributed resources”… Read More
Governing Green Power: How Should Utilities of the Future Make Money? June 25, 2018 This report summarizes a two-day conference that addressed how future electric utilities will make money, a question provoked by advances in renewable energy and other distributed resources that cast doubt on conventional regulatory and business models. Engagement with issues in all of the sessions was strong, giving expression to a wide range of observations, opinions… Read More
Performance Incentive Mechanisms A Pocket Full of PIMs May 15, 2018 By Michael Roberts In the arcane parlance of utility regulation, PIMs are “Performance Incentive Mechanisms.” This is where we’re headed because, slightly against my expectation, Governor Ige recently signed SB 2939, a bill unanimously passed by the legislature that requires that the Public Utilities Commission: “…establish performance incentives and penalty mechanisms that directly tie an… Read More
Variable Pricing and the Cost of Renewable Energy May 14, 2018 On a levelized-cost basis, solar and wind power generation are now competitive with fossil fuels, and still falling. But supply of these renewable resources is variable and intermittent, unlike traditional power plants. As a result, the cost of using flat retail pricing instead of dynamic, marginal-cost pricing--long advocated by economists--will grow. We evaluate the potential… Read More
AAA Bond Rating Sign Should regulators fear bond-rating agencies? April 23, 2018 By Michael Roberts It seems that our political and administrative leaders worry about the bond rating agencies. Their fear is understandable. The cost of capital looms large in all manner of infrastructure projects, and the cost of that capital depends on how risky investors perceive repayment to be. The cost of capital also looms large… Read More
Governing Green Power II: How should utilities of the future make money? April 10, 2018 University of Hawai‘i at MānoaInnovation Laboratory -- iLab (directions and map) Growth of renewable energy, reduced economies of scale, rapidly falling storage costs, network communication technologies, plus customer self-generation, load shifting and efficiency options, all have the potential to dramatically change the nature of electricity systems. Underlying this is the eroding viability of incumbent regulatory… Read More
Determinants of Residential Solar Photovoltaic Adoption February 7, 2018 Hawaii is a leader in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) adoption. It has the highest rate of PV-based electricity penetration in the U.S. and rivals global front runners. The policy impetus towards large-scale adoption of renewable energy comes from the Renewable Portfolio Standard, with a target of 40% net electricity sales from renewable sources by the… Read More
Hawaii’s Electricity Generation Portfolio, 2016 Bringing together energy and climate change policy December 4, 2017 By Sherilyn Wee We hear a lot about Hawaii’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) which requires 100% of the utilities’ net electricity sales to come from renewable sources by 2045. Subsidies, rapidly declining solar panel costs, and high electricity prices have led to the proliferation of distributed rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV). By the end of 2016,… Read More
Governing Green Power: Realigning Institutions To Fit New Technologies November 27, 2017 The “Governing Green Power” conference was held in Honolulu at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, March 28-30, 2017. The motivation for the conference was the recognition that energy technologies are changing faster than energy-related institutions — the organizational structures, market mechanisms, and regulatory incentives that govern power generation, transmission, distribution and storage. The complex… Read More
A Scoping Study for Climate Action Planning in Kauaʻi October 16, 2017 This report documents best practices for county-level climate action plans (CAPs), with considerations for Kaua‘i. A CAP is primarily a process by which a jurisdiction agrees upon greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies and policies. This report is based on the gathering of studies and protocols addressing climate action planning and GHG mitigation best practices. UHERO… Read More
State Policy Index: BEVs The Role of Policy and Peers in EV Adoption June 2, 2017 By Sherilyn Wee, Makena Coffman and Sumner LaCroix Electric vehicles (EVs) can be a cleaner means of transportation compared to cars with traditional gasoline engines. They have the added benefit of being able to provide support to the electric power grid—an increasingly important attribute in states like Hawaii with high levels of intermittent renewable energy.… Read More