Next week there will be a very interesting energy conference at UC Berkeley. I don't like to travel far from Los Angeles but this is worth the effort. These are very exciting days to study empirical energy questions here in California. When I taught in Boston, I was frustrated by the local electric utility's lack of interest in talking to us nerds. In my first 3 years in California, I've been thrilled that several of the electric utilities here are willing to share data with us nerds and are interested to hear about what new results we can produce using their great "ingredients".
California's AB32 provides a good reason for the electric utilities to be thinking "outside of the box". To meet the coming 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard and to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, the utilities will have greater incentives to encourage their consumers to be more energy efficient and to encourage more of them to sign up for "green energy" programs. Economists who have thought about how diverse consumers respond to incentives can be useful for people for helping such utilities design "optimal" programs. This is the role I will continue to play. I am trying to be useful member of society.
Switching Subjects, if you want to see how blog entries influence "traditional media" such as the Santa Monica Mirror take a look at this .