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Accelerating Renewable Energy Investments in California

Speaker: Meredith Fowlie, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley
Host: Energy Graduate Group
Date: 11/15/2019
Time: 10:30am to 11:50am
Location: 1605 Tilia Street, West Village, UC Davis
Watch via Zoom

Abstract: Renewable energy deployment is broadly viewed as a lynchpin of California’s climate change mitigation efforts. Over the past 15 years, California has seen a significant increase in the share of electricity generated by wind and solar energy. These technology investments have been primarily policy- versus market-driven. This talk will consider some lessons learned from this policy experimentation, focusing on two challenges in particular. One stems from the fact that GHG policies are not harmonized across the states that participate in an increasingly integrated regional electricity market. If GHG emissions reductions in California's power sector are offset by resource shuffling or emissions "leakage" to neighboring states, this can undermine the effectiveness of our state policies. A related set of challenges concerns the incidence of these policies. Policy design decisions that determine who ultimately pays for climate change mitigation can have both distributional and efficiency implications.

Bio: Meredith Fowlie holds the Class of 1935 Endowed Chair in Energy at UC Berkeley. She is an Associate Professor in the Agriculture and Resource Economics department, an affiliated faculty of the Energy and Resources Group, a research affiliate at the Energy Institute at Haas, and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Energy and Environmental Economics group. Fowlie has worked extensively on the economics of energy markets and the environment. Her research investigates real-world applications of market-based environmental regulations, the economics of energy efficiency, the demand-side of energy markets, energy use in emerging economies. Her work has appeared in The American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, The Review of Economics and Statistics, and other academic journals.  She received a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley in 2006, an M.Sc. from Cornell in 2000, and a B.Sc. from Cornell in 1997. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley she was an Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.