Discussing Energy Economics on the Internet

Not Dead

Posted in Admin,EEnergy Informer by Cheryl Morgan on the June 23rd, 2011

Well, that has been a rather busy two years, and blogging rather fell by the wayside. Things are a little calmer now. Also Lynne Kiesling at Knowledge Problem has been lamenting the lack of women economists in the blogosphere. So I’m going to try to get this thing back on a regular schedule.

One of the things I have been doing over the past couple of years is maintaining a website for my friend and colleague, Perry Sioshansi. You can find it here. The articles there are all from his magazine, EEnergy Informer.

I’ll be based mainly in Europe for the foreseeable future, so most of what I write will be about European issues. There will be no prizes for guessing what the main topic of conversation is here.

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Blackouts: An Unsolved Problem

Posted in Admin,Electricity Transmission,USA Federal by Cheryl Morgan on the August 14th, 2008

Five years on from the great East Coast blackout of 2003, Scientific American revisits the issue and asks is we are any closer to finding a cure for such occurrences. Worryingly, despite all of the talk of reliability standards and smart grids, it appears that we are not:

If the standards have reduced the number of blackouts, the evidence has yet to bear it out. A study of NERC blackout data by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that the frequency of blackouts affecting more than 50,000 people has held fairly constant at about 12 per year from 1984 to 2006. Co-author Paul Hines, now assistant professor of engineering at the University of Vermont in Burlington, says current statistics indicate that a 2003-level blackout will occur every 25 years.

You can find the original research here (Look for the paper called “Trends in the History of Large Blackouts in the United States”.). A password is required, but it is relatively straightforward to obtain. And the conclusions of the paper are actually somewhat stronger than Scientific American reports. By some of the measures used, the frequency of blackouts is actually increasing slightly.

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Back in Business

Posted in Admin by Cheryl Morgan on the May 27th, 2008

So, there is some action on this web site for the first time in years. Hopefully it will continue, and hopefully also some of the people who used to read it regularly will come back. Who knows, it might even garner some new readers. For those of you who have been promoted to return, there is some more background here. Beyond that, it is up to use to provide content to keep you entertained and informed. Watch this space. And if you feel like giving feedback, please do so.

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