Policy Brief

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  • European fuel tax cuts will lead to significant income transfers to Russia, thus undermining the Union’s sanction efforts against the country. EU politicians should instead consider alternative policies, such as direct income transfers to households, if they want to shield citizens from increased fuel prices without benefiting Russia.

    • Johan Gars
    • Daniel Spiro
    • Henrik Wachtmeister
    Policy Brief
  • Considering the probability of occurrence of an extreme cold event similar to that in February 2021, winterization of the Texan power system pays off for risk-neutral utilities in the medium term. Risk aversion can cause under-investment, and policymakers should therefore take into account extreme event risks in decision-making and implement measures that increase winterization efforts.

    • Katharina Gruber
    • Tobias Gauster
    • Johannes Schmidt
    Policy Brief
  • For remote Indigenous communities prepaying for electricity in Australia’s Northern Territory, temperature extremes increase reliance on the services that energy provides and the risk of disconnection of those services. Policy should focus on reducing the frequency, duration and negative impacts of disconnection, within the context of a warming climate.

    • Thomas Longden
    • Simon Quilty
    • Norman Frank Jupurrurla
    Policy Brief
  • Without additional support policies, clean cooking could become unaffordable for about 470 million people by 2030 if a post-pandemic recovery is slow, and about 200 million people by 2030 under ambitious climate mitigation action. Acceleration of clean cooking transitions by tapping into pandemic recovery and climate funds to target the poorest people and regions globally is urgently needed.

    • Shonali Pachauri
    • Miguel Poblete-Cazenave
    • Matthew J. Gidden
    Policy Brief
  • Innovative energy business models, such as peer-to-peer trading or energy as a service, are attractive to different groups of customers. Disengaged consumers with low trust in the energy market could face further disadvantages, while already active consumers could reap even greater benefits, which risks widening existing socio-economic inequalities.

    • Stephen Hall
    • Jillian Anable
    • Yvonne Matthews
    Policy Brief
  • Wind energy repowering decisions are multifaceted and depend on the physical, political and social landscape, as factors such as noise regulation, aesthetics and political bargaining can significantly influence project development. Policy should recognise that a technology perspective alone cannot inform implementation pathways and should be supplemented with an understanding of the political and social dimensions.

    • Lena Kitzing
    • Morten Kofoed Jensen
    • Eric Lantz
    Policy Brief
  • Households reduced their electricity use the most when they learnt both that they were using more energy than their neighbours and that energy conservation was socially approved. This suggests that efforts to use social information to nudge conservation should combine different types of social feedback to maximize impact.

    • Jacopo Bonan
    • Cristina Cattaneo
    • Massimo Tavoni
    Policy Brief
  • Startups funded by the US Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy filed patents at twice the rate of similar cleantech firms. The high-risk high-reward funding model has succeeded in advancing energy technology, but more is needed to help these innovative firms cross the valley of death and bring new cleantech products to market.

    • Anna Goldstein
    • Claudia Doblinger
    • Laura Díaz Anadón
    Policy Brief
  • While the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has been instrumental in increasing India’s liquefied petroleum gas adoption, sustained use depends on factors such as regularity of income and ease of access to free-of-cost biomass. To ensure sustained use after adoption, interventions in clean cooking energy must tie in with broader rural development.

    • Sunil Mani
    • Abhishek Jain
    • Carlos F. Gould
    Policy Brief
  • Retiring, transitioning or installing more stringent emissions controls in coal-fired power plants has the potential to decrease asthma attacks and asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations in nearby communities. These health co-benefits should be considered in policy and decision making about coal-fired power plant retirement or retrofit.

    • Joan A. Casey
    • Jason G. Su
    • Meredith A. Barrett
    Policy Brief
  • Mandatory building energy audits in New York City lead to a modest reduction of energy use of 2.5% and 4.9% for multifamily and office buildings, respectively. This suggests that other approaches besides mandatory audit policies, such as building energy grading and carbon intensity targets, may be needed to achieve sustainability goals.

    • Constantine E. Kontokosta
    • Danielle Spiegel-Feld
    • Sokratis Papadopoulos
    Policy Brief
  • Non-market effects, such as strategic decisions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, energy legislation and speculative bubbles, move crude oil prices away from the level implied by supply and demand for extended periods. These effects should be more proactively monitored and regulated to suit national and international objectives.

    • Robert. K. Kaufmann
    • Caitlin Connelly
    Policy Brief
  • Community energy groups can raise citizen finance for renewable energy projects at lower interest rates than from commercial lenders, but they often depend on price guarantee schemes. Policies providing price stability and business model innovations are needed to realize the sector’s potential contribution to the zero-carbon energy transition.

    • Tim Braunholtz-Speight
    • Maria Sharmina
    • Sarah Mander
    Policy Brief
  • Although India’s Ujjwala programme has encouraged adoption of modern cooking gas, households have not shifted away from using highly polluting solid fuels. Additional incentives to encourage regular use of cooking gas are necessary to enable a more rapid and complete transition to clean cooking fuel among poor rural households.

    • Abhishek Kar
    • Shonali Pachauri
    • Hisham Zerriffi
    Policy Brief
  • The elderly and those with disabilities face greater increases in electricity bills and worse health outcomes under some time-of-use electricity rates. This suggests that vulnerable groups should be considered separately in time-of-use rate design, and future rate designs should be tested to ensure that they do not increase hardship.

    • Lee V. White
    • Nicole D. Sintov
    Policy Brief
  • While a government commission recently proposed to phase out coal in Germany by 2038, voters would prefer a phase-out by 2025. Policymakers may underestimate public willingness to support an expedited transition away from high-carbon sources of energy.

    • Adrian Rinscheid
    • Rolf Wüstenhagen
    Policy Brief
  • Many electricity markets authorize capacity payments to generators to secure sufficient supply, unintentionally favouring peaking technologies like oil and gas. New approaches are needed to ensure reliability without discouraging investment in low-carbon resources such as solar, wind and nuclear.

    • Jacob Mays
    • David P. Morton
    • Richard P. O’Neill
    Policy Brief
  • Financing costs for renewable energy technologies have decreased substantially over the past 18 years, helping make renewables more cost competitive. Leveraging the effect of financial learning and continuing the policies that facilitated favourable financing conditions are key for greater renewable energy adoption in the future.

    • Florian Egli
    • Bjarne Steffen
    • Tobias S. Schmidt
    Policy Brief
  • Hotel guests changed their resource-use behaviour when they received feedback on their consumption in real time, even though they did not know that they were part of a study and had no financial incentives. Behavioural interventions provided by digital technologies are a scalable and cost-effective policy instrument for fostering resource conservation.

    • Verena Tiefenbeck
    • Anselma Wörner
    • Thorsten Staake
    Policy Brief