Menu
Institute for Policy Integrity logo

Recent Projects

Viewing recent projects in Publications
  • Gauging Economic Consensus on Climate Change – Issue Brief Cover

    Gauging Economic Consensus on Climate Change – Issue Brief

    We conducted a large-sample global survey on climate economics, which we sent to all economists who have published climate-related research in the field’s highest-ranked academic journals; 738 responded. To our knowledge, this is the largest-ever expert survey on the economics of climate change. The results show an overwhelming consensus that the costs of inaction on climate change are higher than the costs of action, and that immediate, aggressive emissions reductions are economically desirable.

    This Issue Brief highlights key takeaways from the survey. A more detailed report is available here.

    Read more

  • Gauging Economic Consensus on Climate Change Cover

    Gauging Economic Consensus on Climate Change

    We conducted a large-sample global survey on climate economics, which we sent to all economists who have published climate-related research in the field’s highest-ranked academic journals; 738 responded. To our knowledge, this is the largest-ever expert survey on the economics of climate change. The results show an overwhelming consensus that the costs of inaction on climate change are higher than the costs of action, and that immediate, aggressive emissions reductions are economically desirable.

    Read more

  • Policy Shifts in a Pandemic Cover

    Policy Shifts in a Pandemic

    Assessing the Environmental Laws and Policies Weakened in Response to Covid-19

    The Covid-19 pandemic has led federal, state, and municipal policymakers to adopt a number of measures that suspended, delayed, or relaxed a variety of environmental safeguards. Our report analyzes these pandemic-related policy shifts and their impacts on public health and the environment. We also provide guidance on how agencies can increase transparency about these actions, counteract detrimental effects, and preemptively create guidelines to improve responses in a future emergency.

    Read more

  • An Evaluation of the Benefit-Cost Analysis in the 2020 Steam Electric Reconsideration Rule Cover

    An Evaluation of the Benefit-Cost Analysis in the 2020 Steam Electric Reconsideration Rule

    85 Fed. Reg. 64,650 (Oct. 13, 2020)

    In its analysis of the 2020 Steam Electric Reconsideration Rule, the Environmental Protection Agency failed to adequately provide quantitative estimates for numerous harms from steam electric power plants' wastewater streams and drew conclusions about the rule’s impacts that are undermined by a fair assessment of unquantified impacts. Our report identifies flaws in the 2020 Rule and details changes the agency can make to significantly improve its benefit-cost analysis.

    Read more

  • Resource Adequacy in a Decarbonized Future Cover

    Resource Adequacy in a Decarbonized Future

    Wholesale Market Design Options and Considerations

    This report examines the relationship between resource adequacy and renewable energy. It explores the impacts of renewables on the functioning of resource adequacy mechanisms and how different resource adequacy approaches affect renewable investment, finding that current approaches—with certain adjustments—are capable of ensuring that the lights stay on during a future that is powered largely by renewable energy.

    Read more

  • (Not So) Clean Peak Energy Standards Cover

    (Not So) Clean Peak Energy Standards

    Growth in electricity storage has the potential to increase emissions from power generation. Concerns about this outcome are currently prompting many policies to address the issue. We study a particularly popular policy proposal called the “Clean Peak Standard” that incentivizes storage to discharge during periods of high electricity demand. The stated goal of the policy is to shift storage discharge to offset production from generators with high pollution emissions. We show that the policy is largely ineffective at achieving this emissions reduction goal. The policy reinforces existing incentives faced by storage operators, so it does not have a strong effect on discharging behavior. It is also unable to capture high-frequency changes in marginal operating emissions rates. Alternative policies, such as a carbon tax, are more effective at reducing the emissions increase caused by storage. Policymakers considering Clean Peak-style policies should instead consider these alternative policies.

    Read more

  • Retail Electricity Tariff Design, Distributed Energy Resources, and Emissions Cover

    Retail Electricity Tariff Design, Distributed Energy Resources, and Emissions

    In this paper, we use an economics-engineering simulation model to analyze how different types of residential retail tariff designs such as time-of-use, critical-peak pricing, and fully cost-reflective tariffs affect DER deployment and use, and, hence, the resulting emissions of CO2, SO2, and NOx in the Commonwealth Edison service territory in Chicago. Our results show that in the short term retail tariffs can help or hinder environmental goals through their effect on DER deployment and consumption behavior, emphasizing the importance of pairing DER policy initiatives with decarbonization efforts at the wholesale electricity level.

    Read more

  • The Role of Electricity Tariff Design in Distributed Energy Resource Deployment Cover

    The Role of Electricity Tariff Design in Distributed Energy Resource Deployment

    This paper simulates the effect of more advanced residential electricity tariffs on household adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs). We find that tariffs that are more time variant lead to greater reductions in coincident peak demands than flat volumetric tariffs, both from load shifting as well as from adoption of DERs. Regarding the effect of electricity tariff design on DER investments, we find that at current DER purchase costs investments in rooftop photovoltaic (PV), batteries and natural gas distributed generators are not privately optimal under any of our tariff design scenarios based on current cost levels for electricity and gas in the Chicago study area.

    Read more

  • Rate Design and Distributed Energy Resource Integration: Impacts on the Environment and Distribution System Costs Cover

    Rate Design and Distributed Energy Resource Integration: Impacts on the Environment and Distribution System Costs

    This project looks at the effects of different retail tariff designs on the deployment of distributed energy resource (DERs), and their subsequent effect on pollution, electric system costs, and customer bills. We use smart-meter data and techno-economic models to simulate the effects of more granular and cost-reflective tariff designs on DER investment and use.

    This project is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and is a collaboration between the Institute for Policy Integrity, Environmental Defense Fund, and the MIT Energy Initiative.

    Read more

  • Mandating Disclosure of Climate-Related Financial Risk Cover

    Mandating Disclosure of Climate-Related Financial Risk

    Climate change presents grave risk across the U.S. economy, including to corporations, their investors, the markets in which they operate, and the American public at large. Unlike other financial risks, however, climate risk is not routinely disclosed to the public. This report, authored by Policy Integrity and the Environmental Defense Fund, urges the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue new, mandatory disclosure rules focused on climate risk.

    Read more