Sean Casten

Sean Casten is president & CEO of Recycled Energy Development, LLC, a company devoted to profitably reducing greenhouse emissions.

Boo, Yorker

On David Owen and William Jevons

David Owen's latest piece in The New Yorker has attracted much attention and rekindled interest in William Jevons and his paradox, and much ink has been spilled in support of and opposition to the article. Amidst the discussion, I'm struck that two rather obvious points haven't been made: Jevons' arguments wouldn't pass muster in any discipline other than economics, and Owen's arguments fail basic principles of logic.

Lies, damned lies, and natural gas price forecasts

Shale gas doesn't change everything

The new natural gas conventional wisdom says that "shale changes everything." Access to these large volumes of relatively low-cost gas will raise U.S. natural gas prices and decrease price volatility. That's why prices are low now, and why they'll stay there in the future. Trouble is, the narrative really doesn't hold water. Maybe gas prices will stay low in the future, maybe they won't. But whichever the case, it won't be because of shale.

Bringing unsexy back

District energy 101

District energy is a big deal, and like most of our energy system, it's subject to a host of inconsistent and/or mutually contradictory regulations. Good policy would fix those inconsistencies. Problem is, lawmakers just don't understand it. So let's break it down.

You say potato, I say Pareto

Electricity markets are weird: why a carbon price isn't enough

If power companies have to pay for their CO2 emissions, what will happen to the price of electricity? The answer isn't as obvious as you think.

"Do It Because You're a Greedy Bastard"

Me, in the movie 'Carbon Nation'

For those of you who missed my big screen debut last night in Millennium Park, it's safe to say you missed the opportunity of a lifetime.

The unbearable wrongness of sequesetering

Why 'clean coal' will never, ever matter

Carbon capture and sequestration, the great hope of the coal industry, makes no economic sense under any scenario in which there's a price on carbon pollution. Here's why.

It's the electricity, stupid

As energy use goes, so goes the economy

Economic activity tends to track energy use. In particular, demand for electricity is a reliable predictor of economic growth. Recent trends in electricity demand portend bad news for the economy (and the Democrats).

To PV or not to PV, that isn't the question

Clean energy: It’s not about the technology

Suppose two factories produce and sell identical widgets at $1 each. Now, suppose a law is passed to provide one of those factories with $9 of additional revenue per widget. Clearly, this is law will …

Remember when we called this stuff "cheap"?

Coal-fired power was the big loser in the economic downturn

There’s some interesting new data out on recent shifts in electricity demand and consumption, courtesy of the DOE/EIA. In 2008, total U.S. power generation was 4.1 million GWh. In 2009, that fell by 4 percent, …

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