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Articles by Sean Casten

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

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  • The problem with renewables and ‘cost parity’

    At what point do hamburgers reach cost parity with salad? Assume for a moment that this is a serious question and try to figure out how you’d answer it. What is the relevant metric of comparison? Cost per pound? Cost per calorie? Outside of a few rabid vegans, no one seriously tries to do that […]

  • Learning from history: Why natural gas prices will rise

    Here’s the standard story about the U.S. power grid: It gets baseload supply from hydro, nuclear, and coal (in that order), using natural gas (and the occasional oil plant) as a swing producer to meet peak demands. Renewables play on the margin, but are neither big nor reliable enough to matter from a grid planning […]

  • Growing Midwest and Appalachian efficiency markets

    Like boiling frogs, it’s the rate of change that matters when it comes to energy efficiency investments. Consumers who have grown accustomed to $4 gasoline are much less likely to buy a hybrid car than ones who just saw their gasoline price double from $1 to $2 between fill-ups. This is the silver lining of […]

  • How to buy (and price) clean power

    You get what you pay for. Clean power mandates in the US mandate that we buy megawatt-hours of clean energy, but they don’t mandate that those sources be reliable. This isn’t to say that clean energy can’t be reliable, but rather that it is mis-priced. Increasingly, this is causing conflicts for utilities, who have purchase […]