The electricity industry is a significant area in which policy changes could have an impact on environmental sustainability. In this audio lecture, Stanford Professor Frank Wolak considers how different utility rate structures might accelerate or delay the vision of an intelligent energy supply/demand nexus in the home. He discusses the inevitability of –– and political barriers to –– dynamic pricing, outlining the role of hourly and critical peak plans in motivating customers to reduce their consumption. He also talks about how renewable energy should be priced to encourage investments in energy storage technologies. Wolak was talking at the 2010 Climate Policy Instruments in the Real World conference, an event convened by the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) at Stanford University.

Frank A. Wolak is the Holbrook Working Professor of Commodity Price Studies in the Economics Department and the director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University. His fields of research are industrial organization and empirical economic analysis. Since April 1998, he has been chairman of the Market Surveillance Committee (MSC) of the California Independent System Operator. In this capacity, he has testified numerous times at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and at various Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives on issues relating to market monitoring and market power in electricity markets. Wolak has worked on the design and regulatory oversight of electricity markets internationally in Europe, Australia/Asia, Latin America and the United States. He received an SM in applied mathematics and PhD in economics from Harvard University.