News & Events

Energy Economics Weekly Briefings

Energy Economics Weekly Briefings, by Senior Economist Dr. Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, will feature an economist’s look at the national transportation, energy, economic, and environmental landscape.

Hughes-Cromwick recently completed an appointment as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration. At the Department of Commerce, Hughes-Cromwick worked on several administration initiatives to improve data quality, measure the digital economy, and expand manufacturing, trade and investment.  She assisted Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on global macroeconomic matters in support of her commercial diplomacy, trade, and foreign direct investment initiatives. Hughes-Cromwick also supported the development of the Obama Administration’s economic forecast.

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Hughes-Cromwick was chief global economist at Ford Motor Company and an Adjunct Professor at U-M’s Ross School of Business. She led Ford’s global corporate economics group with major responsibility for the Company’s global economic, financial, and automotive industry forecasts used to support business strategy, finance, and planning.

  • 01/18/19

    Economists’ Letter In Support of Carbon Tax

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, many famous economists signed a letter to the Wall Street Journal in support of a carbon tax.  To be sure, many proposals have been made in the past, to no avail here in the U.S.  If you want a concise look at the political economy…

  • 01/09/19

    Green Bonds Could Finance Transition Toward Electrified Vehicles

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    As the cost of battery technology to power electrified vehicles (EVs) comes down to competitive levels, there will be an important opportunity to invest in commercial businesses in many mobility sectors.  Already, the case for investment is very clear and pronounced.  Lithium-ion battery pack costs for EVs have been declining,…

  • 01/02/19

    Energy Economics Calendar 2019

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Happy New Year!  There is nothing more enticing to economists than the virtual sound of data and analytics.  The new year will bring forth engaging trends to monitor and analyze, especially in light of the emerging slowdown in global economic growth as well as subdued inflation in most countries as…

  • 11/14/18

    Highlights from the Energy Institute’s TE3 Conference

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    The Energy Institute’s Fifth Annual TE3 Conference, held on October 25-26, 2018, was organized around research papers and expert panels addressing new topics of mobility:  Electrified, shared, connected and automated.  One of the key conference questions was whether any of these new features of mobility would yield a cleaner energy…

  • 11/06/18

    Electrified Vehicle Sales in the UK

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

      October 2018 data for UK’s new vehicle registrations was just released yesterday.  As we track these sales across the globe, we are learning how important purchase incentives have become.  These policy supports help buyers overcome the unease they may feel with new technologies.  The field of behavioral economics has…

  • 10/18/18

    Energy Price Developments

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    In case you missed it, something snuck in the back door:  A gradual, but persistent increase in oil and natural gas prices.  Take a look at West Texas crude oil quotes from the CME Group in the chart below. Crude oil prices bottomed in February 2016 at $31 per barrel. …

  • 10/02/18

    China New Energy: Trip Report

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: A weeklong visit to China allowed for an updated view of China’s progress toward shifting energy use in the mobility sector. There are reportedly 130+ new energy vehicle companies, all competing for an increasing market share of electrified vehicles. A surge in EV sales is spurred by product…

  • 09/13/18

    Shining a Light on Coal Consumption

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Coal used to produce electric power varies widely by state. Adjusted for population, California is truly the “outlier” with near eradication of coal use for electric power. Since 2010, the cost of renewables and natural gas to produce electric power fell, resulting in substitution away from coal. “Based…

  • 08/31/18

    Halftime Report on Electrified Vehicles

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Global demand for electrified vehicles was robust in the first half of 2018. Policy incentives, whether they are purchasing subsidies or registration exemptions among many tools, have contributed to the growth trend. As product availability grows and battery costs decline, the “demand pull” without incentives could intensify. Whether…

  • 08/16/18

    Global Central Banks and Climate Change

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Central banks in our global economy are analyzing the impacts of climate change on long-term economic growth and inflation. Policymakers deem this as essential to quantify in order to pursue their objectives of price and financial market stability. The Bank of England has been at the forefront with…