News & Events

Energy Economics Weekly Briefings

  • 03/16/18

    America’s (Energy Efficient) Economic Future

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and former Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx came to the University of Michigan during the last week. Both addressed America’s future and the dimensions of policy necessary to secure better growth and prosperity for all. Pritzker highlighted the importance of policy to upskill and…

  • 03/14/18

    Alternative Energy Spurs Fastest Growing Occupations

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their annual outlook of employment growth by occupation for the 2016—2026 time period. Alternative energy jobs in solar and wind are at the top of the list for gains during this period. The list also reads like a “who’s who” for…

  • 02/16/18

    The 11th-Hour Budget Deal on February 9th

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Congress passed a two-year budget deal last Friday to avert another government shutdown. On top of over $300 billion in new spending during 2018-2019, several provisions affect many different segments of the energy sector. Combined with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this magnitude of fiscal stimulus in…

  • 02/06/18

    The Value of Government Statistics on Energy

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: U.S. federal government agencies like the Department of Energy produce valuable statistics, analysis, and forecasts. Economic measurement of the energy sector is vital for business decision making and for crafting the appropriate public policy. Global developments and advancing technology mean that the return on investing in these treasured…

  • 02/01/18

    Stiff Competition: Natural Gas and Renewables

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Natural gas supplies are abundant as tight oil and gas fracturing continues to grow unabated. Despite modest incentives to boost wind and solar, these resources are putting up stiff competition against natural gas. The Department of Energy projects higher penetration rates of renewables as an important supply stream…

  • 01/25/18

    Battery Economics and Electrified Vehicles

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: A critical enabler to the take-off stage of electrified vehicles is the battery: Its cost structure and energy to power driving range. The economics of batteries for cars runs through commodities markets and physical mine contracts. A preliminary assessment suggests that raw material costs are not likely to…

  • 01/17/18

    Tax Reform and Capital Spending on Renewables and EVs

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed last month, includes a host of provisions- including spending on renewable energy equipment which affect the capital investment climate. Investment decision-making rests on expectations about future demand for products and services which the investment would enable, and other factors commingled with…

  • 12/19/17

    Where We Are On Oil And Gas Rig Counts And Production

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: As oil prices plummeted in mid-2014, what followed was a significant reduction in the oil and gas rig counts across the major shale regions of the U.S. Rig counts faltered and finally troughed in early 2016, but production in the Permian region continued to grow as new rigs…

  • 12/14/17

    Tax Reform and Renewable Energy Investment

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Congressional leaders are reportedly close to concluding their Conference on tax legislation in order to produce a bill for final vote in the House and Senate. Both the Senate and House versions of the legislation include 100% upfront expensing for investment. In a perfect world, this should help…

  • 12/07/17

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Ruling

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: The Department of Energy (DOE)’s Secretary Perry issued a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in September 2017 asking for a ruling on the electric grid reliability and resiliency. The objective of this proposed ruling is to ensure there is adequate grid capacity in the event…