News & Events

Energy Economics Weekly Briefings

  • 10/10/17

    Raw Materials Used To Make Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: There are many components and raw materials that go into lithium-ion batteries to power electrified vehicles. Fluctuations in commodity prices can have an impact on battery costs and prices. Two commodities which may be pressure points are lithium and cobalt. In February, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy…

  • 09/27/17

    Forecasting the Unforecastable

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Short-term and even long-term forecasts of oil demand and prices are an art, not a science. There is a range of potential outcomes supported by demand, supply, technology, and policy drivers. Even so, many analysts must recommend oil forecast assumptions for business planning. Oil demand and price forecasts…

  • 09/19/17

    Cryptocurrency Energy Consumption

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are reportedly energy intensive technologies. While worrisome on the face of it, the laws of supply and demand will likely prevail to temper the alarmist predictions. Whether old or new, money provides three essential functions: store of value, medium of exchange, and…

  • 09/12/17

    China’s New Energy Vehicles

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: China’s government leaders have outlined an ambitious plan to increase the sales and production of new energy vehicles. As in other countries, without substantial subsidies or carbon taxes, aggressive targets will be difficult to achieve. China’s long-term strategy for the automotive industry is to expand the production and…

  • 09/06/17

    Harvey Aftermath

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Our thoughts are with the people of Texas as they struggle to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. The recovery has begun; the road ahead is long and arduous. The concentration of energy assets in the area hit by the hurricane adds to the challenges, though many…

  • 08/29/17

    Energy Exchange Traded Funds

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Energy exchange traded funds have exploded in recent years. In principle, this is a positive development because it has made investing in the energy sector less expensive, thereby providing more funds for capital spending in the sector. Most recently, investors are voting with their purse: year-to- date returns…

  • 08/22/17

    Consumer Prices for Energy

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Energy price inflation at the retail level collapsed in the mid- 2014 through mid-2016. Overall consumers are facing attractive pricing across the board, from the pump to the grid. Energy prices are unpredictable and factor into planning and budgeting across the economy, especially for the consumer.While businesses have…

  • 08/15/17

    Global Electric Vehicle Sales

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaways: Electric vehicle sales are growing at a double digit pace. Electrified vehicles are one pathway to increased vehicle automation and cutbacks in emissions. But this trend will likely play out over several years, even if you think autonomous vehicles are coming quickly. Many analysts conclude that electrified vehicles…

  • 08/04/17

    U.S. Consumer Spending on Energy

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Key Takeaway: Consumer spending on energy is growing much slower than the overall economy since 2014, partly driven by the decline in energy pricing. Updated data on consumer spending were just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Purchases of gasoline and energy goods have been declining in recent years….