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270.6 sec. 1 - Energy Regulation and the Environment (Fall 2014)Instructor: Steven Weissman (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Meeting Time: TuTh 11:20-12:35
Meeting Location: 134
Course Start: August 26, 2014
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 49778
Energy production and use drive the world's economies and offer hope for growth and prosperity. Yet, the extraction and use of fuels and the development of energy facilities are among the greatest threats to the global environment. This course introduces students to the legal, economic, and structural issues that both shape our energy practices and provide opportunities to overcome these critical problems. The course focuses primarily on the regulation and design of electricity systems and markets, since so many energy choices - the use of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables such as solar, wind, and energy conservation or demand side management relate to the way we generate or deliver electricity, or avoid the need to do so. Next to the use of petroleum for transportation, electric generation is the greatest contributor to air pollution and the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, as urban and suburban development spread across the land, the maintenance and expansion of the electric transmission grid provide increasingly challenging land use problems.
The course examines both the traditional monopoly model of regulation and evolving competitive alternatives. The course exposes students to energy resource planning, pollution management, rate design, green markets, energy efficiency, demand side management, renewable energy portfolios, climate change, and carbon management. The course provides an introduction to administrative law and to practice issues in the field.
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