Severin Borenstein, Ph.D.
Director, University of California Energy Institute
Co-Director, Energy Institute at Haas
E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy
“What Will It Take to Make Renewable Energy Competitive?”
Improvement in solar and wind generation technologies has accelerated in the last few years. Biofuels and storage technologies seem to be on the cusp of important breakthroughs. Yet, progress in replacing fossil fuels has been painfully slow. Professor Severin Borenstein will discuss the challenging hurdles that still exist for alternative energy sources in the developed and the developing world, and the variety of policy arguments for government intervention in the market, some valid, many not. He will characterize the public and private activities that he believes will be necessary to address the energy challenges we still face.
Professor Borenstein received his A.B. from U.C. Berkeley and Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T. His research focuses on business competition, strategy, and regulation. He has published extensively on the airline industry, the oil and gasoline industries, and electricity markets. His current research projects include the economics of renewable energy, economic policies for reducing greenhouse gases, alternative models of retail electricity pricing, and competitive dynamics in the airline industry. Professor Borenstein is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA. He served on the Board of Governors of the California Power Exchange from 1997 to 2003. During 1999-2000, he was a member of the California Attorney General's Gasoline Price Task Force. In 2010-11, Borenstein was a member of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's Future of Aviation Advisory Committee.