Reframing climate policy approaches in the electric power sector (Fall 2015)

The global warming problem is getting worse and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are approaching levels likely to produce dangerous interference with the global climate system within several decades. One of the fastest growing sources of annual anthropogenic GHG emissions is the global electric power sector. Power systems in California, Germany and Ontario are on the leading edge of implementing policies to address climate change. Lessons from these power systems regarding what has, and what has not worked, in the past two decades provide the basis for framing effective climate policies for other power systems in the years ahead.

The study group will involve four sessions:

  1. Global warming problem—evaluates the size, scope and role of the global power consumption and production in the global warming problem. This session will focus on how the nature of the problem shapes the nature of required policy solutions as well as focus on the appropriate power sector policy metrics.
  2. Power system climate policy case studies—examining the design, implementation and impact of initiatives to address GHG emission reduction in California, Germany and Ontario.
  3. Lessons from power sector climate initiatives—the cost and performance of policy tools including increasing consumption efficiency, employing wind and solar generating technologies and continuing nuclear power production as well as the impacts on the power sector carbon footprint and the overall economy.
  4. Reframing power sector climate policy initiatives—examines the most promising alignment of climate policies with the political tolerance for higher power prices and the size and timelines required to have a meaningful impact on the global warming problem.


  • September 21, 2015: 4:00-5:30 pm
  • October 5, 2015: 4:00-5:30 pm. 
  • October 19, 2015: 4:00-5:30 pm 
  • November 2, 2015: 4:00-5:30 pm - Carr Conference Room (HKS Rubenstein building, Room 219)
    To enroll: Advance registration is not required - all are welcome.

Questions? Email

Lawrence Makovich
Larry Makovich, IHS CERA Vice President and Senior Advisor for Global Power, is a highly respected expert on the electric power industry. He directs IHS CERA research efforts in the power sector as part of IHS CERA’s Office of the Chairman. He is an authority on electricity markets, regulation, economics, and strategy. His current research focuses on electric power market structures, demand and supply fundamentals, wholesale and retail power markets, emerging technologies, and asset valuations and strategies. Makovich is currently advising or has recently advised several large utilities in major strategic engagements. He has testified numerous times before the US Congress on electric power policy. He has advised the government of China on electric power deregulation and transmission in competitive markets, and the Brazilian Congress invited him to testify on power liberalization. He examined the impact of deregulation on residential power prices and the development of resource adequacy mechanisms in the IHS CERA Multiclient Study Beyond the Crossroads: The Future Direction of Power Industry Restructuring. He was also a project director for the IHS CERA Multiclient Study Crossing the Divide: The Future of Clean Energy, the author of the IHS CERA Multiclient Study Fueling North America’s Energy Future: The Unconventional Natural Gas Revolution and the Carbon Agenda, and the study director of the IHS CERA Multiclient Study Smart Grid: Closing the Gap Between Perception and Reality. Among Makovich's other significant IHS CERA studies are examinations of the California power crisis in Crisis by Design: California's Electric Power Crunch and Beyond California's Power Crisis: Impact, Solutions, and Lessons. Makovich has been a lecturer on managerial economics at Northeastern University's Graduate School of Business. He holds a BA from Boston College, an MA from the University of Chicago, and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts.  As a senior fellow, he will explore strategies to reframe power sector climate initiatives.  His faculty sponsor is William Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy and Research Director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG).

Larry Makovich headshot

M-RCBG Senior Fellow Larry Makovich.