VOSCOE - "Value of Solar Center of Excellence"

The Pace Energy and Climate Center, based at the Elizabeth Haub School of Law, has been a leader in energy resource economics, law, and policy for more than 25 years.

We published the first comprehensive study of environmental costs that were ignored in utility planning and regulation in 1991. Environmental Costs of Electricity, published in 1991, documented environmental externalities, and has improved electricity decision making across the United States and around the world.

Pace Executive Director Karl R. Rábago, who leads the VOSCOE project, contributed to the Environmental Costs of Electricity when he was studying for his Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law. Karl served as a public utility commissioner in the state of Texas and a as deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of Energy, where he led renewable energy R&D programs. Karl went on to co-author Small Is Profitable when he was with the Rocky Mountain Institute. Small Is Profitable, published in 2002, documented the operating, engineering, financial, and economic benefits of right-sized energy resources of all kinds.

Rábago launched the national discussion about Value of Solar when he served as vice president for Distributed Energy Services at Austin Energy, the municipal electric utility in Austin, Texas.

Austin Energy had been doing Value of Solar analysis since 2006, when they commissioned one of first formal Value of Solar studies. Karl used that analysis as the foundation for a novel Value of Solar Tariff, first adopted in 2012. After he left Austin Energy, Karl established a consulting practice, spreading the Value of Solar concept across the United States.

With the VOSCOE, Pace Energy and Climate Center now comes full circle on resource valuation issues, demonstrating that proper accounting for costs and benefits of resource options is crucial for ensuring sound and efficient energy decision making.

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If you would like to submit a document, you can email it to us at PECC@law.pace.edu. Please include "VOSCOE" in the subject line of the message. Also include a brief intro as to why you think the document should be included as any relevant attributes to be included on the site: author, state(s) to which it applies, year of adaption, topic(s) covered.

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  • PECC@law.pace.edu