• Primary Program Energy Transitions and Electric Power
  • Research Interests Energy Policy, Electricity Restructuring and Energy Modeling

Biography

Frank is an engineer, energy policy analyst, and Program Director for Energy Transitions and Electric Power. Prior to joining KAPSARC, Frank was a Research Professor at the School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, and Director of the Center for Energy, Economics and Environmental Policy. In those roles, he conducted original and applied research in the areas of electric power system modeling, clean energy policies, and climate change for academic foundations, government agencies, and energy utilities. He has also worked as an economic consultant and nuclear engineer.

Publications

See all Frank’s publications
  • Discussion papers
  • Instant Insights
  • Commentary
  • KAPSARC journal articles
Cost, Emission, and Macroeconomic Implications of Diesel Displacement in the Saudi Agricultural Sector: Options and Policy Insights

Cost, Emission, and Macroeconomic Implications of Diesel Displacement in the Saudi Agricultural Sector: Options and Policy Insights

The Saudi agricultural sector relies on diesel for irrigation, which is provided to farmers at a much lower price than the average global price, implying significant opportunity costs. With the aid of soft-coupled power and macro-econometric models, we assess the cost and macroeconomic implications of electrifying irrigation activities in the Saudi agricultural sector. Three electrification scenarios are considered: electrifying each individual farm with a dedicated hybrid renewable micro-grid, electrifying the entire farm cluster with central generation and connecting the entire cluster via transmission to the national grid. Compared with the base-case, connecting the farm cluster to the national grid is found to be the most economical but the least environmentally friendly. The renewable and central generation scenarios are costlier (compared with the transmission scenario) due, respectively, to the high battery costs and gas infrastructure needed.

24th August 2022
One Year After the Texas Blackout: Lessons for Reliable and Resilient Power Systems

One Year After the Texas Blackout: Lessons for Reliable and Resilient Power Systems

In February 2021, Texas experienced an extreme cold snap causing a dramatic electricity blackout that left millions of households without electricity, resulting in over 200 fatalities and economic damages of approximately $100 billion. The Texas blackout has been used to support a variety of claims regarding renewable energy, electricity markets and climate change. We identify the blackout’s drivers and what has been learned since then. These lessons apply to power systems worldwide, including those of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the broader Middle East and North Africa region.

14th June 2022
Cross-seasonal Fuel Savings from Load Shifting in the Saudi Industrial Sector

Cross-seasonal Fuel Savings from Load Shifting in the Saudi Industrial Sector

Load shifting, that is, moving demand from peak to off-peak hours, is an important type of demand response. It can reduce the overall operating costs of a power system and improve the reliability of the power grid. This study estimates the financial implications of load shifting in the Saudi industrial sector. We use a national Saudi power system dispatch optimization model to simulate three scenarios. With this model, we quantify the impacts of shifting industrial loads from the peak summer to the off-peak winter months, keeping industrial electricity tariffs unchanged.    

11th April 2022
Achieving Renewable Energy Targets Without Compromising the Power Sector’s Reliability

Achieving Renewable Energy Targets Without Compromising the Power Sector’s Reliability

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy has set ambitious renewable energy goals. Although the Kingdom’s current energy mix is dominated by conventional energy (>95%), it aims to draw 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Currently, the Kingdom enjoys very high solar photovoltaic potential, and it is also well positioned for wind generation. Thus, studying the reliability of highly renewable power systems and the impact of converting conventional generation to renewable energy is of paramount importance. The latter analysis is important because temperatures in the Kingdom are often high for a considerable portion of the year.

22nd March 2022
Renewables, Reliability and Efficiency in Electricity Markets

Renewables, Reliability and Efficiency in Electricity Markets

The choice to use electricity markets to transition to an ultra-high renewable electricity sector depends on whether a high level of reliability and efficiency can be achieved. This study presents a reliability, resiliency and adaptability policy framework for a liberalized power system with a high share of renewables. This framework provides policy insights regarding electricity market reliability and the implications of remuneration mechanisms for renewables. Our analysis shows that it is necessary to reconsider adequacy assessments of liberalized power systems, to enhance the definition of the loss of load probability, and to explicitly consider the probability that the market clears. Under these conditions, electricity markets can theoretically achieve reliability and efficiency with large percentages of variable and intermittent renewable resources with zero or near-zero marginal costs, and market and technical challenges can be addressed.  

29th December 2021
How Can Energy Storage Catalyze the Electricity Policies of Gulf Cooperation Council Members? Issues and Options

How Can Energy Storage Catalyze the Electricity Policies of Gulf Cooperation Council Members? Issues and Options

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members are working in parallel to reform their electricity markets and achieve ambitious renewable energy deployment goals. The motivation for this agenda is multifaceted, and increasing economic efficiency is one of several reasons for these efforts. By introducing markets in the power sector (i.e., liberalizing this sector), these countries aim to reduce the sector’s reliance on the public budget.

27th September 2021
What Texas Tells Us About Lessening the Frequency and Severity of Electricity Blackouts?

What Texas Tells Us About Lessening the Frequency and Severity of Electricity Blackouts?

On Monday, February 12, approximately three million homes and businesses in Texas lost power due to an unusual winter storm that simultaneously increased electricity demand and decreased supply. This was not the first time; Texas had a similar incident due to cold weather in 2011. Severe weather is a frequent cause of large-scale blackouts. For instance, in 2012, the Northeastern region of the United States suffered extensive power outages due to Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane toppled many distribution lines, resulting in several million residents not having electricity for up to two weeks.        

28th February 2021
Climate and Power System Reliability in the Aftermath of the Texas Blackouts

Climate and Power System Reliability in the Aftermath of the Texas Blackouts

The February 2021 blackout in Texas underscored the importance of reliable and resilient power systems. In this commentary, we discuss the roles of regulators, markets, fuel and generation supply chains, and interdependent infrastructures, and finds that they need to be reconsidered and redefined to successfully meet the future challenges of increased electrification and severe weather.

25th August 2021

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