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Distributed Lags and the Demand for Electricity

Ronald J. Sutherland

Year: 1983
Volume: Volume 4
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol4-NoSI-9
No Abstract



An Analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy's Civilian R & D Budget

Ronald J. Sutherland

Year: 1989
Volume: Volume 10
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol10-No1-5
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Abstract:
The Department of Energy's R&D budget has experienced major changes in funding during the last two administrations. These changes are explained by administration policies that are based on perceived conditions of market failure. Government funding of R&D can be supported on grounds of externalities, public goods and the absence of national contingency markets. Such funding cannot be justified on grounds of being long-term or high-risk. A portfolio model offers insights as to the appropriate definition of risk, a social discount rate and a balanced portfolio of R&D projects.



Market Barriers to Energy-Efficiency Investments

Ronald J. Sutherland

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-No3-3
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Abstract:
The conservation literature argues that numerous cost-effective conservation measures could be undertaken, but they are not because market barriers discourage such investments. A review of these barriers indicates that in genera{ they do not discourage investment and they are not market failures. A conventional investment model suggests that business investments in energy efficiency are made with the same decision rules as any other investments. Consumers who invest in energy efficiency require higher rates of return when the investments are illiquid and they are unable to diversify away the risk The high discount rates required by consumers for energy-eficiency investments reflect real costs in a competitive market, not artificial market barriers. Policies that encourage the dissemination of information, such as appliance labelling, may promote energy efficiency and overall economic efficiency. Policies, such as appliance standards, that require consumers to invest according to lower discount rates, reduce consumers' overall economic wellbeing. Two market failures that illuminate the need for government support of conservation policies are the external costs of energy consumption and production and the lack of aggregate insurance against energy-related risks.



Income Distribution Effects of Electric Utility DSM Programs

Ronald J. Sutherland

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume15
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-No4-5
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Abstract:
This paper uses the Residential Energy Consumption Survey undertaken by the Energy Information Administration in 1990 to estimate the statistical association between household income and participation in electric utility energy conservation programs and the association between participation and the electricity consumption. The results indicate that utility rebates, energy audits, load management programs and other conservation measures tend to be undertaken at greater frequency by high income households than by low income households. Participants in conservation programs tend to occupy relatively new and energy efficient residences and undertake conservation measures other than utility programs, which suggests that utility sponsored programs are substitutes for other conservation investments. Electricity consumption during 1990 is not significantly less for households participating in utility programs than for nonparticipants, which also implies that utility conservation programs are displacing other conservation investments. Apparently, utility programs are not avoiding the costs of new construction and instead are transferring wealth, particularly to high income participating households.



"No Cost" Efforts to Reduce Carbon Emissions in the U.S.: An Economic Perspective

Ronald J. Sutherland

Year: 2000
Volume: Volume21
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol21-No3-4
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Abstract:
The 1999 Special Issue of The Energy Journal presents several articles that conclude the costs of the Kyoto Protocol would be very high for the U.S. if all the adjustments were domestic. However, a few studies conclude that the Kyoto target is achievable at a negligible cost and perhaps with a net benefit. This paper explains why a majority of studies conclude that the cost of reducing emissions is high while some studies conclude that the Kyoto target could be achieved at a low cost, if not for free. Most studies employ mainstream economic analysis to estimate the costs of achieving the Kyoto Protocol. In contrast, the "no cost" analyses use a unique methodology applied only to energy conservation and referred to here as the energy conservation paradigm. One conclusion is that the energy conservation paradigm is inconsistent with mainstream economics. The "no cost" conclusion used to support approval of the Kyoto Protocol is not supported by the basic principles of economics. The Climate Change Technology Initiative recommends tax credits to reduce carbon emissions. With the proposed tax credit of $1,100 per residential head pump, each tonne of carbon reduced from the more efficient heat pump would cost $510. With different input assumptions, higher and lower estimates are produced.





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