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Economic Effects of Increased Penetration of Solar Energy

Edward A. Hudson

Year: 1980
Volume: Volume 1
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol1-No3-5
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Abstract:
Recent energy policy proposals have given an important place to solar energy, and other new-technology energy sources, in the projected development of the U.S. energy system over the rest of the century. For example, the Domestic Policy Review of Solar Energy (U.S. Department of Energy, 1979), presented to the President in February 1979, raised the possibility that 20 percent of primary energy input in the year 2000 could be supplied from solar and other renewable sources. Since these technologies now provide only a small fraction of total energy input, changes of the magnitude involved in these proposals imply a major restructuring of the energy system.



An Analysis of Department of Energy Residential Appliance Efficiency Standards

Raymond S. Hartman & MIT Energy Laboratory

Year: 1981
Volume: Volume 2
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol2-No3-5
View Abstract

Abstract:
Over the past several years, the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies have initiated an array of policies aimed at limiting domestic consumption of fossil fuels. Several policy initiatives, aimed at residential fossil-based energy conservation, have included residential appliance efficiency standards, the commercialization of residential applications of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and solar thermal appliances, and the implementation of energy performance standards for buildings. Each of these programs alone will reduce residential fossil fuel consumption. However, it remains unclear how they interact. In this article I examine how two programs may interact. In particular, I assess how well appliance efficiency standards will reduce fuel consumption and whether a standards program will conflict with or complement the DOE's PV commercialization efforts.



Financing Solar Repowering and the Quantification of External Benefits

Jules H. Kamin and J. Clair Ellis

Year: 1982
Volume: Volume 3
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol3-No2-9
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Abstract:
Encouragement of investment in domestic energy projects capable of displacing imported petroleum is a central objective of U.S. energy policy. Private industry will be the primary vehicle for developing improvements in efficiency of new technologies, reducing costs to levels competitive with conventional technologies, and building the required industrial infrastructure.



Again, Federal Tax Credits Are Found Effective: A Reply

Edwin H. Carpenter and Cathy Durham

Year: 1985
Volume: Volume 6
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol6-No3-11
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Abstract:
One of the greatest compliments that can be paid to a research effort is an attempt to refute its findings that instead replicates those findings. That is the present case. Commenting on Carpenter and Chester (1984), Peterson (1985) states, "The authors conclude that conservation credits have done little to stimulate conservation expenditures, but that the renewable energy credit has increased the demand for solar space and water heating systems. Unfortunately, problems with the data used by Carpenter and Chester cast doubt on their findings." Peterson then concludes, from his analysis of the "better" data set, "The percentages from the table suggest that solar purchasers are much more affected by the availability of tax credits than are conservation investors."



Solar Versus Conservation Tax Credits

H. Craig Petersen

Year: 1985
Volume: Volume 6
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol6-No3-12
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Abstract:
In the late 1970s concern about energy shortages motivated Congress to establish federal income tax credits to individuals for (1) household energy conservation expenditures and (2) purchases of renewable energy systems. Under terms of the Energy Tax Act of 1978, the tax credit for conservation expenditures is 15 percent of the amount invested, with a maximum credit of $300. The credit for renewable energy systems (such as solar space or water heaters) was initially set at 30 percent of the first $2000 and 20 percent of the next $8000. In 1980, the Windfall Profit Tax Act increased the tax credit for renewable energy systems to 40 percent of the first $10,000 in qualifying expenditures-a maximum credit of $4000.



The Failure of Solar Tax Incentives: A Dynamic Analysis

G. Thomas Sav

Year: 1986
Volume: Volume 7
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol7-No3-4
View Abstract

Abstract:
In recent years we have witnessed governmental attempts to acceler-ate the stock demand for energy-saving durables with financial incentives implemented through the tax mechanism. At the federal level, income tax credits for the purchase of energy-saving durable stocks were introduced through the Energy Tax Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-618). In addition, many states have enacted their own energy-saving tax incentive legislation. A substantial body of this tax legislation has been aimed at accelerating substitution of solar-produced energy for conventional, nonrenewable energy resources in the residential and commercial building sectors. Along these lines, the bulk of engineering (so-called life-cycle) cost studies accompanying much of this legislation predicted that solar tax incentives would generate widespread market penetration with little or no delay.' However, casual observation reveals that tax-induced solar energy substitutions have not been widespread.This paper presents a dynamic model of investment decisions in solar processes-a model that captures the effect of tax legislation aimed at accelerating market penetration of solar energy.



Learning-by-Doing and the Optimal Solar Policy in California

Arthur van Benthem, Kenneth Gillingham and James Sweeney

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No3-7
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Abstract:
Much policy attention has been given to promote fledgling energy technologies that promise to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. These policies often aim to correct market failures, such as environmental externalities and learning�by-doing (LBD). We examine the implications of the assumption that LBD exists, quantifying the market failure due to LBD. We develop a model of technological advancement based on LBD and environmental market failures to examine the economically efficient level of subsidies in California�s solar photovoltaic market. Under central-case parameter estimates, including nonappropriable LBD, we find that maximizing net social benefits implies a solar subsidy schedule similar in magnitude to the recently implemented California Solar Initiative. This result holds for a wide range of LBD parameters. However, with no LBD, the subsidies cannot be justified by the environmental externality alone.



Demand Subsidies Versus R&D: Comparing the Uncertain Impacts of Policy on a Pre-commercial Low-carbon Energy Technology

Gregory F. Nemet and Erin Baker

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-No4-2
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Abstract:
We combine an expert elicitation and a bottom-up manufacturing cost model to compare the effects of R&D and demand subsidies. We model their effects on the future costs of a low-carbon energy technology that is not currently commercially available, purely organic photovoltaics (PV). We find that: (1) successful R&D enables PV to achieve a cost target of 4c/kWh, (2) the cost of PV does not reach the target when only subsidies, and not R&D, are implemented, and (3) production-related effects on technological advance�learning-by-doing and economies of scale�are not as critical to the long-term potential for cost reduction in organic PV than is the investment in and success of R&D. These results are insensitive to two levels of policy intensity, the level of a carbon price, the availability of storage technology, and uncertainty in the main parameters used in the model. However, a case can still be made for subsidies: comparisons of stochastic dominance show that subsidies provide a hedge against failure in the R&D program.



The Implicit Carbon Price of Renewable Energy Incentives in Germany

Claudio Marcantonini, A. Denny Ellerman

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.4.cmar
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Abstract:
This research analyzes the German experience in promoting Renewable Energy (RE) as an instrument to reduce GHG emissions. It identifies the cost of reducing CO2 emissions in the power sector through the promotion of wind and solar energy for the years 2006-2010. A RE carbon surcharge and an implicit carbon price due to the RE incentives are calculated. The RE carbon surcharge is the ratio of the net cost of the RE over the CO2 emission reductions resulting from actual RE injections into the electric power system. The implicit carbon price is the sum of the RE carbon surcharge and the EUA price. Results show that for the period analyzed both the RE carbon surcharge and the implicit carbon price of wind are on the order of tens of euro per tonne of CO2, while for solar are on the order of hundreds of euro per tonne of CO2.



The Performance of U.S. Wind and Solar Generators

Richard Schmalensee

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.1.rsch
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Abstract:
Using data on hourly outputs and spot prices for a sample 25 wind and nine solar generating plants covering all seven U.S. ISOs for 2011 and up to 12 adjacent months, this study examines capacity factors, average output values, and several aspects of intermittency. Most performance measures studied vary substantially within and between ISOs, and some vary substantially over time. Implications for research, market design, and policies to support renewable generation are briefly discussed.




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