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The Energy Journal
Volume 40, Number 4




The Interconnections between Renewable Energy, Economic Development and Environmental Pollution: A Simultaneous Equation System Approach

Elias Soukiazis, Sara Proenca, and Pedro A. Cerqueira

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.esou
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Abstract:
Although the relationship between renewable energy and economic performance has attracted the interest of researchers in recent years, most of the analysis has focused on economic growth, which does not reflect the quality of standards of living. We employ a different approach measuring the impact of renewable energy consumption on the Human Development Index, which also considers qualitative characteristics. Using a simultaneous equation system approach that describes the interrelations between economic variables, renewable energy and pollution emissions with feedback effects, we provide robust evidence for a set of 28 OECD countries over the period 2004 - 2015, that renewable energy, human and physical capital are important factors for explaining the degree of sustainable development. Renewable energy consumption is mostly determined by higher levels of human capital, R&D, and the countries' development stage. Furthermore, the development level, total energy consumption, and the education level are important for explaining environmental pollution.




Investing in Smart Grids: Assessing the Influence of Regulatory and Market Factors on Investment Level

Yvonne Vogt Gwerder, Nuno Carvalho Figueiredo, and Patricia Pereira da Silva

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.ygwe
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Abstract:
This paper explores how market and regulatory factors affect stakeholders' investments in smart grid projects in Europe. Distribution System Operators (DSOs), universities, and technology manufacturers are leading investors, with a cumulative 2286 M€ financed since 2002. Statistical tests were conducted on these groups' investments in smart grid projects in the EU-28, Norway, and Switzerland from 2008-2015, to evaluate the influence of the following factors on investment: the level of distribution sector concentration, the regulatory mechanism in place, and the existence of innovation stimulus mechanisms. The level of distribution sector concentration did not significantly influence investments by these three groups. Market-minded stakeholders, such as DSOs and technology manufacturers, invested more in countries that employed hybrid, incentive, or innovation-stimulus mechanisms; meanwhile, collaborative knowledge-seeking institutions, such as universities, were not swayed by these factors. Taking these findings into consideration will help policy makers design adequate incentives for stakeholders.




The Spatial Deployment of Renewable Energy Based on China's Coal-heavy Generation Mix and Inter-regional Transmission Grid

Bo-Wen Yi, Wolfgang Eichhammer, Benjamin Pfluger, Ying Fan, and Jin-Hua Xu

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.bwyi
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Abstract:
China has set a goal of 20% non-fossil energy in total primary energy consumption by 2030. The decision of where to invest in renewable energy, and to what extent, needs to be considered from a forward-looking perspective. This article presents a power sector optimization model that integrates unit commitment with long-term generation expansion planning framework. Power dispatches at an hourly level are combined with yearly investment decisions. Based on the model, this article analyzes the optimal spatial deployment of renewable energy. The results show that regional differences in non-hydro renewable energy are significant. Approximately 75% should be deployed in the north of China. With the increase of combined heat and power, more renewable energy facilities, especially solar photovoltaic, should be located in the south of China. Inter-regional power transmission is beneficial to onshore wind in resource-rich areas, and could mitigate the conflict between coal-heavy generation mix and renewable energy.




Co-firing Coal with Biomass under Mandatory Obligation for Renewable Electricity: Implication for the Electricity Mix

Vincent Bertrand

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.vber
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Abstract:
This paper analyses the effect of recognizing co-firing coal with biomass as renewable electricity. We provide simulations for the French and German electricity mix. Results indicate that, if co-firing is recognized as a renewable, coal may crowd-out traditional renewables with increased generation and additional investments. Regarding CO2 emissions, we find surges when co-firing is recognized as a renewable. The rise is more significant in Germany due to greater coal capacity. In France, the magnitude depends on the share of nuclear with a lower increase when old nuclear plants are prolonged. Finally, we find that recognizing co-firing as a renewable reduces the overall costs for electricity. We balance the cost saving with the increased social cost from higher CO2 emissions. Results show that the cost saving is lower than the increased carbon cost for society with carbon valuation around 100 Euros/tCO2, except in France when old nuclear plants are not decommissioned.




Can China's Energy Intensity Constraint Policy Promote Total Factor Energy Efficiency? Evidence from the Industrial Sector

Shuai Shao, Zhenbing Yang, Lili Yang, and Shuang Ma

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.ssha
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Abstract:
As part of the country's efforts to achieve green development, China implemented a mandatory energy intensity reduction target in its 11th "Five-Year Plan (FYP)" in 2006, and then began to roll out a series of relevant measures. However, existing studies have paid little attention to the actual effects of China's energy intensity constraint policy (EICP). In this paper, using panel data from China's 36 industrial sub-sectors covering the years from 2001 to 2014, we adopt the difference-in-differences (DID) method to investigate for the first time the EICP's (marginal) effect on total factor energy efficiency growth (TFEEG). We also estimate the superposition effect caused by the introduction of a carbon intensity constraint policy (CICP) on TFEEG, through the difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD) strategy. Finally, using counterfactual, re-grouping and quasi-DID analyses, we conduct a series of robustness tests of the empirical results. The results show that the TFEEG in China's industrial sector experienced an overall declining trend between 2001 and 2014. The implementation of the EICP has had a significantly negative effect on the improvement of the TFEEG of sub-sectors with higher levels of energy intensity. After the implementation of the EICP, the TFEEG rate of these sub-sectors declined by 4.31%, compared to the rate of the other sub-sectors. The results of a series of robustness tests indicate that such a negative effect is credible. The marginal effect in the first two years after the implementation of the EICP was significantly negative, while the superposition effect of the introduction of a CICP on industrial TFEEG remained negative. Thus, the Chinese government should reinforce the implementation of energy-saving policies by introducing additional market-oriented auxiliary policies to propel the green development transformation of China's industrial sector.




Merchant Storage Investment in a Restructured Electricity Industry

Afzal S. Siddiqui, Ramteen Sioshansi, and Antonio J. Conejo

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.asid
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Abstract:
Restructuring and liberalisation of the electricity industry creates opportunities for investment in energy storage, which could be undertaken by a profit-maximising merchant storage operator. Because such a firm is concerned solely with maximising its own profit, the resulting storage-investment decision may be socially suboptimal (or detrimental). This paper develops a bi-level model of an imperfectly competitive electricity market. The modelling framework assumes electricity-generation and storage-operations decisions at the lower level and storage investment at the upper level. Our analytical results demonstrate that a relatively high (low) amount of market power in the generation sector leads to low (high) storage-capacity investment by the profit-maximising storage operator relative to a welfare maximiser. This can result in net social welfare losses with a profit-maximising storage operator compared to a no-storage case. Moreover, there are guaranteed to be net social welfare losses with a profit-maximising storage operator if the generation sector is sufficiently competitive. Using a charge on generation ramping between off- and on-peak periods, we induce the profit-maximising storage operator to invest in the same level of storage capacity as the welfare-maximising firm. Such a ramping charge can increase social welfare above the levels that are attained with a welfare-maximising storage operator.




The Economic Value of Distributed Storage at Different Locations on an Electric Grid

Wooyoung Jeon, Alberto J. Lamadrid, and Timothy D. Mount

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.wjeo
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Abstract:
The objective of this article is to analyze the system benefits of distributed storage at different locations on a grid that has a high penetration of renewable generation. The chosen type of distributed storage modeled is deferrable demand (e.g., thermal storage) because it is relatively inexpensive to install compared to batteries and could potentially form a large component of the peak system load. The advantage of owning deferrable demand is that the purchase of energy from the grid can be decoupled from the delivery of an energy service to customers. Consequently, these customers can reduce costs by shifting their purchases from expensive peak periods to off-peak periods when electricity prices are low. In addition, deferrable demand can provide ramping services to the grid to mitigate the uncertainty of renewable generation. The primary economic issue addressed in this paper is to determine how the storage capacity is allocated between shifting load and providing ramping services. The basic economic tradeoff is between the benefit from shifting more load from peak periods to less expensive periods, and reserving some storage capacity for ramping to reduce the amount of conventional reserve capacity purchased. Our approach uses a new form of stochastic, multi-period Security Constrained Optimal Power Flow (SCOPF) that minimizes the expected system costs for energy and ancillary services over a 24-hour horizon. For each hour, five different levels of wind generation may be realized and these are treated as different system states with known probabilities of occurring. This model is applied to a reduction of the grid in New York State and New England and simulates the hourly load on a hot summer day, treating potential wind generation at different sites as stochastic inputs. The results determine the expected amount and location of conventional generating capacity dispatched, the reserve capacity committed to maintain operating reliability, the charging/discharging of storage capacity, and the amount of potential wind generation spilled. The results show there are major differences in how the deferrable demand at two large load centers, Boston and New York City, is managed, and we provide an explanation for these differences.




The U.S. Fracking Boom: Impact on Oil Prices

Manuel Frondel and Marco Horvath

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.mfro
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As of late 2008, the steady decline of U.S. crude oil production over the last decades was reversed by the increased adoption of the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") technology. Adapting the supply-side model proposed by Kaufmann et al. (2004) to assess OPEC's ability to influence real oil prices, this paper investigates the effect of the increase in U.S. oil production due to fracking on world oil prices. Among our key results obtained from (dynamic) OLS estimations, there is a statistically significant negative long-run relationship between increased U.S. oil production and oil prices.




Will Adaptation Delay the Transition to Clean Energy Systems? An Analysis with AD-MERGE

Olivier Bahn, Kelly de Bruin, and Camille Fertel

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.obah
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Abstract:
Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet in the foreseeable future, yet, despite international environmental agreements, global GHG emissions are still increasing. In this context, adaptation measures can play an important role in reducing climate impacts. These measures involve adjustments to economic or social structures to limit the impact of climate change without limiting climate change itself. To assess the interplay of adaptation and mitigation, we develop AD-MERGE, an integrated assessment model that includes both reactive ('flow') and proactive ('stock') adaptation strategies as well as a range of mitigation (energy) technologies. We find that applying adaptation optimally delays but does not prevent the transition to clean energy systems (carbon capture and sequestration systems, nuclear, and renewables). Moreover, applying both adaptation and mitigation is more effective than using just one.




Can the Composition of Energy Use in an Expanding Economy be Altered by Consumers’ Responses to Technological Change?

Karen Turner, Gioele Figus, John Kim Swales, Lisa R yan, Patrizio Lecca, and Peter McGregor

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.ktur
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Abstract:
Technological change is necessary for economies to grow and develop. This paper investigates how this technological change could be directed in order to simultaneously reduce carbon-intensive energy use and deliver a range of economic benefits. Using both partial and general equilibrium modelling, we consider improvements in the efficiency in the delivery of electricity as an increasingly low carbon option in the UK. We demonstrate how linking this to policy action to assist and encourage households to substitute away from more carbon-intensive gas- to electricity-powered heating systems may change the composition of energy use, and implied emissions intensity, but not the level of the resulting economic expansion.




Book Reviews

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