The value of transmission in electricity markets: Evidence from a nuclear power plant closure
Lucas W. Davis, Catherine Hausman 16 June 2014
Estimating the economic value of energy transmission is difficult because investments in transmission capacity are endogenous to market conditions. This column presents recent research that takes advantage of a natural experiment to generate a credible counterfactual. The unexpected closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California increased generation costs by $350 million per year; it also led to increased carbon emissions worth $320 million annually.
Just as free trade in goods offers opportunities for efficiency gains, electricity transmission infrastructure facilitates exchange in electricity markets. The first-order effects of geographic integration in electricity markets are straightforward – allocation of production across firms is improved, so lower cost generating resources can be used to meet demand.
natural gas, nuclear power, electricity transmission, electricity generation
Aligning energy markets and climate-policy objectives in the EU
Carlo Carraro, Thomas Longden, Giacomo Marangoni, Massimo Tavoni 27 November 2013
In recent years, European coal consumption has increased, while natural gas consumption has declined – despite Europe’s commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. This perverse scenario is partly attributable to EU policies. Subsidies to renewables and energy efficiency targets have the unfortunate side effect of lowering carbon prices, thus partially offsetting their environmental benefits. Raising the EU carbon price would be preferable to employing multiple policy instruments, since it would minimise distortions in energy markets, achieve cost efficiency, and raise fiscal revenues.
Europe’s commitment to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions has not prevented the paradoxical situation of a revival of coal imports and a reduction of gas consumption. This article reviews recent work on the appropriate measures that need to be implemented to move European energy markets closer to the energy mix consistent with climate-policy targets.
Energy Environment EU policies
EU, climate policy, greenhouse gases, natural gas, carbon pricing, energy mix, coal, renewables subsidies
Are property values affected by concerns over groundwater contamination from shale?
Lucija Muehlenbachs, Beia Spiller, Christopher Timmins 29 September 2012
Natural gas is seen as an attractive source of energy – it is cleaner than coal and often more reliable. But there are potential risks from the drilling and hydraulic fracturing process. This column shows how shale gas extraction could reduce property prices, and argues that policymakers need to bear this in mind when thinking about the costs and benefits.
A recent increase in the extraction of natural gas and oil using unconventional methods has transformed communities and landscapes. Shale gas extraction has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to developments in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The extraction of natural gas from shale, which had hitherto been economically unrecoverable, has resulted in greatly expanded supply and in many landowners receiving high resource rents for the hydrocarbons beneath their land.
externalities, pollution, natural gas, property prices