Using detailed atmospheric data to account for potential output, I study whether generation and installation experience leads to increased productivity for solar and wind projects. While this phenomenon is often cited as a rationale for subsidizing renewable electricity, there is relatively little project-level evidence on how knowledge is accrued.A fuller account of EROI in electricity generation is in the information paper on Energy Return on Investment.
Based on our estimates, the cost of carbon abatement from these programs is substantial, and well above conventional estimates of the social cost of emissions.
In the third chapter, I examine the extent to which electricity prices influence household purchases of Energy Star appliances.
Chapter 1 studies learning-by-doing during the generation process at wind and solar farms in the United States.
They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. This dissertation addresses three questions related to the economics of renewable energy.
The US average EROI across all generating technologies is about 40.
The major published study on EROI, by Weissbach (2013) showed: “Nuclear, hydro, coal, and natural gas power systems (in this order) are one order of magnitude more effective than photovoltaics and wind power.” This raises questions about the sustainability of wind and solar PV which have not yet been addressed in national energy policies.I combine a large cross-sectional survey dataset on appliance ownership and household characteristics with data on local electricity prices.Across three different appliance types, I find an elasticity of Energy Star ownership to retail electricity price of 0.58 to 0.66.However, the variability of wind and solar power does not correspond with most demand, and as substantial capacity has been built in several countries in response to government incentives, occasional massive output from these sources creates major problems in maintaining the reliability and economic viability of the whole system.There is a new focus on system costs related to achieving reliable supply to meet demand.I further assess the appropriability of experience by considering the transfer of knowledge within and across firms.Results suggest that generation experience on a particular project leads to higher productivity at that project but not at other sites.In line with the "landlord-tenant" problem discussed in the energy efficiency literature, both ownership rates and responsiveness tp prices are substanitally lower for rented properties, particularly those with lower income tenants.Technology to utilise the forces of nature for doing work to supply human needs is as old as the first sailing ship.There was never any doubt about the magnitude of these, the challenge was always in harnessing them so as to meet demand.Today we are well advanced in meeting that challenge, while also testing the practical limits of doing so from wind and solar (variable renewable energy, VRE).