Category Archives: Energy and Power

Renewable Portfolio Standards have not delivered

Michael Greenstone, Richard McDowell, Ishan Nath. Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver? Working Paper. Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. April 21, 2019.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are the largest and perhaps most popular climate policy in the US, having been enacted by 29 states and the District of Columbia. Using the most comprehensive panel data set ever compiled on program characteristics and key outcomes, we compare states that did and did not adopt RPS policies, exploiting the substantial differences in timing of adoption. The estimates indicate that 7 years after passage of an RPS program, the required renewable share of generation is 1.8 percentage points higher and average retail electricity prices are 1.3 cents per kWh, or 11% higher; the comparable figures for 12 years after adoption are a 4.2 percentage point increase in renewables’ share and a price increase of 2.0 cents per kWh or 17%. These cost estimates significantly exceed the marginal operational costs of renewables and likely reflect costs that renewables impose on the generation system, including those associated with their intermittency, higher transmission costs, and any stranded asset costs assigned to ratepayers. The estimated reduction in carbon emissions is imprecise, but, together with the price results, indicates that the cost per metric ton of CO2 abated exceeds $130 in all specifications and ranges up to $460, making it least several times larger than conventional estimates of the social cost of carbon. These results do not rule out the possibility that RPS policies could dynamically reduce the cost of abatement in the future by causing improvements in renewable technology.

Nuclear power pushed as the solution to “climate change”

“In the face of the utter failure of large investments in renewables to deliver CO2 reductions, greens are increasingly embracing nuclear power as the solution to climate change.” click here

Electricity in Germany is becoming unaffordable

“While a number of commodities such as electronics, electrical goods and computing power across the country – and the globe – have gotten much cheaper over the years due to development, the price of electricity in Germany has “more than doubled since 2000”.

5 million struggling to pay for their power

Almost all of this is due to the Germany’s ‘Energiewende’: the transition to renewable energies and away from nuclear power and fossil fuels like coal.” click here

Renewable energies increase household poverty

Diogo Santos Pereira, António Cardoso, José Alberto. Are renewables affecting income distribution and increasing the risk of household poverty? Energy, Volume 170, 1 March 2019, Pages 791-803.

The worldwide electricity mix has become diversified, mainly through the exploitation of endogenous and green resources. However, doubt has been cast on the much-vaunted advantages of renewables due to some of their characteristics, such as availability, security and affordability. In fact, growth in the installed capacity of renewable energy has increased electricity prices, which raises the question of how households have withstood the cost of energy transition. The main aim of this study is to empirically assess and discuss: (i) whether different types of household have suffered dissimilar effects from the promotion of renewables; (ii) the consequences of promoting renewables on household income; and (iii) if the promotion of renewables has reduced the risk of poverty and social exclusion. A panel data of European countries has been analysed using Kao’s residual cointegration test, and an Autoregressive Distributed Lag approach, to assess the relationships. This paper proves that both income and risk of household poverty are directly linked with renewable energies, in both the short- and long-run. The energy transition to renewables has had negative consequences for households. Thus, the disadvantaged households should be helped to meet the increased cost arising from the energy transition.

A decline in the cost of solar panels (per watt) still raises energy prices dramatically

“Between 2009 and 2017, the price of solar panels per watt declined by 75 percent while the price of wind turbines per watt declined by 50 percent.

And yet — during the same period — the price of electricity in places that deployed significant quantities of renewables increased dramatically.” click here

The new “green” energy economy is itself unsustainable

“This “new energy economy” rests on the belief—a centerpiece of the Green New Deal and other similar proposals both here and in Europe—that the technologies of wind and solar power and battery storage are undergoing the kind of disruption experienced in computing and communications, dramatically lowering costs and increasing efficiency. But this core analogy glosses over profound differences, grounded in physics, between systems that produce energy and those that produce information.” click here

The “new energy economy” is magical thinking

“This “new energy economy” rests on the belief—a centerpiece of the Green New Deal and other similar proposals both here and in Europe—that the technologies of wind and solar power and battery storage are undergoing the kind of disruption experienced in computing and communications, dramatically lowering costs and increasing efficiency. But this core analogy glosses over profound differences, grounded in physics, between systems that produce energy and those that produce information.” click here