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Mileva A.,Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. | Johnston J.,University of California at Berkeley | Nelson J.H.,Union of Concerned Scientists UCS | Kammen D.M.,University of California at Berkeley
Applied Energy | Year: 2016

We explore the operations, balancing requirements, and costs of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council power system under a stringent greenhouse gas emission reduction target. We include sensitivities for technology costs and availability, fuel prices and emissions, and demand profile. Meeting an emissions target of 85% below 1990 levels is feasible across a range of assumptions, but the cost of achieving the goal and the technology mix are uncertain. Deployment of solar photovoltaics is the main driver of storage deployment: the diurnal periodicity of solar energy availability results in opportunities for daily arbitrage that storage technologies with several hours of duration are well suited to provide. Wind output exhibits seasonal variations and requires storage with a large energy subcomponent to avoid curtailment. The combination of low-cost solar technology and advanced battery technology can provide substantial savings through 2050, greatly mitigating the cost of climate change mitigation. Policy goals for storage deployment should be based on the function storage will play on the grid and therefore incorporate both the power rating and duration of the storage system. These goals should be set as part of overall portfolio development, as system flexibility needs will vary with the grid mix. © 2015 The Authors.

Lam J.C.K.,University of Hong Kong | Woo C.K.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Kahrl F.,Energy and Environmental Economics Inc.
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

China's wind industry has grown rapidly over the past decade. Continued growth in this industry is critical for China's domestic energy security and the global environment. However, little is known about the microeconomic drivers that move wind energy development in China. Based on a survey of experts in Mainland China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, this paper finds that the most important drivers of wind energy investment in China are perceived to be those that can have an immediate impact on a wind energy developer's cash flow: government financial assistance, easy and inexpensive transmission access, wind energy cost decline, and a high feed-in-tariff. A renewable portfolio standard, tax incentives and international research and development cooperation are seen as less important. These findings underscore the importance of reducing the financial risk in wind energy development. However, none of the key drivers is directly tied to energy output, which suggests that China's wind energy policies must be modified to incentivize energy output, rather than just installed capacity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Woo C.K.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Woo C.K.,Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. | Li R.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Shiu A.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | And 2 more authors.
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

A large sample of daily electricity consumption and pricing data are available from a pilot study conducted by BC Hydro in British Columbia (Canada) of its residential customers under optional time-varying pricing and remotely-activated load-control devices for the four winter months of November 2007-February 2008. We use those data to estimate the elasticity of substitution σ, defined as the negative of the percentage change in the peak-to-off-peak kW. h ratio due to a 1% change in the peak-to-off-peak price ratio. Our estimates of σ characterize residential price responsiveness with and without load control during cold-weather months. While the estimates of σ sans load control are highly statistically significant (α=0.01), they are less than 0.07. With load control in place, however, these σ estimates more than triple. Finally, we show that time-varying pricing sans load control causes a peak kW. h reduction of 2.6% at the 2:1 peak-to-off-peak price ratio to 9.2% at the 12:1 peak-to-off-peak price ratio. Load control raises these reduction estimates to 9.2% and 30.7%. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Woo C.-K.,Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. | Horowitz I.,University of Florida | Sulyma I.M.,BC Hydro
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid | Year: 2013

We apply graphical exploration and regression analysis to estimate 1717 participants' relative kW responses in BC Hydro's residential TOU/CPP pilot study. We define a customer's relative kW response as the percentage change in the customer's hourly kW demand due to exposure to time-varying pricing. Compared to the control group of customers facing non-TOU rates, we find that TOU pricing yields a statistically-significant evening peak kW decrease of 4-11%, after controlling for the effects of day of the week, month of the year, weather, customer location, and customer size. CPP produces an additional peak kW reduction of about 9%, which can be further increased to about 33% through remotely-activated load control of space and water heaters. Hence, a scheme of TOU pricing augmented with CPP and load control on system peak days can be a highly effective demand-response strategy for winter-peaking utilities. © 2013 IEEE.

Olson A.,Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. | Jones R.,Stanford University
Electricity Journal | Year: 2012

The concept of 'grid parity' posits that declining costs will cause renewables to become cost-competitive with conventional resources and create a self-sustaining market. However, grid parity is a moving target-as renewable deployments increase, their value in displacing conventional resources declines. This means there may be limits to the ability of renewables to compete on cost alone. © 2012 Elsevier Inc..

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