Decarbonization of the U.S. electricity sector: Are state energy policy portfolios the solution?
AbstractState governments have taken the lead on U.S. energy and climate policy. It is not yet clear, however, whether state energy policy portfolios can generate results in a similar magnitude or manner to their presumed carbon mitigation potential. This article seeks to address this lack of policy evidence and contribute empirical insights on the carbon mitigation effects of state energy portfolios within the U.S. electricity sector. Using a dynamic, long-term electricity dispatch model with U.S. power plant, utility, and transmission and distribution data between 2010 and 2030, this analysis builds a series of state-level policy portfolio scenarios and performs a comparative scenario analysis. Results reveal that state policy portfolios have modest to minimal carbon mitigation effects in the long run if surrounding states do not adopt similar portfolios as well. The difference in decarbonization potential between isolated state policies and larger, more coordinated policy efforts is due in large part to carbon leakage, which is the export of carbon intensive fossil fuel-based electricity across state lines. Results also confirm that a carbon price of $50/metric ton CO2e can generate substantial carbon savings. Although both policy options—an energy policy portfolio or a carbon price—are effective at reducing carbon emissions in the present analysis, neither is as effective alone as when the two strategies are combined.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28256.
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision: 18 Jun 2010
Electricity markets; Energy policy; Carbon dioxide; Climate policy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
- C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2011-02-05 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2011-02-05 (Environmental Economics)
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