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The Economic and Policy Setting of Renewable Energy: Where Do Things Stand?

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  • Darmstadter, Joel

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

This paper looks at the status and prospects of renewables—with particular emphasis on windpower—in the electric power sector. Although renewables account for a steadily rising share of electricity generation in various countries, their role remains small in absolute terms. In part, this is because of technological progress of and successful competition from fossil-fueled generation—notably, combined cycle gas turbines. While diminishing, subsidies continue to be indispensable to the use of renewables in most places. Viability of renewables-based electricity is undermined by the cost of externalities for which fossil energy combustion is only partially charged. A number of countries (and states in the U.S.) have launched obligatory requirements for renewables-based electricity in the years ahead. This so-called “renewable portfolio standard,” while technology-forcing, offers an opportunity for an economically efficient way of promoting greater market penetration of renewables.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-03-64.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-64

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Keywords: Renewable energy; electricity; windpower; externalities;

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  1. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Darmstadter, Joel & McVeigh, James, 1999. "Winner, Loser, or Innocent Victim? Has Renewable Energy Performed As Expected?," Discussion Papers dp-99-28, Resources For the Future.
  2. Austin, David & Macauley, Molly & Darmstadter, Joel & Shih, Jhih-Shyang & Aronow, Emily & Bath, Tom, 2002. "Measuring the Contribution to the Economy of Investments in Renewable Energy: Estimates of Future Consumer Gains," Discussion Papers dp-02-05-, Resources For the Future.
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Cited by:
  1. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2005. "Cost-Effectiveness of Renewable Electricity Policies," Discussion Papers dp-05-01, Resources For the Future.
  2. Mark Huntley & Donald Redalje, 2007. "CO 2 Mitigation and Renewable Oil from Photosynthetic Microbes: A New Appraisal," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 573-608, May.

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