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Electricity trade and GHG emissions: Assessment of Quebec's hydropower in the Northeastern American market (2006-2008)

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  • Amor, Mourad Ben
  • Pineau, Pierre-Olivier
  • Gaudreault, Caroline
  • Samson, Réjean

Abstract

Worldwide electricity sector reforms open up electricity markets and increase trades. This has environmental consequences as exports and imports either increase or decrease local production and consequently greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper's objective is to illustrate the importance of electricity trade's impact on GHG emissions by providing an estimate of the net GHG emissions resulting from these trades. To achieve this objective, Quebec hourly electricity exchanges with adjacent jurisdictions were examined over the 2006-2008 period. In order to associate a specific GHG emission quantity to electricity trades, hourly marginal electricity production technologies were identified and validated using the Ontario hourly output per power plant and information released in the Quebec adjacent system operator reports. It is estimated that over three years, imports into Quebec were responsible for 7.7Â Mt of GHG, while Quebec hydropower exports avoided 28.3Â Mt of GHG emissions. Hence, the net result is 20.6Â Mt of avoided emissions over 2006-2008, or about 7Â Mt per year, which corresponds to more than 8% of the Quebec yearly GHG emissions. When GHG emissions from all life cycle stages (resource extraction to end-of-life) are accounted for, the net avoided GHG emissions increase by 35%, to 27.9Â Mt.

Suggested Citation

  • Amor, Mourad Ben & Pineau, Pierre-Olivier & Gaudreault, Caroline & Samson, Réjean, 2011. "Electricity trade and GHG emissions: Assessment of Quebec's hydropower in the Northeastern American market (2006-2008)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1711-1721, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:1711-1721
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zareipour, Hamidreza & Bhattacharya, Kankar & Canizares, Claudio A., 2007. "Electricity market price volatility: The case of Ontario," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 4739-4748, September.
    2. Xuchao, Wu & Priyadarsini, Rajagopalan & Siew Eang, Lee, 2010. "Benchmarking energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in Singapore's hotel industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4520-4527, August.
    3. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Pineau, Pierre-Olivier, 2010. "Environmentally damaging electricity trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1548-1558, March.
    4. Gagnon, Luc & Belanger, Camille & Uchiyama, Yohji, 2002. "Life-cycle assessment of electricity generation options: The status of research in year 2001," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(14), pages 1267-1278, November.
    5. Amor, Mourad Ben & Lesage, Pascal & Pineau, Pierre-Olivier & Samson, Réjean, 2010. "Can distributed generation offer substantial benefits in a Northeastern American context? A case study of small-scale renewable technologies using a life cycle methodology," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(9), pages 2885-2895, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Genc, Talat S. & Aydemir, Abdurrahman, 2017. "Power trade, welfare, and air quality," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 423-438.
    2. Descateaux, Paul & Astudillo, Miguel F. & Amor, Mourad Ben, 2016. "Assessing the life cycle environmental benefits of renewable distributed generation in a context of carbon taxes: The case of the Northeastern American market," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1178-1189.
    3. Moinul Islam & Keiichiro Kanemoto & Shunsuke Managi, 2016. "Impact of Trade Openness and Sector Trade on Embodied Greenhouse Gases Emissions and Air Pollutants," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 20(3), pages 494-505, June.
    4. Amor, Mourad Ben & Gaudreault, Caroline & Pineau, Pierre-Olivier & Samson, Réjean, 2014. "Implications of integrating electricity supply dynamics into life cycle assessment: A case study of renewable distributed generation," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 410-419.
    5. Harris, A.R. & Rogers, Michelle Marinich & Miller, Carol J. & McElmurry, Shawn P. & Wang, Caisheng, 2015. "Residential emissions reductions through variable timing of electricity consumption," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 484-489.
    6. Astudillo, Miguel F. & Vaillancourt, Kathleen & Pineau, Pierre-Olivier & Amor, Ben, 2017. "Can the household sector reduce global warming mitigation costs? sensitivity to key parameters in a TIMES techno-economic energy model," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 205(C), pages 486-498.
    7. Amor, Mourad Ben & Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Pellat, Marie & Pineau, Pierre-Olivier, 2014. "Influence of wind power on hourly electricity prices and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions: Evidence that congestion matters from Ontario zonal data," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 458-469.

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