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The cost of carbon dioxide abatement from state renewable portfolio standards

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  • Johnson, Erik Paul

Abstract

Renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) have become a popular tool for state governments to promote renewable electricity generation and to decrease carbon dioxide emissions within a state or region. Renewable portfolio standards are a policy tool likely to persist for many decades due to the long term goals of many state RPSs and the likely creation of a federal RPS alongside any comprehensive climate change bill. Even though RPSs have become a popular policy tool, there is little empirical evidence about their costs. Using the temporal and regional variation in RPS requirements, I estimate the long-run price elasticity of supply of renewable electricity generation to be 2.67 (95% CI of 1.74, 3.60). Using my preferred elasticity estimate, I calculate the marginal cost of abatement from RPSs is at least $11 per ton of CO2 compared to a marginal cost of abatement of $3 per ton in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Erik Paul, 2014. "The cost of carbon dioxide abatement from state renewable portfolio standards," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 332-350.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:36:y:2014:i:2:p:332-350
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2014.01.001
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    1. Fang, Yingkai & Asche, Frank & Novan, Kevin, 2018. "The costs of charging Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs): Within day variation in emissions and electricity prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 196-203.
    2. Wȩdzik, Andrzej & Siewierski, Tomasz & Szypowski, Michał, 2017. "Green certificates market in Poland – The sources of crisis," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 490-503.
    3. Richard A. Michelfelder, 2015. "Electric utility regulation and investment in green energy resources," Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1-2), pages 48-64, April.
    4. Novacheck, Joshua & Johnson, Jeremiah X., 2015. "The environmental and cost implications of solar energy preferences in Renewable Portfolio Standards," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 250-261.
    5. Wang, Tan & Gong, Yu & Jiang, Chuanwen, 2014. "A review on promoting share of renewable energy by green-trading mechanisms in power system," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 923-929.
    6. Cai, Yiyong & Arora, Vipin, 2015. "Disaggregating electricity generation technologies in CGE models: A revised technology bundle approach with an application to the U.S. Clean Power Plan," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 543-555.
    7. Kenneth Gillingham & James H. Stock, 2018. "The Cost of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 53-72, Fall.
    8. Jan Abrell & Mirjam Kosch & Sebastian Rausch, 2017. "The Economic Cost of Carbon Abatement with Renewable Energy Policies," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 17/273, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    9. Kristoffer Palage & Robert Lundmark & Patrik Söderholm, 2019. "The innovation effects of renewable energy policies and their interaction: the case of solar photovoltaics," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 21(2), pages 217-254, April.
    10. Wang, Ge & Zhang, Qi & Li, Yan & Mclellan, Benjamin C., 2019. "Efficient and equitable allocation of renewable portfolio standards targets among China's provinces," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 170-180.
    11. Tarek Safwat Kabel & Mohga Bassim, 2019. "Literature Review of Renewable Energy Policies and Impacts," European Journal of Marketing and Economics, European Center for Science Education and Research, vol. 2, EJME May .
    12. Anthony Oliver & Madhu Khanna, 2018. "The spatial distribution of welfare costs of Renewable Portfolio Standards in the United States electricity sector," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 269-287, October.
    13. Barbose, Galen & Wiser, Ryan & Heeter, Jenny & Mai, Trieu & Bird, Lori & Bolinger, Mark & Carpenter, Alberta & Heath, Garvin & Keyser, David & Macknick, Jordan & Mills, Andrew & Millstein, Dev, 2016. "A retrospective analysis of benefits and impacts of U.S. renewable portfolio standards," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 645-660.
    14. Gillingham, Kenneth & Tsvetanov, Tsvetan, 2018. "Nudging energy efficiency audits: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 303-316.
    15. Abrell, Jan & Kosch, Mirjam & Rausch, Sebastian, 2019. "Carbon abatement with renewables: Evaluating wind and solar subsidies in Germany and Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 172-202.
    16. Rouhani, Omid M. & Niemeier, Debbie & Gao, H. Oliver & Bel, Germà, 2016. "Cost-benefit analysis of various California renewable portfolio standard targets: Is a 33% RPS optimal?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1122-1132.
    17. Wang, Ge & Zhang, Qi & Li, Yan & Mclellan, Benjamin C. & Pan, Xunzhang, 2019. "Corrective regulations on renewable energy certificates trading: Pursuing an equity-efficiency trade-off," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 970-982.
    18. Liu, Liwei & Sun, Xiaoru & Chen, Chuxiang & Zhao, Erdong, 2016. "How will auctioning impact on the carbon emission abatement cost of electric power generation sector in China?," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 594-609.
    19. Chan, Nathan W. & Morrow, John W., 2019. "Unintended consequences of cap-and-trade? Evidence from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 411-422.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy; Electricity; Cost of carbon abatement; Renewable portfolio standards;

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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