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A Spatial Approach to Energy Economics

  • Juan Moreno Cruz
  • M. Scott Taylor

We develop a spatial model of energy exploitation where energy sources are differentiated by their geographic location and energy density. The spatial setting creates a scaling law that magnifies the importance of differences across energy sources. As a result, renewable sources twice as dense, provide eight times the supply; and all new non-renewable resource plays must first boom and then bust. For both renewable and non-renewable energy sources we link the size of exploitation zones and energy supplies to energy density, and provide empirical measures of key model attributes using data on solar, wind, biomass, and fossil fuel energy sources. Non-renewable sources are four or five orders of magnitude more dense than renewables, implying that the most salient feature of the last 200 years of energy history is the dramatic rise in the use of energy dense fuels.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18908.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18908
Note: EEE
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  1. Juan Moreno Cruz & M. Scott Taylor, 2013. "A Spatial Approach to Energy Economics," NBER Working Papers 18908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Samuelson, Paul A, 1983. "Thunen at Two Hundred," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 1468-88, December.
  3. Jeffrey A. Krautkraemer, 1998. "Nonrenewable Resource Scarcity," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 2065-2107, December.
  4. Smith, Martin D. & Sanchirico, James N. & Wilen, James E., 2009. "The economics of spatial-dynamic processes: Applications to renewable resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 104-121, January.
  5. Severin Borenstein, 2011. "The Private and Public Economics of Renewable Electricity Generation," NBER Working Papers 17695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Roger Fouquet & Peter J.G. Pearson, 2006. "Seven Centuries of Energy Services: The Price and Use of Light in the United Kingdom (1300-2000)," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 139-178.
  7. Kolstad Charles D., 1994. "Hotelling Rents in Hotelling Space: Product Differentiation in Exhaustible Resource Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 163-180, March.
  8. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521131858 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Livernois, John R & Uhler, Russell S, 1987. "Extraction Costs and the Economics of Nonrenewable Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 195-203, February.
  11. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Roumasset, James & Tse, Kinping, 1997. "Endogenous Substitution among Energy Resources and Global Warming," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1201-34, December.
  12. Gerard Gaudet & Michel Moreaux & Stephen W. Salant, 2001. "Intertemporal Depletion of Resource Sites by Spatially Distributed Users," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1149-1159, September.
  13. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-19 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521766937 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. M. Scott Taylor & Juan Moreno Cruz, 2014. "Back to the Future of Green Powered Economies," Working Papers 2014-69, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 29 Sep 2014.
  16. Robert M. Solow & Frederic Y. Wan, 1976. "Extraction Costs in the Theory of Exhaustible Resources," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 359-370, Autumn.
  17. Pindyck, Robert S, 1978. "The Optimal Exploration and Production of Nonrenewable Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 841-61, October.
  18. Sanchirico, James N. & Wilen, James E., 1999. "Bioeconomics of Spatial Exploitation in a Patchy Environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 129-150, March.
  19. Slade, Margaret E., 1982. "Trends in natural-resource commodity prices: An analysis of the time domain," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 122-137, June.
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