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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Darmstadter, Joel, 2003. "The Economic and Policy Setting of Renewable Energy: Where Do Things Stand?," Discussion Papers dp-03-64, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-64
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-03-64.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. 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.
    2. Cook, Jonathan A. & Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia, 2015. "Wind Turbine Shutdowns and Upgrades in Denmark: Timing Decisions and the Impact of Government Policy," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 204960, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Koncz, Gábor, 2015. "The role of solid biomass used for energy purposes in settlement development," Journal of Central European Green Innovation, Karoly Robert University College, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 1-11.
    4. Palmer, Karen & Burtraw, Dallas, 2005. "Cost-effectiveness of renewable electricity policies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 873-894, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Renewable energy; electricity; windpower; externalities;

    JEL classification:

    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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