We report on an economic experiment that compares outcomes in electricity markets subject to carbon-tax and cap-and-trade policies. Under conditions of uncertainty, price-based and quantity-based policy instruments cannot be truly equivalent, so we compared three matched carbon-tax/cap-and-trade pairs with equivalent emissions targets, mean emissions, and mean carbon prices, respectively.
By making available the almost unlimited energy stored in prehistoric plant matter, coal enabled the industrial age – and it still does. Coal today generates more electricity worldwide than any other energy source, helping to drive economic growth in major emerging markets. And yet, continued reliance on this ancient rock carries a high price in smog and greenhouse gases.
Solar lanterns are promoted across rural Sub-Saharan Africa to improve both lighting in homes and educational outcomes. We undertake a randomized controlled trial in Zimba District, Zambia, to evaluate whether solar lanterns help children study more effectively and improve academic performance. Our research design accounts for potential income effects arising from the giveaways of lanterns and also “blinds” participants to the study’s purpose.
Many countries with electricity shortages - such as Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, and Tanzania - have large gas reserves but face challenges developing gas for power.
The gas-to-power value chain can break down in many places and is rarely financially viable if the power sector is not. Successful development of domestic gas for domestic power requires careful attention to gas and electricity pricing. International companies and governments may be incentivized to take the more straightforward payout from exports, even where domestic gas use could add more value to the economy.
Climage change is a serious global threat with impacts that are already being felt. In response, a growing number of environmentalists are taking the position that there should be no new energy developments that involve fossil fuels in any form.
Coal has been the world's fastest-growing energy source in absolute terms for over a decade. Coal also emits more CO2 than any other fossil fuel and contributes to serious air pollution problems in many regions of the world. If we hope to satisfy the demand for affordable energy in emerging economies while protecting the environment, we need to develop a keen understanding of the market that supplies coal. This book offers an in-depth analysis of the key producers and consumers that will most influence coal production, transport, and use in the future.
The authors ran a game-based simulation of an electricity market with both an RPS and a cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gas emissions allowances. High renewable energy shares reduced and shifted the output of thermal units and pushed down both electricity and carbon prices. The markets for renewable energy, carbon allowances, and spot and forward electricity interacted in complex ways that are relevant to the behavior of actual markets.
Replacing traditional stoves with advanced alternatives that burn more cleanly has the potential to ameliorate major health problems associated with indoor air pollution in developing countries. With a few exceptions, large government and charitable programs to distribute advanced stoves have not had the desired impact.
Health risks from poor malaria control, unsafe water, and indoor air pollution are responsible for an important share of the global disease burden—and they can be addressed by efficacious household health technologies that have existed for decades. However, coverage rates of these products among populations at risk remain disappointingly low. We conducted a review of the medical and public health literatures and found that health considerations alone are rarely sufficient motivation for households to adopt and use these technologies.
This paper summarizes the lessons learned from implementing a realistic, game-based simulation of California’s electricity market with a cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fixed-price forward financial contracts for energy. Sophisticated market participants competed to maximize their returns under stressed (high carbon price) market conditions. Our simulation exhibited volatile carbon prices that could be influenced by strategic behavior of market participants.
National oil companies (NOCs) produce most of the world’s oil and natural gas and bankroll governments across the globe. Although NOCs superficially resemble private-sector companies, they often behave in very different ways. To understand these pivotal state-owned enterprises and the long shadow they cast on world energy markets, the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) at Stanford University commissioned Oil and Governance: State-owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply.
Burning of biomass for cooking is associated with health problems and climate change impacts. Many previous efforts to disseminate improved stoves – primarily by governments and NGOs – have not been successful. Based on interviews with 12 organizations selling improved biomass stoves, we assess the results to date and future prospects of commercial stove operations in India.
Norway has administered its petroleum resources using three distinct government bodies: a national oil company engaged in commercial hydrocarbon operations; a government ministry to direct policy; and a regulatory body to provide oversight and technical expertise. Norway's relative success in managing its hydrocarbons has prompted development institutions to consider whether this “Norwegian Model” of separated government functions should be recommended to other oil-producing countries.
Conventional wisdom holds that oil sector nationalizations are rooted in political motives of the petroleum states, which perceive value in the direct control of resource development though a state enterprise. State motives are inarguably important. At the same time, we argue in this paper that constraints of risk significantly affect a state's choice of which agent to employ to extract its hydrocarbons. Implicit in much current debate is the idea that private, international oil companies (IOCs) and the state-controlled, national oil companies (NOCs) are direct competitors, and that the
Nigeria depends heavily on oil and gas, with hydrocarbon activities providing around 65 percent of total government revenue and 95 percent of export revenues. While Nigeria supplies some LNG to world markets and is starting to export a small amount of gas to Ghana via pipeline, the great majority of the country's hydrocarbon earnings come from oil. In 2008, Nigeria was the 5th largest oil exporter and 10th largest holder of proved oil reserves in the world according to the U.S.
Statoil was founded in 1972 as the national oil company (NOC) of Norway. Along with Brazil's Petrobras, Statoil today is a leader in several technological areas including operations in deep water. With its arm's length relationship to the Norwegian government and partially-private ownership, it is generally considered to be among the state-controlled oil companies most similar to an international oil company in governance, business strategy, and performance.