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[en] In the discussion of traditional versus renewable energies and alternatives to conventional crude oil-based fuels in the transportation sector, efficiency calculations are but one decision making parameter. Comparing the assets and liabilities of fossil-based and renewable fuels in the transportation sector, further aspects such as centralized versus decentralized technologies, cost evaluations, taxation, and ecological/social benefits have to be taken into account. This paper outlines the driving parameters for shifting toward alternative fuels based on fossil or renewable resources and their use in innovative vehicle technologies such as advanced internal combustion and fuel cell electric drive systems. For the decision in favor or against an alternative fuel to be introduced to the mass market, automotive technologies and the energy supply system have to be examined in an integrated way. From an economic and technological perspective, some fuels may be even incompatible with the trend toward using renewable resources that have advantages in decentralized systems. Beyond efficiency calculations, political and industrial interests arise and may be influential to reshaping our currently crude oil-based mobility sector
[en] The selection of climate policy has to be made in an extremely uncertain environment: both benefits and costs of a particular climate policy are unknown and in the best case could be described by the probability distribution of various outcomes. Dominated in literature, the expected value approach to the cost-benefit analysis of climate policy under uncertainties relies on the aggregated estimation of various outcomes of climate policy weighted and averaged by probabilities. The variance, skewness, and kurtosis are important characteristics of uncertainties but can be easily lost in the process of aggregation. The real option analysis (ROA) explicitly accounts for both the expected value of underling assets and the variance of the expected value (as well as skewness and kurtosis that are important to describe a fat tail phenomenon). In the paper, we propose an application of the real option analysis in order to formulate rules for the selection of a climate policy (emission target) and estimate the economic value of the future flexibility created by interim climate policy, which may be corrected in the future in response to new knowledge that hopefully reduces uncertainties. The initially selected interim policy has an option value and methodology for its valuation presented in the paper. (author)
[en] The popularization of 24 h pay-TV, interactive video games, web-TV, VCD and DVD are poised to have a large impact on overall TV electricity consumption in the Malaysia. Following this increased consumption, energy efficiency standard present a highly effective measure for decreasing electricity consumption in the residential sector. The main problem in setting energy efficiency standard is identifying annual efficiency improvement, due to the lack of time series statistical data available in developing countries. This study attempts to present a method of calculating annual energy efficiency improvement for TV set, which can be used for implementing energy efficiency standard for TV sets in Malaysia and other developing countries. Although the presented result is only an approximation, definitely it is one of the ways of accomplishing energy standard. Furthermore, the method can be used for other appliances without any major modification
[en] Fixed asset investment (FAI) and foreign indirect investment (FDI) have important influences on economic development and environmental quality. Because environmental performance is related with economic development, FAI and FDI may affect environment indirectly through their impacts on economic growth. In this study, the direct and indirect effects of both FAI and FDI on China's environmental quality are distinguished and separately estimated for the first time with a carefully designed framework of a two-equation model. Because most economic activities and environmental pollutions occur in the urban areas, a panel data of 112 Chinese cities for the period 2002–2015 is utilized. Several spatial factors are also introduced to control for the potential spatial correlations in economic development and pollutant emissions. The estimation results indicate that there exist apparent differences in the environmental effects of FAI and FDI. The direct effects of FAI on SO2 emissions are significant positive and dominate the negative indirect effects. By contrast, the direct, indirect and total effects of FDI on pollutant emissions are all negative. Therefore, overall speaking, well designed and targeted policies should be formulated to reduce the negative environmental impacts of FAI and to increase the positive influences of FDI on environment. - Highlights: • Influences of domestic and foreign investment on environmental quality in China are investigated. • City-level panel data of fixed asset investment (FAI) and foreign direct investment (FDI) are used. • Spatial correlations in economic development and pollutant emissions are controlled for. • The positive direct effects of FAI on SO2 emissions dominate the negative indirect effects. • The direct, indirect and total effects of FDI on both pollutant emissions are all negative.
[en] The long-duration of national programs has been the driving force behind the expansion of the local market of solar water heaters (SWHs) in Taiwan in the last two decades. This study examines the potential market for SWHs using the statistical data from end users and the 2010 Population and Housing Census. The current effective utilization rate of residential SWHs in terms of potential number of systems installed is estimated to be 11.8%. The analyses also show that the current national subsidy program has recently lost its momentum in expanding the market. Therefore, regional subsidy programs should become the main force in influencing the growth in sales. In addition, SWHs of larger scale would be particularly effective in industries. To promote such applications, a combination of performance-based and direct subsidy schemes or tax deductions can be offered to end users to promote the applications of SWHs in the commercial sector. Solar-assisted cooling systems are considered to be another potential application of solar energy, which is associated with energy saving and power consumption in commercial and residential buildings. A short review of the R and D activities is also given in this paper. - Highlights: ► Regional subsidy programs will be the main force in influencing the growth in sales. ► A revised program is needed to promote solar water heaters for industry applications. ► Solar-assisted cooling systems are potential applications of solar energy in Taiwan
[en] This paper looks at the emerging risk/return profile for new renewable assets as a conventional wholesale electricity market progressively decarbonises. Using a detailed fundamental model of price formation risks, under increasing replacement of fossil fuel facilities with onshore and offshore wind, we show that the risk return profile becomes less attractive over time, and may therefore need sustained and possibly increasing policy support. Furthermore, we show that green certificate trading may become progressively more attractive as a supplementary support to wholesale prices, compared to fixed feed-in-tariffs. This is because the increasingly negative correlation between renewable output and wholesale prices reduces its revenue risk compared to fixed feed-in tariffs, if other factors remain constant, and thereby improves conventional financial performance risk metrics. In particular, this suggests that the recent energy policy change in Britain to move away from green certificates and into contracts-for-differences may have been ill-founded. -- Highlights: •The asset performance risk of wind investments deteriorates with greater wind penetration. •Green certificates may offer lower investment risk than feed-in tariffs. •Detailed fundamental modelling reveals subtle asset performance risks for wind. •Recent UK policy changes may be ill-founded
[en] In this article we evaluate the average energy requirement of households in 11 EU member states. By investigating both the direct (electricity, natural gas, gasoline, etc.) and the indirect energy requirement, i.e. the energy embodied in consumer goods and services, we add to research done on only the direct household energy requirement. Our analysis is mainly based on data of expenditures of households and the associated energy intensities of consumer goods. We found that differences between countries in the total energy requirement of households are mainly due to differences in total household expenditure. In particular, the indirect energy requirement is linearly related to the total household expenditure. The share of direct energy to the total energy requirement in different countries varies from 34% up to 64%. Differences in climate do not fully account for this variation. Corrected for total household expenditure, indirect energy requirement may vary significantly per country in the consumption classes 'food, beverages and tobacco', 'recreation and culture', 'housing', and 'hotels, cafes and restaurants'
[en] This study examines the impact of financial development on energy consumption in a sample of 9 Central and Eastern European frontier economies. Several different measures of financial development are examined including bank related variables and stock market variables. The empirical results, obtained from dynamic panel demand models, show a positive and statistically significant relationship between financial development and energy consumption when financial development is measured using banking variables like deposit money bank assets to GDP, financial system deposits to GDP, or liquid liabilities to GDP. Of the three stock market variables investigated, only one, stock market turnover, has a positive and statistically significant impact on energy consumption. Both short-run and long-run elasticities are presented. The implications of these results for energy policy are discussed. (author)
[en] Grassroots initiatives for change rely on people with limited power, limited resources and limited ability to influence others. From this position, people acting from the bottom up can change their own actions, seek to influence others around them and seek to change the social structures that they inhabit. These acts are invariably conceived, initiated and enacted within communities, and there is an emerging interest from practitioner, policy and academic circles in the importance of community as a space for realising pro-environmental change. In this paper, we ask what role grassroots initiatives can have in creating low-carbon communities. Using a theoretical framework from work on community-based practice change initiatives, we discuss the interplay between grassroots action and community capacity. We then present two cases of grassroots low-carbon community initiatives in light of this theoretical work. We conclude by discussing key themes emerging from the cases, including the potential for grassroots initiatives to build community capacity for low-carbon practices, and the importance of locally crafted solutions according to the structures specific to place.
[en] Across Europe, CO2 emission allowances represent one of the main policy instruments to comply with the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. In this paper we use microdata to address two issues regarding the impact of the European Carbon Market (EU ETS). First, we analyze the sectoral effects of the EU ETS in Portugal. The goal is to study the distributive consequences of imbalances, with the novelty of taking into account firm financial data to put values into context. We show that a large majority of installations in most sectors had surpluses and the opportunity to raise remarkable revenues in some cases. We also look at the regional impact, since the pre-existing specialization of different regions in the production of different goods and services might lead to an uneven economic impact of the allowance market. In particular, Portuguese data indicate a distribution of revenue from low income to high income regions, or rather, between installations located in those regions. We focus on the first phase of the EU ETS, using data for each one of the 244 Portuguese installations in the market as well as financial data for 80% of these installations, although we also present data for 2008 and 2009. - Research highlights: → Analysis of distributional impact of the EU ETS for Portuguese sectors and regions. → EU ETS microdata, economic data and firm financial data used to provide context. → Most installations had surpluses and in some cases may have raised notable revenues. → There seems to be an income distribution effect from low to high-income regions. → Thermoelectric generation most likely to be short, but results vary with rainfall.