Items tagged with Energy:
News & Updates:
Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortex and Senator Markey reveal the “Green New Deal,” a plan that hopes to transition the US to 100% clean energy and create new jobs in technology/infrastructure sectors; Trump administration to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules; House Democrats look to help protect those with pre-existing conditions in light of ACA controversy; Jobless claims fall this week.
This past July, the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, or ARPA-E, launched a $5 million funding opportunity in an effort to research algorithms that can develop the modern grid. ARPA-E is a government agency sponsored by the Department of Energy aimed towards researching energy innovation. The funding opportunity, which sought to tackle power grid optimization and energy efficiency, was released in order to incentivize innovative research and obtain ideas from teams from various sectors.
Resilience. It’s the new buzzword going around the U.S. electricity sector, and it’s defined by an electrical grid’s ability to recover from major disturbances (read: cyberattacks and natural disasters). President Trump and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry have accordingly introduced plans to support struggling coal and nuclear plants because of their ability to store backup fuel on-site.
The make-up of the United States electricity generation portfolio has transformed over the past decade. In 2008, coal provided 48% of the nation’s electricity supply, but this figure dropped to 30.1% in 2017.  Natural gas extraction has become increasingly economical through hydraulic fracturing, thereby shifting the domestic demand for cheap energy away from coal. With less domestic demand from coal-fired power plants, coal mining operations have had to search for new markets to export their product.
Modern economies, and their dependent societies, have become incredibly dependent on the production of large-scale and reliable power. Large-scale and reliable power sources contribute to a resilient grid, which is necessary to stave off both natural and human-caused incidents that could restrict availability of electricity to a nation and threaten national security. Due to the demand placed on energy grids, power sources must be economically viable, safe, and approved by the public. Because of the threat posed by global warming, however, power sources must also be clean. To date, no power source meets all these criteria. Coal is economically viable and can produce large-scale, reliable power but is neither clean nor safe and is not favored by the public.   Natural gas is economically viable and can produce large-scale power, but it is not reliable, favored by the public, nor clean, and is only safe relative to coal.   
Consumer Choice Model for Forecasting Demand and Designing Incentives for Solar Technology
Governments can best incentivize solar panel purchases by instituting early subsidies and then lowering them over time, as consumer demand increases and adoption costs decrease.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has developed significantly in the last twenty years. Lower purchasing costs and public subsidy programs have encouraged homeowners to buy solar panels at an increasing rate. As the market for solar technology has grown, policy makers have become interested in how to most effectively structure solar technology incentive programs.
In this paper, Ruben Lobel and Georgia Perakis find that offering very strong initial subsidies is the best way to encourage the adoption of solar technology. Once the initial subsidies entice consumers to purchase solar panels, two market externalities occur: (1) costs become lower due to increased demand, competition, and manufacturing efficiency, and (2) information spread increases solar technology adoption in a word-of-mouth fashion.
After these externalities occur, the cost of subsidizing each additional consumer becomes less efficient, so the subsidies should be lowered until they are phased out. The authors use the German solar panel subsidy program as a case study to illustrate their findings.
Lobel, Ruben and Perakis, Georgia, Consumer Choice Model for Forecasting Demand and Designing Incentives for Solar Technology (January 26, 2011). Available at SSRN:http://ssrn.com/abstract=1748424 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1748424
American Wind Energy Association
AWEA prepares fact sheets on a variety of wind energy-related topics for educational purposes. The fact sheets are available in PDF format and may be downloaded for using the links below.
• Wind Energy Basics: AWEA’s wind energy basics fact sheets provide an overview of the wind industry as a whole, how the electric grid operates, and wind energy’s interaction with the environment.
• State Fact Sheets: AWEA’s state fact sheets provide information on the wind industry’s presence and potential to grow in each U.S. state.
• Federal Wind Energy Policy Fact Sheets: AWEA’s federal wind energy policy fact sheets provide an overview of issues that are pertinent to discussions and debates at the federal government level.
• Manufacturing Fact Sheets: AWEA’s manufacturing fact sheets provide an overview of the manufacturing aspects of the wind energy industry.
Quick link to Fact Sheets portal: http://www.awea.org/Resources/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=873&navItemNumber=588
Quick link to main Statistics page: http://www.awea.org/learnabout/industry_stats/index.cfm
Biomass Energy Data Book
The Department of Energy, through the Biomass Program in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, has contracted with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to prepare this Biomass Energy Data Book. The purpose of this data book is to draw together, under one cover, biomass data from diverse sources to produce a comprehensive document that supports anyone with an interest or stake in the biomass industry. Given the increasing demand for energy, policymakers and analysts need to be well-informed about current biomass energy production activity and the potential contribution biomass resources and technologies can make toward meeting the nation’s energy demands.
Databases available on the site include:
- Introduction to Biomass
Quick link: http://cta.ornl.gov/bedb/index.shtml
Buildings Energy Data Book
The Data Book includes statistics on residential and commercial building energy consumption. Data tables contain statistics related to construction, building technologies, energy consumption, and building characteristics.
The Building Technologies Program within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy developed this resource to provide a current and accurate set of comprehensive buildings- and energy-related data. The Data Book is an evolving document and is updated periodically. Each data table is presented in HTML, Microsoft Excel, and PDF formats.
Quick link: http://buildingsdatabook.eren.doe.gov/
CME Group: Energy Products
CME Group serves the risk management needs of customers around the globe by providing the widest range of benchmark futures and options products available on any exchange, covering all major asset classes.
Quick link: http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/energy/