Research

The Impact of Government Policies on the Mix of Intermittent & Dispatchable Sources of Electricity Generation

Overview

This project involved the collection of two energy generation datasets: the hourly wind output profiles and the hourly electricity load data at more than 1000 geographic locations within the Eastern Interconnect of the United States for the years 2004-2006. This data was compiled by a joint-degree master’s student to help create a set of scenarios of future capital and variable costs associated with different electricity generating technologies. To create these scenarios, a review was required of the current cost assumptions used in other analyses and recent studies undertaken estimating the future costs of different technologies. Overall, these datasets and scenarios were used to develop a computer simulation model of electricity investment, for which the methodology can be found on Dr. Campbell’s web site.

The final objective of the project was to simulate the impacts that different policy scenarios (e.g., direct subsidies, taxes, renewable portfolio standards) will have on the cost scenarios developed in stage two. This analysis includes different costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the policies can then be compared on the basis of their costs, including GHG emissions costs. This stage of the project is ongoing.

Project Outcomes

To date, the investigator and a research assistant have completed simulations for the years 2004–2006. The write up of the results is still in progress.

Use and Applications

Professor Campbell utilizes the methodology and results of this research in the “Renewable Technologies” component of the Energy Market Strategy course taught at the Yale School of Management. The topics are discussed in the context of government policies designed to promote renewable energy.