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Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy
Volume 11, Number 1

Sustainable and Socially Resilient Minigrid Franchise Model for an Urban Informal Settlement in Kenya

Serena N. Patel, Isa L. Ferrall, Byrones Khaingad, and Daniel M. Kammen

DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.11.1.spat
View Abstract

Kibera is a large informal settlement, in Nairobi, Kenya where electricity access is presently expensive, intermittent, and dirty. The context of Kibera also speaks to larger global dynamics of rapid urbanization, the creation of an urban poor, the transitory experience of informal settlements, and the role of non-governmental actors; each of which provides challenges to traditional sustainable urban planning. This research explores the opportunity for environmentally sustainable and socially resilient development in Kibera through a mixture of simulation and field-based assessment of a hybrid minigrid for a community empowerment facility—the Kibera Town Centre (KTC). Following the installation of one of the area's first grid-tied solar-battery systems in 2018 and a national policy change in 2019, the future operation and potential expansion of KTC's energy system affords an opportunity to examine the feasibility of a 'franchise minigrid' model to power community loads including schools and small businesses. Using the HOMER Pro minigrid simulation tool, we find that the levelized cost of energy will decrease by 60% with optimal minigrid expansion, thereby achieving costs less expensive than the prevailing utility rates. We then propose a novel, community-empowering, and profitable 'minigrid franchise' business model that can provide supplemental income and employment to neighboring businesses and homes. This research uniquely combines primary data, simulation, policy opportunity analysis, and business models in collaboration with the community to contribute to literature enabling electricity access for informal settlements and informing the context of sustainable and resilient development for the urban poor.

Global Electrification of Light-duty Vehicles: Impacts of Economics and Climate Policy

Sergey Paltsev, Abbas Ghandi, Jennifer Morris, and Henry Chen

DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.11.1.spal
View Abstract

We explore potential impacts of global decarbonization on trends in light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleets from 2020-2050. Using an economy-wide multi-region multi-sector model, we project that the global EV fleet will grow from 5 million vehicles in 2018 to about 95–105 million EVs by 2030, and 585–823 million EVs by 2050. At this level of market penetration, EVs would constitute one-third to one-half of the overall LDV fleet by 2050 in different scenarios. China, USA, and Europe remain the largest markets in our study timeframe, but EVs are projected to grow in all regions reducing oil use and emissions. EVs play a role in reducing oil use, but a more substantial reduction in oil consumption comes from economy-wide carbon pricing. Absent more aggressive efforts to reduce carbon emissions, global oil consumption is not radically reduced in the next several decades because of increased demand from other sectors, such as for heavy-duty transport and non-fuel uses. Overall, we find that EVs, along with more efficient ICEVs, represent a viable opportunity among a set of options for reducing global carbon emissions at a manageable cost.

Relative Cost-Effectiveness of Electricity and Transportation Policies as a Means to Reduce CO2 Emissions in the United States: A Multi-Model Assessment

Bryan K. Mignone, Matthew Binsted, Maxwell Brown, Darek Imadi, Haewon McJeon, Matthew Mowers, Sharon Showalter, Daniel C. Steinberg, and Frances Wood

DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.11.1.bmig
View Abstract

Two common energy policy instruments in the United States are tax incentives and technology standards. Although these instruments have been shown to be less cost-effective as a means to reduce CO2 emissions than direct emissions pricing mechanisms, it can be challenging to compare the CO2 emissions reduction costs of such policies across sectors, given the wide range in estimates for any given policy and inconsistencies in how such estimates are constructed across studies. This study addresses this analytical gap by simultaneously comparing the cost-effectiveness of policies across the electricity and transportation sectors using three publicly available US energy system models (EM-NEMS, ReEDS, and GCAM-USA). Four policies are explicitly compared: wind and solar tax credits, a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), a renewable fuel standard (RFS), and an electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. An economy-wide carbon tax is used as a benchmark for cost-effectiveness. Results from this study confirm prior insights about the cost-effectiveness of economy-wide carbon pricing relative to sectoral instruments but also reveal several novel insights about particular sectoral policies. Specifically, this study finds that (1) current electricity tax incentives provide uneven support for wind and solar technologies, (2) despite known inefficiencies, renewable energy policies in the electricity sector are less expensive than earlier estimates due to technology advancement and changes in market conditions, (3) within transportation, an expanded RFS with increasing advanced biofuel targets is more cost-effective than an EV tax credit extension under plausible assumptions, (4) EV incentives lead to a rebound in conventional vehicle fuel economy that further erodes cost-effectiveness, and (5) the change in policy costs over time is not known a priori, but the relative cost ordering among these policies does not depend on the timeframe of analysis. These results are largely robust to the underlying modeling framework, increasing the confidence with which they can be applied to climate policy evaluation.

Impact of Japanese House Insulation Subsidy System on Home Owners' Energy-Saving Awareness

Mieko Fujisawa and Mika Goto

DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.11.1.mfuj
View Abstract

Achieving the massive target of reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the household sector requires that consumers be made aware of this issue. If consumers update their energy-saving awareness and related behaviors, the energy-efficiency effect can be expected to continue. For this purpose, this study analyzes the indirect effects of the housing eco-points system subsidy on consumers in Japan. We collected data using a questionnaire survey of consumers who used the subsidy system and performed a logistic regression analysis. The results revealed the following factors exert a positive effect on energy-saving awareness: realization of insulation-performance effect, understanding of insulation and energy conservation standards, experience of the environmentally concerned, timely receipt of the subsidy, and the self-declaration system. Further, the results showed that, when consumers are exposed to the learning effects through experience and understanding, they become more conscious of energy conservation. This indicates that the housing eco-points subsidy had indirectly affected energy saving. This study can provide policymakers with useful guidance in policymaking and institutional design, and another method for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to maximize the use of limited resources amid financial constraints.


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