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Impact of information feedback on residential electricity demand in China

This paper examines the relationship between information feedback and residential electricity consumption, based on a household survey dataset collected in 2012 that covered 26 provinces in China. The results show that information feedback is strongly associated with residential electricity consumption. Electricity consumption is statistically lower in households who obtain consumption information through interactions with meter readers, receive ex ante feedback (use a prepaid metering system), and receive explicit feedback by directly paying meter readers.


Strategic carbon taxation and energy pricing under the threat of climate tipping events

An appropriate design of climate mitigation policies such as carbon taxes may face a lot of challenges in reality, e.g., the strategic behavior of fossil fuel producers, and huge uncertainty surrounding the climate system. This paper investigated the effect of possible climate tipping events on optimal carbon taxation and energy pricing, taking into account the strategic behavior of energy consumers/producers and the uncertainty of tipping points through a stochastic dynamic game.


Strategic oil stockpiling for energy security: The case of China and India

Compared with the developed countries, the developing countries could be more vulnerable to oil supply disruptions due to their lack of strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs). Several developing countries, including China and India, are establishing their SPRs to ensure energy security. In the common world oil market, one country's SPR decisions can be affected by the decisions of other countries.


Can an Emission Trading Scheme Promote the Withdrawal of Outdated Capacity in Energy-Intensive Sectors? A Case Study on China's Iron and Steel Industry

Outdated capacity and substantial potential for energy conservation are the two main features of energy-intensive sectors in developing countries. Such countries also seek to implement market-based options to further control domestic carbon emissions as well as to promote the withdrawal of outdated capacity and upgrade production level. This paper presents a quantitative assessment of the emission trading scheme (ETS) for China's iron and steel industry. The diverse array of normal and outdated capacities was modeled in a two-country, three-good partial equilibrium model.


Will urbanization increase residential energy demand?

City is the major energy user and emission source in China,which accounts for 70% of total energy consumption. To achieve the sustainable development, China need to further boost the urban development while lower the huge energy demand. Will the accelerating urbanization process lead to higher energy demand? This issue raises intensive attention from the decision-makers, public, and academic society. Most previous studies concluded that the urbanization is positively associated with household energy demand.


Household fuel choice in urban China: evidence from panel data

Using eight rounds of household survey data that span two decades, this paper analyzes the determinants of household fuel choice in urban China. Using the correlated random effects generalized ordered probit model, the authors find that household fuel choice in urban China is related to fuel prices, households’ economic status and size and household head’s gender and education.


Empirical study on rural households’ demand for energy consumption in Western ethnical minority areas

Based on a household survey in western ethnical minority areas of Gansu and Yunnan province, this paper first describes rural households’energy consumption pattern, and further investigates the relevant factors determining households’demand for fuel wood consumption by using a Tobit model. The empirical results show that sample households have strong dependence on fuel wood consumption.


Maximizing Gains from Natural Resources to Transform the National Economic Base in Selected Countries: The Natural Gas Potential in Tanzania

This is a chapter in the book entitled ‘How can Tanzania move from poverty to prosperity?’ The idea for this book first originated in 2012 when writing a paper for a workshop for the University of Dar es Salaam Mwalimu Nyerere Chair on Development. More recently, it has been driven by the fact that, despite making some progress, the country continues to struggle in the seemingly never-ending cycle of poverty, disease, aid dependency, the dearth of infrastructure and corruption. These are challenges that policy-makers and the government grapple with day in day out  


Spatial Distribution of Coal-Fired Power Plants in China

Coal has fueled China’s fast growth in the last decades, but it also severely pollutes the air and causes many health issues. The magnitude of the health damage caused by air pollution depends on the location of emission sources. In this paper, we look into the spatial distribution of coal-fired power plants, the major emission sources in China, and investigate the determining factors behind the distribution. We see an overall increase in installed coal-fired power capacity in recent years, with capacity leaps in some provinces.


    Improved Biomass Cooking to Fight Climate Change and Poverty

    Inefficient firewood and charcoal usage contributes massively to global greenhouse gas emissions and causes four million mortal diseases a year. Relative to other climate protection measures, public investments in the dissemination of improved biomass cooking stoves provide a very effective low cost measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More than three billion people in developing countries rely on inefficient cooking stoves fuelled by firewood and charcoal.


      Infrastructure and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

      Since the 1960s and 1970s, the international community has dedicated a considerable amount of its lending portfolios and technical assistance capacities to investments into infrastructure such as roads, electricity, and water networks. In spite of these continous efforts, billions of people worldwide are still lacking acces to electricity, clean water, sanitation, and quality roads. At the same time, the lack of infrastructure access is often said to be a major barrier to sustainable human development.


        A First Step up the Energy Ladder? Low Cost Solar Kits and Household’s Welfare in Rural Rwanda

        More than 1.1 billion people in developing countries are lacking access to electricity. Based on the assumption that electricity is a prerequisite for human development, the United Nations has proclaimed the goal of providing electricity to all by 2030. In recent years, Pico-Photovoltaic kits have become a low-cost alternative to investment intensive grid electrification. Using a randomized controlled trial, we examine uptake and impacts of a simple Pico-Photovoltaic kit that barely exceeds the modern energy benchmark defined by the United Nations.


          Does Large-Scale Infrastructure Investment Alleviate Poverty? Impacts of Rwanda’s Electricity Access Roll-Out Program

          The objective of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All) is to provide electricity by 2030 to the 1.1 billion people in developing countries that hitherto lack access. The OECD/IEA quantifies the investment requirements of this to be at 640 billion USD. Little evidence exists on socio-economic impacts of electrification. The present paper is the first to causally investigate the effects of electrification in Africa on all beneficiary groups.


          Supply of cellulosic biomass in Illinois and implications for the Conservation Reserve Program

          We developed a mathematical programming model to estimate the supply of cellulosic biomass in Illinois at various biomass prices and examine the implications of biomass production for the maintenance costs of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). We find that Illinois has the potential to produce about 38.4–54.5 million dry metric tons (MT) of biomass in 2020 at a biomass price of $150/MT, depending on the production costs of cellulosic feedstocks, residue collection technology, and rates of yield increases of conventional crops.


          Economic potential of biomass supply from crop residues in China

          Using a mathematical programming model, we estimate the economic potential of biomass supply from crop residues in China at various exogenously-given biomass prices and identify the areas that are likely to produce crop residues. Our analysis indicates that China can potentially produce about 174.4–248.6 million dry metric tons of crop residues per year when biomass prices are larger than $100 per metric ton. Rice straw is expected to account for about 47% of total residue production across the different biomass prices and residue production scenarios that we considered.


          An Analysis of Costs and Health Co-Benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard

          Abstract: Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants can have important "co-benefits" for public health by reducing emissions of air pollutants. Here, we examine the costs and health co-benefits, in monetary terms, for a policy that resembles the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. We then examine the spatial distribution of the co-benefits and costs, and the implications of a range of cost assumptions in the implementation year of 2020.


          China Can Supply About 250 Million Metric Tons of Crop Residues for Bioenergy Production Every Year

          We use county-level data on crop yields and cropland to estimate the potential biomass supply from crop residues in China. We find that China can potentially produce about 250 million dry metric tons of crop residues per year when biomass prices are greater than $100 per metric ton. We also find that rice straw is expected to account for about 47% of total residue production, while corn stover (residue) can contribute 28% to total biomass production in China and wheat straw can contribute 25%.


          Essays on behavioral economics and policy design

          This thesis consists of three self-contained chapters on issues related to spillover effects of behavioral and policy interventions aimed at reducing negative incentives provided by consumption and production subsidies, and discusses the implications for environmental policy design. The first two chapters investigate spillover effects of a behavioral intervention aimed at incentivizing residential water savings in Colombia.


          Push renewables to spur carbon pricing

          Make wind and solar power even cheaper by opening up access to the electricity gridand ending fossil-fuel subsidies, urge Gernot Wagner and colleagues. Putting a price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to curb emissions must be the centrepiece of any comprehensive climate-change policy. We know it works: pricing carbon creates broad incentives to cut emissions. Yet the current price of carbon remains much too low relative to the hidden environmental, health and societal costs of burning a tonne of coal or a barrel of oil. The global average price is below zero, once half a trillion dollars of fossil-fuel subsidies are factored in.


          Exploring the Odds for Actual and Desired Adoption of Solar Energy in Kenya

          Although Kenya enjoys a high and widespread daily solar insolation, and despite enactment of policies to promote adoption of renewable energy technologies, not many households have picked up solar technologies. The objective of this study is to find out the incidence and predictors of actual up-take of solar technology as well as households’ desire to switch to solar in light of their perception of its cost advantage.


          Biofuel Investments and Implications for the Environment in Ethiopia: An Economy-wide Analysis

          Biofuels production has received increasing focus by developed and developing countries due to rising fossil fuel prices and the need to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The net economic and environmental impacts of biofuel programs have become an important question of public policy. In particular, the anticipation that biofuels may have a lower environmental footprint than fossil fuels is one of the important drivers. This study investigates the economy-wide impact of biofuel investment in Ethiopia with the focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the forest sector.


          The Residential Demand for Electricity in Ethiopia

          This paper examines the causality between residential electricity consumption and GDP in Ethiopia by using time series data for the period 1970–2011. Examining the link between economic growth and energy consumption can help policy makers design appropriate policy instruments.


          Household Energy Conservation in Kenya: Estimating the Drivers and Possible Savings

          This paper uses the National Energy Survey Data for Kenya 2009 to investigate the main determinants of household energy conservation and savings, exploiting discrete choice and Tobit models. It estimatea conservation models for five household fuels—fuel wood, charcoal, kerosene, LPG, and electricity—and generates information to predict not only the odds for household energy conservation but also the levels of possible savings.


          Urban households in Ethiopia use multiple fuels as they get richer

          Using three rounds of survey data that cover a decade, we analyze household preferences for energy types and energy choice in urban Ethiopia. We find that, during 2000-2009, households in major cities of Ethiopia used multiple fuels as their income increased. Increased fuelwood prices encourage consumption of cleaner fuels, such as electricity, while increased kerosene prices encourage solid fuel consumption. Better educated households are more likely to consume cleaner fuels. While increased incomes are associated with consumption of cleaner fuels, households did not entirely shift to consumption of modern fuels as their income increased. This suggests that an energy transition did not take place following economic growth during the study period.


          Environmental risks of shale gas development in China

          Shale gas development in China can generate great potential economic benefits, but also poses serious environmental risks. In this paper, we offer a macro assessment of the environmental risks of shale gas development in China.


          Profitability of Biofuels Production: The Case of Ethiopia

          This research investigates the profitability of biofuels production in Africa, taking Ethiopia as a case in point, and suggests an oil price threshold beyond which biofuel may be profitable. Specifically, the study analyzes the viability of bioethanol from molasses and biodiesel from other feedstock in the context of Ethiopia, using data from a biofuels investment survey by EEPFE/EDRI in 2010, and makes estimates based on field visits.


          Why the EU ETS needs reforming: an empirical analysis of the impact on company investments

          The European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is so far the largest emissions trading system in the world. A rigorous ex post empirical analysis of the scheme is presented. The effect of the scheme on firms' investment decisions in carbon-reducing technologies is analysed by using detailed firm-level data from Swedish industry. Based on difference-in-difference estimation as well as a before–after difference estimation, the results reveal that the EU ETS has not had a significant effect on firms’ decisions to invest in carbon-mitigating technologies. However, although the EU ETS appears to have no direct effect on investments, it is too early to dismiss the system. Consideration is given to how the EU ETS can realize its potential to become an effective tool in the EU climate and energy policy portfolio.


          Adoption and disadoption of electric cookstoves in urban Ethiopia: Evidence from panel data

          Previous studies on improved cook stove adoption in developing countries use cross-sectional data, which make it difficult to control for unobserved heterogeneity and investigate what happens to adoption over time. We use robust non-linear panel data and hazard models on three rounds of panel data from urban Ethiopia to investigate the determinants of adoption and disadoption of electric cook stoves over time.


          Characteristics of residential energy consumption in China: Findings from a household survey

          Highlights • We develop the first comprehensive survey of residential energy consumption in China. • A typical Chinese household in 2012 consumed 1426 kilograms coal equivalent. • Space heating accounts for half of energy demand. • A large rural–urban gap exists in terms of energy sources and end-use activities. • Results reveal challenges and opportunities for China׳s energy policy.   Abstract


          Factors Determining the Stability and Productivity of Small Scale Anaerobic Digesters

          Biogas as a technology and the factors that affect its productivity have both been well studied. Research has previously been done to look at the impact of temperature, pH, organic loading rate, carbon-to-nitrogen ratios, microbial populations and hydraulic retention time on different scales of biogas operations. Small scale biogas installations, of which many millions have been constructed and seem to be performing well, have been chosen as the area of focus for this paper. Such systems allow energy generation on site, thereby eliminating the need for energy intensive transport.


          Can Communication Facilitate Cooperation in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

          International and domestic efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions require a coordinated effort from countries and individuals that differ in terms of their level of income, historical responsibility in terms of contributions to the existing stock of emissions, current intensity of energy use and costs of reducing emissions. This brief reports the results of an economic experiment that examines whether groups of individuals – who differ in terms of their individual costs of reducing emissions – can meet a collective emissions reduction target.


          Environmental Policy in the Presence of an Informal Sector

          We demonstrate how the presence of an untaxed informal sector can sharply lower the cost of environmental and energy tax policy. The mechanism involves substitution between formal and informal labor supply: energy or environmental taxes can improve the efficiency of the tax system by drawing activity into the formal sector.


          Environmental resource collection: implications for children's schooling in Tigray, northern Ethiopia

          This paper examines the adverse effect of natural resources scarcity on children's schooling and the possible gender bias of resource collection work against girls' schooling. It uses cross-sectional data on 316 children aged 7–18 years collected from 120 rural households in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. The two-stage conditional maximum likelihood estimation technique is employed to take care of endogeneity between schooling and collection intensity decisions.


          Fossil Fuel and Food Tax Incidence in Ethiopia

          Most studies suggest that environmental taxes are regressive, making them less attractive policy options. The general objective of this paper is to analyze and compare fossil fuel and food tax incidence in Ethiopia in different expenditure groups of households considering urban and rural parts of Ethiopia separately.