Energie : papiers de recherche moissonnés (12/07/2017)

Electrifying Africa: how to make Europe’s contribution count / Simone Tagliapietra. Policy Contribution, Issue n˚17, June 2017 http://bruegel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/PC-17-2017-1.pdf

Electrification is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most pressing socio-economic challenges. Less than a third of the sub-Saharan population has access to electricity, and around 600,000 premature deaths are caused each year by household air pollution resulting from the use of polluting fuels for cooking and lighting.

Legal Pathways for a Massive Increase in Utility-Scale Renewable Generation Capacity / Michael B. Gerrard, Environmental Law Reporter, n° 47, July 2017 pp. 10591-10614 http://columbiaclimatelaw.com/files/2017/06/Legal-Pathways-for-a-Massive-Increase-in-Utility-Scale-Renewable-Generation-Capacity.pdf

This article, excerpted from Michael B. Gerrard & John Dernbach, eds., Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (ELI Press forthcoming 2018), discusses the four most important legal processes and obstacles involved in this enormous project: site acquisition and approval; the National Environmental Policy Act; state and local approvals; and species protection laws. It also presents recommendations for lowering the obstacles and briefly discusses several corollary actions that are needed.

Urban microgrids : Overview, challenges and opportunities. ENEA Consulting ; Groupe ADP, le Groupe Caisse des Dépôts, ENEDIS, Omexom, Total et la Fondation Tuck Feb. 2017, 55 p. https://www.enea-consulting.com/microgrids-urbains-opportunites/

Les conclusions de cette étude mettent en avant les conditions propices à la mise en place des microgrids et des réseaux locaux intelligents.

Default Effects and Follow-On Behavior: Evidence From An Electricity Pricing Program / Meredith Fowlie, Catherine Wolfram, C. Anna Spurlock, Annika Todd, Patrick Baylis, and Peter Cappers. Energy Institute at Haas, June 2017, 50 p. (EI @ Haas WP 280) https://ei.haas.berkeley.edu/research/papers/WP280.pdf

We study default effects in the context of a residential electricity pricing program. We implement a large-scale randomized controlled trial in which one treatment group is given the option to opt-in to time-based pricing while another is defaulted into the program but allowed to opt-out. We provide dramatic evidence of a default effect – a significantly higher fraction of households defaulted onto the time-based pricing plan enroll in the program, even though opting out simply involved making a phone call or clicking through to a website. A distinguishing feature of our empirical setting is that we observe follow-on behavior subsequent to the default manipulation. Specifically, we observe customers’ electricity consumption in light of the pricing plan they face. This, in conjunction with randomization of the default provision, allows us to separately identify the electricity consumption response of “complacent” households (i.e., those who only enroll in time-based pricing if assigned to the opt-out treatment). We find that the complacent households do reduce electricity use during higher priced peak periods, though significantly less on average compared to customers who actively opt in. However, with complacents comprising approximately 75 percent of the population, we observe significantly larger average demand reductions among consumers assigned to the opt-out group. We examine the extent to which the behavioral responses we observe are consistent with a standard model of switching costs, or with alternative mechanisms including inattention, and preferences constructed based on contextual features of the choice setting.

Does Strategic Ability Affect Efficiency? Evidence from Electricity Markets / Ali Hortaçsu, Fernando Luco, Steven L. Puller, Dongni Zhu. NBER Working Paper No. 23526, June 2017 https://ei.haas.berkeley.edu/events/docs/S.%20Puller.pdf

Oligopoly models of short-run price competition predict that large firms can exercise market power and generate inefficiencies. Inefficiency, however, can arise from other sources as well, such as from heterogeneity in strategic sophistication. We study such a setting in the Texas electricity market, in which bidding behavior of some firms persistently and significantly deviates from Nash-equilibrium bidding. We use information on bids and valuations to estimate the level of strategic sophistication of specific firms in the market. We do this embedding a Cognitive Hierarchy model into a structural model of bidding into auctions. We show that strategic sophistication increases with the size of the firm and it is also related to managers’ educational backgrounds. We then use our model to perform counterfactual calculations about market efficiency under different scenarios that increase strategic sophistication of low-type firms either exogenously or through mergers with more sophisticated firms.

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