Distributed energy resources allow for new business models that have the potential to substantially change today's power system functioning paradigm. In particular, these changes pose challenges for distribution system operators (DSOs) and their regulation alike: This article sheds light on missing aspects in current regulation, recognizing DSOs as regulated monopolies, but also as key players along the supply chain. We provide insights on how regulation should be adjusted so that DSOs are incentivized to facilitate the market entry of welfare-enhancing technologies in a timely fashion, and to manage the distribution system efficiently in the presence of distributed energy resources. (c) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In order to reach a goal of universal access to modern energy services in Africa by 2030, consideration of various electricity sector pathways is required to help inform policy-makers and investors, and help guide power system design. To that end, and building on existing tools and analysis, we present several 'high-level', transparent, and economy-wide scenarios for the sub-Saharan African power sector to 2030. We construct these simple scenarios against the backdrop of historical trends and various interpretations of universal access. They are designed to provide the international community with an indication of the overall scale of the effort required - one aspect of the many inputs required. We find that most existing projections, using typical long-term forecasting methods for power planning, show roughly a threefold increase in installed generation capacity occurring by 2030, but more than a tenfold increase would likely be required to provide for full access - even at relatively modest levels of electricity consumption. This equates to approximately a 13% average annual growth rate, compared to a historical one (in the last two decades) of 1.7%. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Interest in Demand Response (DR) is increasing due to its potential to improve reliability and save costs for electricity systems. DR can provide a sustainable and cost-effective option for supply balancing, especially in a scenario with more volatile inflows from renewable energy sources. End-users can be incentivized to provide DR through time-based pricing in general and dynamic pricing in particular. This paper provides a theoretic framework and practice-oriented review of the status of DR in Europe, outlining the major challenges currently hampering further DR development. Important challenges involve the split-incentive issue for investments in enabling technologies, traditional market rules for flexibility that favor large generation units and the need for electricity market and network operation coordination. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Over the past twenty years there has been increasing interest in the productivity and efficiency of, and the optimal structures for, the water supply and wastewater industries. In part this interest has manifested itself in the increased use of numerous statistical techniques to determine the productivity and efficiency of the water sector in a variety of countries. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First it briefly reviews the various measures that have been used to gauge the levels of productivity and efficiency in the water sector, with particular reference to input and output data requirements of these measures. Second it summarises the key structural findings that have been determined from this research, particularly with respect to economies of scale and scope, public versus private ownership and the impact of regulation. Third, it considers potential areas for potential future research, such as the effect of environmental management activities (including water conservation) and regulation on productivity and efficiency, the role of wastewater as a potential source of potable or 'fit-for-purpose' water and the relationship between water supply and urban planning.
In the unbundled national electricity markets in Europe, the balancing market is the institutional arrangement that deals with the balancing of electricity demand and supply. This paper presents a framework for policy makers that identifies the relevant design variables and performance criteria that play a role in the design and analysis of European balancing markets. We outline the full extent of the design challenge through a discussion of trade-offs among performance criteria, uncertain effects of design variables, and the many inter-linkages between the balancing market and the electricity market at large. Policy makers can address the balancing market design challenge by adopting a structured approach in which design variables, performance criteria, market conditions, system developments, and resultant market incentives are explicitly considered. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This paper examines linkages among transportation intensity, the extent of urbanization, CO2 emissions, and economic growth. We use two measures of transportation intensity: (i) per-capita rates of utilization of air-passenger transport facilities and (ii) per-capita rates of utilization of air-freight transport facilities. By studying the G-20 countries over the period 1961-2012 and employing a panel vector auto-regressive model for detecting Granger causality, we find a network of causal connections among these four variables in the short run. We also find that economic growth tends to converge to its long-run equilibrium path in response to changes in the other variables. Our fundamental conclusion is that passenger carriage intensity should be improved in the developing countries within the G-20 for the purpose of propelling economic growth. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Megaprojects are historically associated with poor delivery, both in terms of schedule and cost performance. Empirical research is required to determine which characteristics of megaprojects affect schedule and cost performance. Capital-intensive power plants can be understood as megaprojects and time delays and cost escalation during the construction phase can undermine their overall economic viability. This paper presents a systematic, empirically based methodology that employs the Fisher Exact test to identify the characteristics of power plant megaprojects (PPMs) that correlate with schedule and cost performance. We present the results of applying this methodology to a dataset of 12 PPMs using nuclear, coal, and renewable resources as case studies. The results highlight the importance of modular technologies, project governance, and external stakeholder involvement. Key findings both support and contradict the literature. The paper provides two major original contributions. First, we present and apply a systematic, empirical and statistical approach to understanding PPMs planning and construction. Second, we show how this approach can be used to inform public policy and project management with regard to PPMs. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This paper deals with site selection problems for wind power plants and aims to propose a structural procedure for determining the most feasible sites. The application area is Western Turkey. The methodology is mainly composed of two stages: the first stage is pre-elimination of infeasible sites, and the second stage is evaluation of the available ones. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to generate layers of data and to apply the elimination criteria and constraints. The alternative land areas are handled in terms of identical-sized grids, which are large enough to install one wind turbine each. Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is then used to rank and sort the grids via the identified evaluation criteria. The problem is evaluated in 13 fields, which are a collection of several grids in order to evaluate larger scale areas to construct wind farms rather than for individual turbines. The evaluations are made both at grid (micro) and field (macro) levels and both deterministic and uncertain data are used. The results reveal a high level of consensus on the most feasible sites between the different MCDA methods applied. The proposed methodology provides a structured decision aid, which can be applied to other energy site selection problems. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The strong political support for biogas production in Germany over the past decade has greatly affected agricultural production, farms and land markets. This paper analyzes the effects of Germany's biogas policies on agricultural development by using the agent-based simulation model AgriPoliS. Particular focus is placed on the effects of the previous German Renewable Energy Act (REA, German "EEG") of 2012, as well as the latest amendments, which were added in 2014. Our results show that under the previous REA and its predecessors, biogas production provided an attractive investment opportunity, especially for large farms, which led to a boost in biogas production. However, this policy also caused distortions within the agricultural sector, including increasing land rental prices. These effects particularly threatened farms that were not able to invest in biogas, as well as smaller biogas farms. On average, biogas farms could not increase their profitability. The main reason for this effect can be seen in the fact that a significant share of the value added is transferred via increased rental prices to land owners. The amendment of the REA in 2014, which reduced support levels substantially, partly attenuates some of these effects, though the previous policy will cast a long shadow. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
This study provides an analysis of Italian water utilities to determine the effects on their efficiency of certain relevant variables that have been broadly discussed in the existing literature. We reviewed the annual financial statements of 43 Italian water utility companies and obtained other technical data from Co.n.vi.r.i., the Italian national authority for water. Using data envelopment analysis we assessed their cost efficiencies and, using non-parametric statistic methods, we discuss the significant differences among clusters. We found that ownership structure, size and geographical location had an impact on the performance of water utilities, although with different degrees of significance. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A consensus has long existed within the electric utility sector of the United States that renewable electricity generators such as wind and solar are unreliable and intermittent to a degree that they will never be able to contribute significantly to electric utility supply or provide baseload power. This paper asks three interconnected questions: 1. What do energy experts really think about renewables in the United States? 2. To what degree are conventional baseload units reliable? 3. Is intermittency a justifiable reason to reject renewable electricity resources?To provide at least a few answers, the author conducted 62 formal, semi-structured interviews at 45 different institutions including electric utilities, regulatory agencies, interest groups, energy systems manufacturers, nonprofit organizations, energy consulting firms, universities, national laboratories, and state institutions in the United States. In addition, an extensive literature review of government reports, technical briefs, and journal articles was conducted to understand how other countries have dealt with (or failed to deal with) the intermittent nature of renewable resources around the world. It was concluded that the intermittency of renewables can be predicted, managed, and mitigated, and that the current technical barriers are mainly due to the social, political, and practical inertia of the traditional electricity generation system.
The technical and economic layers of electricity markets are moving in opposite directions: on the technical side, corrective actions are often needed at a particular place in the distribution grid, while on the economic side, wholesale market solutions at the moment do not provide location-specific solutions. Thus far, system operators have had little involvement in market actions to balance the network or relieve congestion. The Distribution System Operator (DSO) is faced with a need for market tools to enable more active system management through the use of flexibility. This paper discusses market design proposals that would enable access to flexibility contracting to solve network problems and aid in balancing actions at a specific location. Market design is studied in terms of temporal, spatial, contractual, and price-clearing dimensions. Three main approaches to contracting flexibility are analyzed. The first is the possibility to contract flexibility through the existing wholesale markets; the second is the creation of a separate flexibility platform; and the last is a reserve-type market approach. The choice of design depends on possible market power and entry-barrier issues. A semi-competitive reserve-type market approach is suitable for an emerging market and a competitive exchange is recommended for a more mature market. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This paper updates the literature on water utility benchmarking studies developed worldwide, focusing on scale and scope economies. Using meta-regression analysis, the study investigates which variables from published studies influence these economies. Our analysis yields several conclusions. The results indicate that there is a higher probability of finding diseconomies of scale and scope in large utilities; however, only the results for scale economies are significant. Diseconomies of scale and scope are more likely to be found in publicly-owned utilities than when the ownership is private; as would be expected, multi-utilities are more likely to have scale and scope economies. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nowadays, the European electricity systems are evolving towards a generation mix that is more decentralised, less predictable and less flexible to operate. In this context, additional flexibility is expected to be provided by the demand side. Thus, how to engage consumers to participate in demand response is becoming a pressing issue. In this paper, we provide an analytical framework to assess consumers' potential and willingness to participate in active demand response from a contract perspective. On that basis, we present policy recommendations to empower and protect consumers in their shift to active demand response participants. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.