Now showing 1 - 10 of 24
  • Publication
    Understanding the use of policy instruments for greenhouse gas management in Europe
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, 2006) ; ; ; ;
    A report from UCD Dublin as part of the International Collaboration Projects on Sustainable Societies for the Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, January 20, 2006.
  • Publication
    Optimal Contracts for Renewable Electricity
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2019-09) ;
    Companies are increasingly choosing to procure their power from renewable energy sources, with their own set of potential challenges. In this paper we focus on contracts to procure electricity from renewable sources that are inherently unreliable (such as wind and solar). We determine the contracts that minimize the cost of procuring a given amount of renewable energy from two risk-averse generators. We contrast outcomes arising when investments are set in centralised and decentralised settings, with the absence of reliability addressed by either issuing orders in excess of what is needed or by investing in improved reliability. Our results suggest that future contracts may be geared towards a greater reliance on order inflation and lower investments in reliability as the cost of renewable energy keeps falling. The implications of these results for grid congestion and electricity spot market prices should be of interest to regulators and transmission system operators.
  • Publication
    Energy efficiency in the food retail sector: Barriers, drivers, and acceptable policies
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2017-07) ;
    The objective of this research is to empirically examine the drivers and barriers to energy efficiency measures in an important energy-using sector, namely the food retail sector, and support more effective energy efficiency policies for this sector. Although food retailers consume a significant amount of energy due to the refrigeration, air conditioning and specialised lighting needs of stores, there has been little research in this sector on the barriers and drivers for implementing energy efficiency measures. A survey of small food retailers was carried out to understand the barriers and drivers to greater uptake of energy efficiency measures and to examine the acceptability of different energy efficiency policy options for food retailers. In addition, external stakeholders were consulted in order to validate and contextualise the results of the survey. We find there is a complementary relationship between energy efficiency barriers and drivers for food retailers that is remarkably coherent. We identify policies, such as subsidies and support for ESCOs, that both exploit the complementarities between barriers and drivers and are acceptable to food retailers also. This methodology should help identify and design more effective policies to deliver energy efficiency improvements in the food retail sector.
  • Publication
    Preferences for Renewable Home Heating: A Choice Experiment Study of Heat Pump System in Ireland
    Renewable sources of home heating like heat pump systems are expected to play a vital role in mitigating the adverse effects of carbon-intensive heating systems. Compared to conventional heating systems, heat pump systems are more energy efficient, have low maintenance and operational costs and provide reliable and environmentally friendly home heating. Despite those advantages, the uptake of heat pumps has been low among the Irish population and little is known about the factors that affect their adoption. This paper uses a discrete choice experiment approach to investigate preferences for heat pumps in the residential sector based on nationally representative household survey data from Ireland. We analyse the choice data using a mixed logit model and estimate the marginal willingness to pay for bill savings, environmentally sustainable, installation hassles and increase in home comfort using both models in preferences space and in willingness to pay (WTP) space. Our results show that upfront cost, bill savings, environmental sustainability and installation hassle significantly influence household uptake of heat pumps. The estimated results also reveal the presence of heterogeneous preferences. Furthermore, the results show that households are willing to pay for heat pumps; however, the values might not be large enough to cover the higher upfront costs of, for example, a ground source heat pump. Overall, the study highlights that policy makers should consider the various financial and non-financial factors that influence adoption and heterogeneity in preferences in designing policy intervention aimed at increasing the uptake of heat pumps.
  • Publication
    The Landlord-Tenant Problem and Energy Efficiency in the Residential Rental Market
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2020-10) ;
    The aim of this paper is to test for the persistence of the landlord-tenant energy efficiency problem in the residential rental property market in the presence of information on property energy performance. To do this, we compare the efficiency of rental and non-rental properties using a combination of Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM) and parametric regression. We use a sample of 585,578 residential properties in the Republic of Ireland - a region that legally requires rental properties to display energy performance certificates when advertised. The findings suggest that the landlord-tenant problem is present in the Irish rental market but that it is not uniform across locations, indicating the influence of other factors. To explore this further, we exploit the regional variation in rental property prices. We find a larger difference between rental and non-rental properties' energy efficiency in markets with scarcity in rental property supply.
  • Publication
    Integrating European Electricity Markets – what impact for consumers and producers?
    Electricity market design is evolving with the increase in electricity generated from renewable sources. The market system was originally designed for dispatchable fossil fuel electricity generation with high marginal costs rather than renewable electricity generation with nearly zero marginal costs and high upfront capital costs. When short term prices no longer cover long term investment costs, new market design is needed. An alternative is to increase interconnection to facilitate increased trade between markets (Pollitt and Chyong, 2018). Economic theory would suggest that eliminating barriers to trade across a regional market will decrease consumer costs and producer profits in areas that increase imports, while increasing producer profits and consumer costs in areas that increase exports (Dahlke, 2018). Trade through interconnectors can exploit differences in wind and sun conditions across regions and so reduce supply variability; higher shares of renewable electricity raises the value of market integration even further (Newbery et al., 2018). In this context, the EU has been progressively harmonizing national and regional electricity markets, to form a single market that includes more than 500 million people. The Multi-Regional Coupling organized through European power exchanges coordinates the clearing of day-ahead markets and determines day-ahead prices across the countries involved (Politico, 2018). In the 1996, 2003 and 2009 EU electricity directives, the development of integrated wholesale power markets across the continent was encouraged in order to incentivise market-driven investment in generation across Europe. The Internal Energy Market (IEM) in Europe provides for free trade across border and non-discrimination between internal and cross-border transactions. On October 1st 2018, Ireland was one of the final countries to integrate with this market due to the small isolated nature of this synchronous system which required additional precautions to put in place new market arrangements. The Irish electricity market has been a wholesale all-island market (including Northern Ireland, called the SEM) since 2007. The integration of the all-island electricity market with European electricity markets was expected to increase the use of the interconnector with Great Britain which should “deliver increased levels of competition which should help put a downward pressure on prices as well as encouraging greater levels of security of supply and transparency” (EirGrid, 2016). In addition to integration with Europe, other features were included in the new I-SEM market, such as changes to how energy is bought and sold; how generators are remunerated for availability; forward trading arrangements and market liquidity; market power controls; and the systems, policies and procedures that are required to operate the market (EirGrid, 2016). This has led to new balancing, capacity, and intraday markets that did not previously exist in the Irish market. With the integration of the Irish market, the IEM now comprises 20 countries, with 38 interconnectors and a total generating capacity of over 3,000 TW (EirGrid, 2016). The European Target model sets out the common rules and arrangements for market coupling in Europe. It includes a common price coupling algorithm for scheduling day-ahead markets and determining flows between geographic regions. The energy transactions involving sellers and buyers from different bidding zones are centrally collected to maximise the most efficient and effective trades. In theory, unless the network is congested, markets should converge to a single price. When the network is congested, prices diverge. The integration of the Irish electricity market with the IEM provides a natural experiment with which to test economic theory relating to the benefits of interconnection, regional electricity trade, and market rule changes for consumers,producers and markets. While there is an extensive literature on electricity market design and theory, it is rare to find empirical data such as this with which to test the theory. This integration is relatively recent, yet it provides an ideal opportunity to examine in detail several features over the period directly before and after the change. Ireland, as an isolated market. Ireland has been identified as a country at the forefront of market change due to the high share of renewable electricity and its isolated market (Polllitt and Chyong, 2018). It also serves as a good case study, as there are less confounding factors in an analysis of market design, compared with more geographically integrated countries.
  • Publication
    The State of Play in Electric Vehicle Charging Services: Global Trends with Insight for Ireland
    Electrification of vehicle fleets, particularly in countries with increasing shares of renewable electricity supply, represents an important pathway toward low-carbon mobility. This report examines the role of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure as a key enabler for EV uptake, and explores business models and policy approaches for promoting deployment. It then applies observed key principles to assess the Irish EV charging services market and identifies key recommendations for Irish policy.
  • Publication
    Attitudes to Renewable Energy Technologies: Driving Change in Early Adopter Markets
    This paper explores the motivations behind the adoption of key renewable energy technologies in an early adopter market. Notwithstanding their social benefits, uptake of electric vehicles, heat pumps, and solar photovoltaic panels remains low, necessitating targeted measures to address this. We conducted a comprehensive survey of a nationally representative sample of Irish households and analysed this rich dataset using pairwise group comparisons and a factor analysis combined with a logit regression model. We found fundamental differences between adopters and non-adopters. Current adopters tend to be younger, more educated, of higher socio-economic status, and more likely to live in newer buildings of generous size than non-adopters. Environmental attitudes are an insufficient predictor of uptake - whilst non-adopters self-report as being more sustainable, adopters believe that their own decisions impact climate change. Importantly, social processes will be instrumental in future uptake. Word-of-mouth recommendation will matter greatly in communicating the use and benefits of technologies as evident from the significantly larger social networks that current adopters enjoy. Using these insights, policy incentives can be designed according to public preferences.
  • Publication
    Towards Renewable Electricity in Europe: An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of Renewable Electricity Development in the European Union
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2018-12) ;
    The twenty-first century must see a decarbonisation of electricity production to mitigate the flow of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. This paper presents an econometric analysis of the factors that motivate the use of renewable energy in electricity production using panel data from EU Member States during the period 2000-2015. The research extends the literature in this area in several ways. Firstly, the econometric analysis is focused on the electricity sector rather than on the overall primary energy supply, which also includes the diverse heating and transport sectors. In addition, an alternative public policy variable is proposed using the tax and levy component of electricity bills. Furthermore, an alternative econometric approach is employed using a hybrid mixed effects estimator. The results of this analysis are found to be broadly as expected, with mixed fossil fuel price effects; electricity grid interconnection and higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions both motivate the development of renewable electricity. Policy implications are that policy support for fossil fuels should be ceased; electricity grid interconnections should be developed between countries; and furthermore, levies on retail electricity prices to fund RE support schemes are effective at promoting renewable electricity.