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Category Archives: Q42

Optimizing the Electricity Bill Creating a two-part electricity tariffs to induce a targeted level of rooftop solar adoption while meeting utility operating expenses

By Hoel Weisner

Renewable energy technologies are a much needed, clean alternative to the conventional fossil fuel electricity power plants of the last century. The market for installing solar panels on rooftops is a highly promising avenue for expanding the use of these technologies, but its profitability depends significantly on the electricity prices offered by electric utilities. Investing in solar panels offset a percentage of the electricity purchased from the utility. This paper models the investment decision of electricity consumers and looks at what the optimal per unit price of electricity should be in order to make building solar panels a profitable decision for a target share of households. The model shows how this optimal rate decreases at lower prices of investing, when the share of utility-purchased electricity offset by the panels increases, and when the target level of solar adoption decreases. Finally, it looks at how this per unit rate impacts the utility’s decision to set a fixed monthly charge for electricity in order to recover all of its operating expenses.

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Advisor: Leslie Marx | JEL Codes: L94, Q42, Q48 | Tagged: Electricity Price, Renewable Energy, Solar Electricity

Shale Gas Development and Housing Value in the United Kingdom: Impact of the 13th Onshore Licensing, 2008

By Esther Lho

While shale gas is a prospective energy source, it is known to bring environmental deficits to the drilling neighborhood. Because of such concerns, property values fluctuate upon the possibility of shale gas fracturing. This paper examines the change in housing prices before and after the release of the 13th onshore oil and gas licensing round, which took place in 2008 when shale gas was increasingly being considered as the alternative to ease the United Kingdom’s dependency on coal. Results suggest that the 2008 licensing has caused a 3% decrease in housing price growth rate for the licensed areas.

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Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: Q42, Q5, Q51 | Tagged: Consumer Expectation, Fracturing, Hedonic Price, Housing Prices, Property valuation, Shale Gas, United Kingdom

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