Emissions, Transmission, and the Environmental Value of Wind Energy: Evidence from Texas

Speaker: Daniel Kaffine, University of Colorado Boulder

Date and Location

When (Date/Time)

March 14, 2018, 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM


157 Hosler Bldg.

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Host: Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy

Paper Abstract

Growth in renewable electricity generation has spurred substantial private and public interest in increasing transmission capacity to export electricity from renewable-rich, demand-poor regions to urban demand centers. While the primary motives for these transmission investments are market-based (e.g., arbitraging regional electricity prices), they can also have large non-market impacts (e.g., altering the level of pollution). In this paper, we examine how transmission alters the environmental benefits provided by wind generation. Using hourly wind and emissions data from the Texas electricity market, we find that relaxing transmission constraints between the wind-rich western portion of Texas and the eastern demand centers results in a 33% increase in the non- market value of a MWh of wind. Much of this increase in the non-market value arises from a redistribution in where emissions are avoided—wind offsets much more pollution from fossil fuel units located near highly populated demand centers.

 A light lunch will be provided.  We hope to see you all there!