Optimal transmission expansion minimally reduces decarbonization costs of U.S. electricity February 21, 2024 Solar and wind power are cost-competitive with fossil fuels, yet their intermittent nature presents challenges. Significant temporal and geographic differences in land, wind, and solar resources suggest that long-distance transmission could be particularly beneficial. Using a detailed, open source model, we analyze optimal transmission expansion jointly with storage, generation, and hourly operations across the three… Read More
Effects of alternative pricing structures on electricity consumption and payments in the commercial and industrial sector November 28, 2023 Abstract: We investigate the distributional and welfare impacts when commercial and industrial (C&I) electricity end users face a dynamic pricing structure as opposed to a constant volumetric price with demand charge on individual users’ peak usage. While demand charge does not necessarily reduce the system-wide peak, it often constitutes a large share of C&I users’… Read More
Embracing TOU: Nudges, Rates, and Renewable Energy August 21, 2023 By Michael Roberts, Nori Tarui and Ethan Hartely Hawaiian Electric Company is about to embark on a significant experiment: a pilot program introducing time-of-use (TOU) pricing. Designed to reduce electricity prices during daylight hours when solar power is abundant and increase them during the evening when the sun sets and demand rises, this initiative could… Read More
A Comparison of State-Level Carbon Reduction Strategies: A Case Study of Hawai‘i March 16, 2023 Abstract: State-level electricity standards are proliferating and becoming more ambitious, with numerous US states adopting a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and a small but increasing number of states participating in carbon pricing programs. The State of Hawai‘i has an ambitious RPS that requires 100% electricity generation through renewable sources by 2045. This study uses a… Read More
Real-Time Pricing and the Cost of Clean Power August 9, 2022 Solar and wind power are now cheaper than fossil fuels but are intermittent. The extra supply-side variability implies growing benefits of using real-time retail pricing (RTP). We evaluate the potential gains of RTP using a model that jointly solves investment, supply, storage, and demand to obtain a chronologically detailed dynamic equilibrium for the island of… Read More
Gas meters Are We Building Too Much Natural Gas Pipeline? A comparison of actual US expansion of pipeline to an optimized plan of the interstate network April 25, 2022 Interstate natural gas transmission and storage infrastructure is facilitated using regulated, private transactions. Pipeline companies obtain long-term contracts from producers and wholesale purchasers, typically local distribution companies (LDCs). Historically, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) accepted these counterparty contracts as sufficient justification of need. Typically the LDCs are themselves regulated firms, which sometimes possess affiliations… Read More
Economic and GHG impacts of a US state-level carbon tax: the case of Hawai’i April 19, 2022 A new paper by a team from UHERO published in Climate Policy finds that a carbon tax for Hawai‘i set at the federal social cost of carbon would reduce cumulative GHG emissions by 10% relative to the baseline from 2025 to 2045. They find that when carbon tax revenues are paid as equal-share dividends to Hawai‘i… Read More
Does air pollution increase electric vehicle adoption? Evidence from U.S. metropolitan areas, 2011–2018 April 15, 2022 A publication in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy by a team of economists including UHERO’s Coffman, Hayashida, and La Croix shows that changes in local air pollution within U.S. metropolitan areas are associated with changes in consumer purchases of new EVs. The authors find a positive association between PM2.5 pollution and BEV adoption, and a negative… Read More
Solar panels on roof What do families in Hawaiʻi use electricity for? September 29, 2021 By Nori Tarui and Pratistha Gyawali CDA Project Dashboard IntroductionThe dashboard illustrates Hawaiʻi’s residential electricity usage based on the 2019 Residential Energy Use Survey, a residential appliance saturation survey conducted by Hawaiian Electric Company. UHERO applied the conditional demand analysis (CDA), which is a statistical method to estimate average annual consumption associated with each appliance… Read More
Using Temperature Sensitivity to Estimate Shiftable Electricity Demand Implications for power system investments and climate change September 2, 2021 Growth of intermittent renewable energy and climate change make it increasingly difficult to manage electricity demand variability. Transmission and centralized storage technologies can help, but are costly. An alternative to centralized storage is to make better use of shiftable demand, but it is unclear how much shiftable demand exists. A significant share of electricity demand… Read More
The Effects of Utility Revenue Decoupling on Electricity Prices September 1, 2021 Revenue decoupling (RD) is a regulatory mechanism that allows adjustments of retail electricity rates for the regulated utility to recover its required revenue despite fluctuations in its sales volume. The U.S. utility data in 2000–2019 reveals that RD is associated with about a 4-percentage point higher growth rate of residential electricity prices within the first year after… Read More
Energy Economics: Lessons for and from the Philippines August 30, 2021 By Jim Roumasset This is to share some recent energy research from the Philippines. Some of the findings have relevance for other small economies such as Hawaii. Green GDP and environmental taxationMany governments, including those in the Philippines and the U.S. declare that their mission is to promote the general welfare. It is well known… Read More
Maui wind turbines by Tim Foster on Unsplash Are We Hitting Our Targets? A Look at Hawai‘i’s GHG Emissions August 11, 2021 By Makena Coffman, Maja Schjervheim, and Paul Bernstein Over the past three years, the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health has released a Hawai‘i Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report. This year’s report added an inventory for 2017, as well as projections through 2030 based on existing policies and trends. UHERO collaborated with ICF on this project and… Read More
Solar farm in Waianae Is a Carbon Tax Viable for a Small Island Economy? June 17, 2021 By Maja Schjervheim, Paul Bernstein, Sumner La Croix, Makena Coffman, and Sherilyn Hayashida For the third year in a row, a carbon tax bill fizzled out at the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. Perhaps it was the difficult timing of introducing a new tax in the wake of a pandemic. Perhaps it was due to qualms regarding… Read More
wind farm Implications of a “Green Tariff” for the University of Hawai‘i, Hawaiian Electric Company, and other Customers November 17, 2020 In June 2015 the State passed a law setting a goal for the University of Hawai‘i (UH) to produce as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes; that is, to become net-zero. The great bulk of the University’s energy use occurs on the Mānoa campus, which has the most students and by far… Read More