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See detailThe insurance effect of renewable distributed energy resources against uncertain electricity price developments
Fridgen, Gilbert UL; Halbrügge, Stephanie; Olenberger, Christian et al

in Energy Economics (2020), 91

To combat climate change, many countries all around the world currently foster the development of renewable energy sources (RES). However, in contrast to traditional energy systems that relied on few ... [more ▼]

To combat climate change, many countries all around the world currently foster the development of renewable energy sources (RES). However, in contrast to traditional energy systems that relied on few central power plants, RES are typically highly decentral and spread all over a country. Against this backdrop, the promotion of a decentralization of the energy system by fostering a regional balance of energy demand and supply with a corresponding increase in energy democracy is seen as a promising approach. However, energy democracy driven by an increasing involvement of consumers requires adequate investments of consumers in their own local RES in order to become active players, usually called prosumers. Risk associated with uncertain long-term electricity price developments is generally seen as a barrier to investments. In contrast, we describe that an investment in distributed energy resources (DERs) may actually serve as a consumer's insurance against price risk. Our results set out that the consideration of risk-aversion may actually positively shift an investment decision in renewable DERs. This is due to the prosumer becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on uncertain price developments. To analyze such an insurance effect, we create a formal decision model considering the prosumer's risk-aversion and derive the prosumer's optimal investment in renewable DERs. However, our results also indicate that under some circumstances the insurance effect disappears: When a prosumer turns into a predominant producer, the prosumer is again exposed to risk in terms of uncertain revenues. Ultimately, our work highlights the importance of a consideration of the insurance effect when assessing an investment in renewable DERs. [less ▲]

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See detailThe cross-section of returns, benchmark model parameters, and idiosyncratic volatility of the world’s nuclear energy firms after Fukushima Daiichi
Lopatta, Kerstin UL; Kaspereit, Thomas UL

in Energy Economics (2014), 41

This study analyzes how the stock market returns, the factor loadings from the Carhart (1997) 4-factor model, and the idiosyncratic volatility of shares in energy firms have been affected by the Fukushima ... [more ▼]

This study analyzes how the stock market returns, the factor loadings from the Carhart (1997) 4-factor model, and the idiosyncratic volatility of shares in energy firms have been affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident. Unlike existing studies, which provide evidence of a wealth transfer from nuclear to renewable energy firms for specific countries, we use an international sample and investigate whether changes in the regulatory Environment and the firm-specific commitment to nuclear and renewable energies correlate with the capital market's reactions to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Our findings suggest that the more a firm relies on nuclear power, the more its share price declined after the accident. A commitment to renewable energies does not prevent declines in share prices but significantly helps to reduce the increase in market beta that is associated with this event. Nuclear energy firms domiciled in countries with a higher number of regulatory interventions that were triggered by the catastrophe have lower abnormal returns than those that are domiciled elsewhere. However, as a cross-sectional analysis reveals, a stronger commitment to nuclear power is the main driver for negative stock market returns. Furthermore, nuclear energy firms domiciled in countries with stronger regulatory shifts away from nuclear energy experience significant increases in market beta and the book-to-market equity factor loading according to the Carhart (1997) 4-factor model. We conclude that capital market participants are able to differentiate between the affectedness of firms with respect to their product portfolio. Energy firms could prevent increases in market beta due to catastrophes such as the Fukushima Daiichi accident by shifting some of their energy production from nuclear to renewable or other sources. [less ▲]

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See detailSustainable economic development and the environment: Theory and evidence
Bertinelli, Luisito UL; Strobl, Eric; Zou, Benteng UL

in Energy Economics (2012), 34(4), 1105-1114

The relationship between growth and pollution is studied through a vintage capital model, where new technologies are more environmentally friendly. We find that once the optimal scrapping age of ... [more ▼]

The relationship between growth and pollution is studied through a vintage capital model, where new technologies are more environmentally friendly. We find that once the optimal scrapping age of technologies is reached, an economy may achieve two possible cases of sustainable development, one in which pollution falls and another in which it stabilizes, or a catastrophic outcome, where environmental quality reaches its lower bound. The outcome will depend on countries’ investment path and their propensity to innovate in environmentally clean technologies, both of which are likely to differ across economies. Empirical results using long time series for a number of developed and developing countries indeed confirm heterogenous experiences in the pollution-output relationship. [less ▲]

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