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- ItemEnergy, Economic, and Social Impacts of a Clean Energy Economic Policy: Fuel Cells Deployment in Delaware(Energy Policy, 2020-09) Chen, Wei-Ming; Kim, HanaClean energy-related economic policy is designed to promote new energy technology and vigorous economic development. However, this type of policy is typically implemented and evaluated separately in the economic and energy sectors: comprehensive assessments are rarely done. This study analyzes the policy effectiveness of a clean energy-related economic policy in Delaware from energy, economic, and social perspectives. In 2011, the Delaware government provided generous economic incentives to attract California-based Bloom Energy to establish a fuel cell industry in the state. After eight years of operation, Bloom’s fuel cells demonstrated high-efficiency performance (45%). However, the company has not met the goals of job creation and payroll additions that it had promised to the Delaware government. In addition, public debate has arisen regarding the Qualified Fuel Cell Provider Project (QFCP), a special tariff for Bloom Energy. This paper concludes that when a government provides economic incentives to support new technology development, public acceptance should also be considered, particularly when the policy brings long-term social obligations and effects. Cost-sharing equity, decision making transparency, and knowledge enhancement are issues. Lessons learned from this case are applicable to a broader context.
- ItemChanges in Energy and Carbon Intensity in Seoul’s Water Sector(Sustainable Cities and Society, 2018-06-07) Chen, Wei-Ming; Kim, HanaThe water sector accounts for a significant proportion of the total energy consumption in urban areas; therefore, that sector can contribute to energy transition in urban areas. Seoul, South Korea has promoted the use of renewable energy and sewer heat as part of city-wide energy transition efforts. This study built energy consumption inventories for the urban water cycle in Seoul for 2012 and 2015 and investigated changes in net energy intensity and corresponding net carbon intensity during that period. It found that Seoul’s energy transition efforts reduced net energy intensity in the water sector from 5.83 MJ/m3 in 2012 to 5.42 MJ/m3 in 2015, even with the increased use of energy-intensive advanced water treatment technology. In addition, this study estimated that about 8.52% of the water sector’s current energy consumption could be saved in 2020 if 18.4 million m3/year of water were reused and 2.40 million m3/year of rainwater were harvested. This study showed a way to extend energy transition efforts into the urban water sector by reducing energy demand through reducing water demand.
- ItemApplication of an Institutional Assessment and Design (IAD)-Enhanced Integrated Regional Energy Policy and Planning (IREPP) Framework to Island States(Sustainability, 2020-04-01) Chen, Wei-Ming; Shah, Kalim U.; Sashwat, Roy; Niles, Keron; Surroop, DineshThe integrated regional energy policy and planning (IREPP) framework was devised to evaluate the feasibility of energy policies in meeting declared national targets. While the framework advances the comprehensiveness of the feasibility assessment by bringing in concepts like environment economic equity, the muted way in which institutional factors and capacity are addressed remains weak and ineff ective. Here, we corrected this weakness by presenting an IREPP framework that is enhanced by integrating principles of the institutional assessment and design (IAD) framework. The IAD framework emphasizes the careful consideration of contextual factors, it draws attention to the full range of transaction costs, and does not presume a priori that one type of institutional arrangement. This IREPP-IAD framework was used to evaluate the feasibility of energy policies in three different island jurisdictions—Taiwan, Mauritius, and Trinidad and Tobago. With ambitious national targets, these islands are good testing grounds for this updated approach. Through qualitative comparative case study analysis, several institutional factors were found to play an influence if national energy policies are likely to meet set targets. These factors included: government/policy decision makers and the decision/policymaking environment; governance structure and commitment for energy policy; existing policy instruments and tools that are in play and those planned; polycentricity; stakeholder participation and community building; market dynamics; information transparency; pilot programs and technology innovations/research; compliance or responsibilities under the Paris Accord; grid connectivity and monitoring of the policy implementation progress. This study contributes in two ways. First, by providing a more robust framework for assessing institutional arrangements that moderate how energy policies are implemented and second, providing insightful assessments of the energy policies in three island jurisdictions, thereby increasing our understanding of island energy policymaking and implementation in these understudied geographies.
- ItemCircular Economy and Energy Transition: A Nexus Focusing on the Non-Energy Use of Fuels(Energy & Environment, 2019-05-27) Chen, Wei-Ming; Kim, HanaGiven emerging concerns about climate change, low-carbon energy transition is advocated and promoted. Non-energy use of fossil fuels accounted for 8.9% of the world’s total final energy consumption in 2015. Non-energy use intensity does not show an evident reduction, while energy intensity as fuel per dollar of gross domestic product has decreased thanks to energy transition efforts such as energy efficiency promotion and renewable energy expansion. This study conducted an extensive review of the circular economy and energy transition frameworks, and found that the energy transition framework has a critical gap, so it cannot provide a foundation for investigating non-energy use. This study suggests that the energy transition discourse needs to be extended to incorporate the transition of non-energy use and the achievement of a closed loop of non-energy use, which is part of the circular economy framework. The coordinated circular economy–energy transition approach could bring in synergistic effects, such as promoting circular economy activities among industries, reducing energy demand, and attaining additional greenhouse gas mitigation potential.
- ItemThe U.S. Electricity Market Twenty Years after Restructuring: A Review Experience in the State of Delaware(Utilities Policy, 2019-02-13) Chen, Wei-MingElectricity industry restructuring in the United States, which began in the 1990s, was aimed at enhancing market competitiveness and lead to efficient resource allocation and cost reduction. The state of Delaware was one of the earliest adopters of restructuring and has gained more than 20 years of experience. The retail customers in a restructured market had greater opportunities to choose between electricity generators. However, this research compares electricity prices and finds that restructured states have higher electricity rates than non-restructured states. A better understanding of the welfare and satisfaction of electricity customers in the context of re-structuring is needed.