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Renewables | Policies | Politics
Terms in this set (60)
Standing plans that indicate the general course of action that should be taken in response to a particular event or situation. Guidelines used in making consistent decisions.
Why do we need policies to support renewables?
(n.) something new, a change; the act of introducing a new method, idea, device, etc.
How consumer demand leads to product development or diffusion.
Push marketing is defined as a promotional strategy in which a business attempts to get their message in front of their potential customers without them having a desire or interest to buy the product or learn more about it.
List some broad policies relating to renewables (4)
1. Tax incentives
3. Emissions pricing
The study of economy-wide phenomena, including inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.
The pathway a product takes to becoming mainstream.
Approximately list the steps of an innovation process. (5)
1. research ideas
3. enter the market with MVP
4. try certain niches
What is an often occurrence along the innovation process?
Feedback... can be at every step.
Why do technologies become cheaper? (3)
1. The producers and consumers learn more about the product so become better at making and using it.
2. The uncertainty around it decreases so borrowing costs are lowered.
3. When production increases, costs of production decrease.
Learning by doing and by using, e.g. producers will get better with practice at making their product, consumers will get better with practice at using the product.
Economies of scale
Factors that cause a producer's average cost per unit to fall as output rises. The more you make the cheaper they are to make.
What is innovation of renewables technology potentially slowed down by?
Renewables aren't offering anything new, electricity has been used since 1800ish.
Banks fear of the unknown.
Once a technology is released to the world what tends to happen, despite patents?
People copy and replicate it, they may also invent things to be used alongside it.
An example of a modern "hitchhiking" technology
Apps on mobile phones.
Valley of Death
Marketing term for the gap in financing between a prototype (or alternatively, a promising result in applied research) and an innovation or business launch. The costs are generally highest at this point.
A situation in which one party to an economic transaction has less/different information than the other party.
How can a product/producer be helped through the valley of death? (5)
2. finding the know stuff !
3. money input
4. deployment support programmes
5. research help
When was the first commercially available solar PV device in US?
When did the US government launch a major research and development and public procurement programme for solar PV?
Wen did Japan create the worlds first rooftop subsidiaries programme?
When did Germany pass the feed-in-tariff for PV?
By how much did the market for PV increase when Germany passed the feed-in-tariff?
How have the development and production of solar PV and the same countries installation of PV grown?
They have grown together, it appears now that the countries supply their own demand. (graph shows from 1992-2016)
Polycrystalline Solar PV
Monocrystalline solar PV
What trends can be seen in government funding for research into energy production and the price of oil? Why?
The funding follows the price of oil.
Probably because the price of oil rises as known reserves become less, and the reminder is that oil is finite.
Who do the governments give grant/money to for research and development into renewable technology?
Subsidies etc, make a product/service cheaper so others will invest in it.
Give people a grant for installation and generation of energy.
Feed in Tariff
A system whereby utilities are mandated to buy power from anyone who can generate power from renewable energy sources and feed it into the electrical grid. When prices are set at a premium, this can act as a powerful mechanism to promote the spread of renewable energy technologies.
Renewable Portfolio Standards
A government mandate that a certain percentage of energy use come from renewable energy resources.
(or diesel retailers to blend in a certain percentage of biodiesel)
What is the renewable portfolio standards known as in the UK?
The renewables obligation
How is renewable energy generation on the renewable portfolio standard monitored?
Why is the renewable portfolio standard a good method of supporting renewables?
There is no fixed price, it creates demand and so a mini market which will make the price. Is very neutral.
Fixed feed in tariff
Generated electricity is given a fixed price per mWh. Set for about 15 years. Secure. Price offered to new investors might change, as it will be calculated based on the actual cost of electricity.
Degression of fixed costs
Whereby the costs usually go down based on the current market for new investors.
What can be a downside (for the governments) to feed in tariffs? (1)
The price of electricity comes down very quickly and the governments have to pay the generators a higher fee than the market value.
What can be a plus side for all involved in feed in tariffs? (3)
1. low risk
3. accessible for small actors (households etc)
Agreed upon price
Feed in tariff with auction
Government holds auction to set the price for the tariff of a specific amount of energy, suppliers can bid their price for each block of energy, lowest wins. The suppliers will need to build the tech to make the energy.
What can go wrong with a feed in tariff auction? and what contingencies are in place?
If there are not enough companies bidding it won't work.
The suppliers can bid too low and be unable to fulfil the contract.
There are penalties for non-delivery to prevent this.
Do feed in tariff auctions favour large or small actors? Why?
Large as they can handle the costs, the risk and the complexity.
What types of things affect the politics of renewables? (4)
3. Current political climate
4. Landscape damage
Who pays for renewable energy subsidies?
The energy consumer, there are usually taxes within the energy bills.
Levy Control Framework
To control the costs of supporting low carbon electricity, paid for through consumers' energy bills. Puts a cap on how much can be paid by/taken from consumers.
What is the role of the media in renewable support costs?
To inform the public of them and let people know how and why the money is being taken from them, what it is all for etc.
What can utilities companies do in regards to renewable support costs?
Either declare them clearly on the bill and give full information on them or hide them and not mention it.
How might governments avoid negative reaction to renewables policy costs? (6)
1. Educate and inform public
2. Be honest
3. Show plan for decrease
4. Let people know that is not forever
5. Make it a general tax rather than just consumers paying (but I guess everyone uses electricity)
6. Government could borrow more money and take the cost upon themselves.
Why is the subsidies on energy bills an unfair way of doing it?
Generally poorer households spend proportionately more on energy so will be penalised more.
Why do the public tend to oppose on shore wind farms?
Landscape degradation, mostly visual.
What made it easy for an anti-wind movement to mobilise in the UK?
Lack of homegrown wind, we don't manufacture the turbines etc so there was no job market supported by it.
Who are the big six utility companies in the UK...
1. British Gas
2. EDF energy
3. E.ON UK
4. N Power
5. Scottish Power
What are some utilities companies opposed to ? Why?
Households putting solar PV on their roofs, because it means there is less demand for energy from the utilities and so they get less revenue.
Utility Death Spiral
The possibility that as grid maintenance costs go up and the capital cost of renewable energy moves down, more customers will be encouraged to leave the grid. In turn, that pushes grid costs even higher for the remainder of customers, who then have even more incentive to become self-sufficient. Meanwhile, utilities are faced with a growing accumulation of unused assets.
Adopts net metering policy. Drove uptake of solar PV by households. Reduces demand for electricity, so utilities start getting less revenue overall, and raise rates per unit, which drives more households to invest in solar...
Will renewables need policies in the future?
Unlikely as they are now competitive.
What is needed to help us to reach the Paris agreement target for renewables?
Huge investments about £1T
International Energy Agency IEA
Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.
What does the IEA do?
The International Energy Agency provides data, analysis, and solutions on all fuels and technologies.
What do renewable policies help to create and what does this mean for the policies...?
Renewables policies create politics, both for and against, which can then feed back to strengthen or weaken the policy.
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