Energy and Us: Sources, Uses, Technologies, Economics, Policies and the Environment

Encyclopedia of Energy, Natural Resource, and Environmental Economics

Fossil fuels dominate the power sector and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. However, their share of the energy generation market is expected to decline from 68 percent in to 57 percent in For , the share of renewable energy in the global energy consumption was estimated at around The valuation of renewable energy is expected to hit billion by China's adoption of the technology would generate value greater than that derived from the European Union, United States, and Japan put together.

This would propel the sector to greater heights with its share in power generation rising from 20 percent in to 31 percent in making it the leading source of the world's energy. Within the European Union, renewable energy had a The amount of renewable energy produced within the region increased by The renewable energy sector is almost evenly divided between modern and traditional renewable sources. Modern renewables include solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal. Traditional renewables include biomass, which is usually employed in rural regions of developing countries.

Of the global energy market share, modern renewables contributed an estimated 8. Hydropower is one of the biggest renewable sources of energy. As of , it supplied about 3.

Browse this book

Emissions taxes restrict costs by allowing polluting sources to pay a tax on the amount they emit, but because there are no emission limits, taxes leave open the possibility that pollution may be excessively high. Subsidies are forms of financial government support for activities believed to be environmentally friendly. These approaches are appealing to policymakers because they often combine the certainty associated with a given emissions standard with the flexibility of allowing firms to pursue the least costly abatement method. Policy-makers have two broad types of instruments available for changing consumption and production habits in society. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads.

The most dramatic growth is expected from the solar energy sector. Some reports suggest that the sector will experience 25 to 50 percent growth in Over a hundred countries — an even mix of developing and developing countries — have set renewable energy targets. The European Union, in particular, has defined an ambitious goal of acquiring 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by Some of the major changes would include:. Making the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources could provide the much-needed kick to the economy.

Among all renewable sources of energy, bioenergy arguably has the most lasting influence, locally and regionally.

This could be due to the fact that the fuel is created, prepared and transported within a small area. It is also extremely labor-intensive. Hydropower and wind power constructions create most jobs during the project development and construction phase.

After the system is completed and commissioned, only a few personnel are required to carry out the limited operational work. Production of renewable energy is usually more efficient compared to traditional energy.

  • !
  • Défis tome 2 (FICTION) (French Edition)?
  • Recycling (a short story)?
  • iPhone SDK Application Development: Building Applications for the AppStore.
  • Economic Incentives.
  • One Small Step!
  • !

The American Wind Energy Association claims that a sufficient number of wind plants — that could be built in four years — could eliminate the gas shortage. All other forms of renewable energy sources also turn out to be way cheaper than traditional non-renewable sources. What this means for consumers is that they can save money on their utility bills. How Startups Fuel Regional Economies. For many years, environmentalists have argued for the adoption of renewable energy as a replacement for traditional energy resources.

Today, governments and corporations are singing the same tune simply because it makes good business sense. Consider General Electric, for example, which leads the wind energy market in the United States. They launched a grassroots campaign to promote renewable energy by showcasing a foot wind turbine in a few states. Such campaigns aim to spread awareness about renewable energy and its many advantages. However, several countries have already moved towards renewable energy.

Providers in such countries have seen the tremendous impact renewable energy can have on the bottom-line. Subsidies are forms of financial government support for activities believed to be environmentally friendly. Rather than charging a polluter for emissions, a subsidy rewards a polluter for reducing emissions.

Economic Topics

Examples of subsidies include grants, low-interest loans, favorable tax treatment, and procurement mandates. Subsidies have been used for a wide variety of purposes, including: While subsidies offer incentives to reduce emissions similar to a tax, they also encourage market entry to qualify for the subsidy. Deposit-refund systems are a prominent example of a Tax-Subsidy incentive approach. Take, for example, a beverage container recycling program. First, a product charge or tax is initiated that increases the upfront cost of purchasing the container.

Second, a subsidy is rewarded to the consumer for recycling or properly disposing of the container. Deposit-refund systems are also available for lead-acid batteries, automobile parts, pesticide containers, propane gas containers, large paper drums, and beer keys. Pollution standards set specific emissions limits, and thereby reduce the chance of excessively high damages to health or the environment but may impose large costs on polluters.

Economic Incentives | Environmental Economics | US EPA

Emissions taxes restrict costs by allowing polluting sources to pay a tax on the amount they emit, but because there are no emission limits, taxes leave open the possibility that pollution may be excessively high. A combination of standards and pricing mechanisms, referred to as a "safety-valve", may be used to limit both costs and pollution in these cases. This combination imposes the same emissions standard on all polluters and all polluters are then subject to a unit tax for emissions in excess of the standard.

This policy combination has some attractive features. First, if the standard is set properly, proper protection of health and the environment will be assured since the standard provides protection against excessively damaging pollution levels. Second, high abatement cost polluters can defray costs by paying the emissions fee instead of cleaning up.

Liability assignment is most often targeted at producers of waste or emissions that are easily identifiable and hazardous to public health. The purpose of liability is to not only hold polluters accountable for the proper management and disposal of their waste or emissions, but also for cleanup and remediation costs. There are two major U.

These two laws not only give polluters an incentive to make more careful and socially conscious decisions, but also hold them financially responsible to the victims of pollution. Information disclosure programs are designed to influence firm behavior through the dissemination of information on items such as production processes, labor standards, and pollution levels, to the federal, state and local government agencies, or to the public.

Fiscal Policy and Stimulus: Crash Course Economics #8

By making business owners, employees, shareholders and customers a part of the regulatory process, all parties have an incentive to practice behavior that is socially responsible. Both voluntary and mandatory reporting programs exist in the United States. An EIS is a report specifying potential environmental damages and alternative approaches to the agency action to minimize adverse impacts.

Labeling schemes are widely used voluntary reporting programs. Generally, a non-profit organization or government agency sets standards for a product to meet environmentally sustainable goals. Voluntary programs are useful for policy-makers who wish to test potential policy options or who want to encourage better production or consumption practices. Goals of voluntary actions include providing participating firms with a competitive edge firms that participate in a voluntary program might have larger social appeal than those that do not , increase-value added to businesses, and reduce pollution.

Most voluntary programs are designed and implemented by the U. There are several benefits available to companies who wish to join a voluntary program. First, participation can improve their public image. Second, the program might offer technical or other types of assistance in exchange for participation. Third, because voluntary programs are sometimes initiated as a pilot test to a regulation, participation can help the company to more quickly transition to a formal law, and possible limit potential litigation and monitoring and enforcement costs.

Learn about Energy and its Impact on the Environment

A general problem with voluntary action programs is that it is quantitatively difficult to assess the success of the program. Program evaluators have developed several statistical methods, however, to research success rates. The selection of the most appropriate market-based incentive or hybrid regulatory approach depends on a wide variety of factors, including:. The first is the failure of firms or consumers to integrate into their decision-making the impact of their production or consumption decisions on entities external to themselves. Market-based or hybrid instruments that incorporate the costs of environmental externalities from pollution i.

The second type of market failure is the inability of firms or consumers to make optimal decisions due to lack of information on investment options, available abatement technologies, or associated risks. Information disclosure or labeling are often suggested when this occurs because policy makers believe that private and public sector decision-makers will act to address an environmental problem once information has been disseminated.

Energy and the Environment

Renewable energy sources include solar, wind, water, snow, and rain. In addition to not having an adverse impact on the environment, these energy sources will never The United States too is focused on transforming from a carbon-intensive can adoption of this technology translate into economic benefits for nations?. Renewable energy sources and technology. 4. Energy Security, Energy Access, Social and Economic development, Climate Change Mitigation, and reduction of environmental and health impacts. .. In , renewable energy sources supplied 22% of the total world energy generation (U.S. Energy.

The use of a particular market-oriented approach is often directly associated with the nature of the environmental problem. Do emissions derive from a point source or a non-point source? Do emissions stem from a stock or flow pollutant? Are emissions uniformly mixed or do they vary by location? Does pollution originate from stationary or mobile sources? Point sources, which emit at identifiable and specific locations, are much easier to identify and control than diffuse and often numerous non-point sources, and therefore are often amenable to the use of a wide variety of market instruments.

Although non-point sources are not regulated under EPA, the pollution emitted from a non-point source is. This makes the monitoring and control of non-point source emissions a challenge. In instances where both point and non-point sources contribute to a pollution problem, a good case can be made for a tax-subsidy combination or a tradable permits system.

Under such a system, emissions from point sources might be taxed while non-point source controls are subsidized. Flow pollutants tend to dissipate quickly, while stock pollutants persist in the environment and tend to accumulate over time. While it is possible to rely on a wide variety of market and hybrid instruments for the control of flow pollutants, stock pollutants may require strict limits to prevent bioaccumulation or detrimental health effects at small doses, making direct regulation potentially more appealing.

If the limit is not close to zero, then a standard-and-pricing approach or a marketable permit approach that defines particular trading ratios to ensure that emission standards are not violated at any given source are potentially practical options. These same instruments are appealing when pollutants are not uniformly mixed across space. In this case, it is important to account for differences in baseline pollution levels, and in emissions across more and less polluted areas. Stationary sources of pollution are easier to identify and control through a variety of market instruments than are mobile sources.

Highly mobile sources are usually numerous, each emitting a small amount of pollution.