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TAFV Alternative Fuels and Vehicles Choice Model Documentation

Description: A model for predicting choice of alternative fuel and among alternative vehicle technologies for light-duty motor vehicles is derived. The nested multinomial logit (NML) mathematical framework is used. Calibration of the model is based on information in the existing literature and deduction based on assuming a small number of key parameters, such as the value of time and discount rates. A spreadsheet model has been developed for calibration and preliminary testing of the model.
Date: July 27, 2001
Creator: Greene, D. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Futures-Forward Price Differences and Efficiency in the Treasury Bill Futures Market

Description: This study addressed two issues. First, it examined the ability of two models, developed by Cox, Ingersoll and Ross (CIR), to explain the differences between futures and implicit forward prices in the thirteen-week T-bill market. The models imply that if future interest rates are stochastic, futures and forward prices differ; the structural difference is due to the daily settlement process required in futures trading. Second, the study determined the efficiency of the thirteen-week T-bill futures market using volatility and regression tests. Volatility tests use variance bounds to examine whether futures prices are excessively volatile for the market to be efficient. Regression tests investigate whether futures prices are unbiased predictors of future spot prices. The study was limited to analysis of the first three futures contracts, using weekly price data as reported in the Wall Street Journal from March, 1976 to December, 1984. Testing of the first CIR model involved determination of whether changes in futures-forward price differences are related to changes in local covariances between T-bill futures and bond prices. The same procedure applied in testing the second model with respect to changes in futures-forward price differences, local covariances between T-bill spot and bond prices, and local variances of bond prices. Volatility tests of market efficiency involved comparison of mean variances on both sides of two inequality equations. Regression tests involved determination of whether slope coefficients are significantly different from zero.
Date: May 1986
Creator: Wong, Alan, 1954-
Partner: UNT Libraries

An empirical investigation of common characteristics of commercial banks using standby letters of credit, letters of credit, interest rate swaps, and loan sales

Description: The purpose of this research is to identify common characteristics of commercial banks that are likely to engage in large dollar volumes of OBS financial instruments. Four financial instruments examined are standby letters of credit, letters of credit, interest rate swaps, and loan sales.
Date: December 1991
Creator: Cunningham, Reba Love
Partner: UNT Libraries

Berkeley Program Offers New Option for Financing Residential PV Systems

Description: Readily accessible credit has often been cited as a necessary ingredient to open up the market for residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. Though financing does not reduce the high up-front cost of PV, by spreading that cost over some portion of the system's life, financing can certainly make PV systems more affordable. As a result, a number of states have, in the past, set up special residential loan programs targeting the installation of renewable energy systems and/or energy-efficiency improvements and often featuring low interest rates, longer terms and no-hassle application requirements. Historically, these loan programs have had mixed success (particularly for PV), for a variety of reasons, including a historical lack of homeowner interest in PV, a lack of program awareness, a reduced appeal in a low-interest-rate environment, and a tendency for early PV adopters to be wealthy and not in need of financing. Some of these barriers have begun to fade. Most notably, homeowner interest in PV has grown in some states, particularly those that offer solar rebates. The passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), however, introduced one additional roadblock to the success of low-interest PV loan programs: a residential solar investment tax credit (ITC), subject to the Federal government's 'anti-double-dipping' rules. Specifically, the residential solar ITC--equal to 30% of the system's tax basis, capped at $2000--will be reduced or offset if the system also benefits from what is known as 'subsidized energy financing', which is likely to include most government-sponsored low-interest loan programs. Within this context, it has been interesting to note the recent flurry of announcements from a number of U.S cities concerning a new type of PV financing program. Led by the city of Berkeley, Calif., these cities propose to offer their residents the ability to finance the installation of a PV system ...
Date: July 6, 2008
Creator: Bolinger, Mark A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Costs of U.S. Oil Dependence: 2005 Update

Description: For thirty years, dependence on oil has been a significant problem for the United States. Oil dependence is not simply a matter of how much oil we import. It is a syndrome, a combination of the vulnerability of the U.S. economy to higher oil prices and oil price shocks and a concentration of world oil supplies in a small group of oil producing states that are willing and able to use their market power to influence world oil prices. Although there are vitally important political and military dimensions to the oil dependence problem, this report focuses on its direct economic costs. These costs are the transfer of wealth from the United States to oil producing countries, the loss of economic potential due to oil prices elevated above competitive market levels, and disruption costs caused by sudden and large oil price movements. Several enhancements have been made to methods used in past studies to estimate these costs, and estimates of key parameters have been updated based on the most recent literature. It is estimated that oil dependence has cost the U.S. economy $3.6 trillion (constant 2000 dollars) since 1970, with the bulk of the losses occurring between 1979 and 1986. However, if oil prices in 2005 average $35-$45/bbl, as recently predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, oil dependence costs in 2005 will be in the range of $150-$250 billion. Costs are relatively evenly divided between the three components. A sensitivity analysis reflecting uncertainty about all the key parameters required to estimate oil dependence costs suggests that a reasonable range of uncertainty for the total costs of U.S. oil dependence over the past 30 years is $2-$6 trillion (constant 2000 dollars). Reckoned in terms of present value using a discount rate of 4.5%, the costs of U.S. oil dependence since 1970 ...
Date: March 8, 2005
Creator: Greene, D.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sharing the burden of climate change stabilization: An energysector perspective

Description: In this paper we discuss long-term least cost CO2stabilization scenarios based on the SRES AIM A1B scenario in the contextof an international burden-sharing regime. Starting from a stabilizationtarget, regional emission caps are formulated dynamically on the basis ofpast emissions. With these regional caps, the cost-optimal supply fuelmix in the energy sector in the four SRES world regions is calculated,and lower bounds on the volume of traded carbon are estimated. Theallocation scheme provides incentives for early mitigation action. Weestimate additional regional costs incurred by the allocation scheme, andassess the sensitivity of results to changes in the concentrationceiling, discount rates, and start date for burden sharing.
Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Wagner, Fabian & Sathaye, Jayant
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Application of stochastic differential geometry to the term structure of interst rates in developed markets

Description: This paper deals with further developments of the new theory that applies stochastic differential geometry (SDG) to dynamics of interest rates. We examine mathematical constraints on the evolution of interest rate volatilities that arise from stochastic differential calculus under assumptions of an arbitrage free evolution of zero coupon bonds and developed markets (i.e., none of the party/factor can drive the whole market). The resulting new theory incorporates the Heath-Jarrow-Morton (HJM) model of interest rates and provides new equations for volatilities which makes the system of equations for interest rates and volatilities complete and self consistent. It results in much smaller amount of volatility data that should be guessed for the SDG model as compared to the HJM model. Limited analysis of the market volatility data suggests that the assumption of the developed market is violated around maturity of two years. Such maturities where the assumptions of the SDG model are violated are suggested to serve as boundaries at which volatilities should be specified independently from the model. Our numerical example with two boundaries (two years and five years) qualitatively resembles the market behavior. Under some conditions solutions of the SDG model become singular that may indicate market crashes. More detail comparison with the data is needed before the theory can be established or refuted.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Taranenko, Y. & Barnes, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

RESTORING SUSTAINABLE FORESTS ON APPALACHIAN MINED LANDS FOR WOOD PRODUCTS, RENEWABLE ENERGY, CARBON SEQUESTRATION, AND OTHER ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

Description: The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the biological and economic feasibility of restoring high-quality forests on mined land, and to measure carbon sequestration and wood production benefits that would be achieved from forest restoration procedures. We are currently estimating the acreage of lands in VA, WV, KY, OH, and PA mined under SMCRA and reclaimed to non-forested post-mining land uses that are not currently under active management, and therefore can be considered as available for carbon sequestration. To determine actual sequestration under different forest management scenarios, a field study was installed as a 3 x 3 factorial in a random complete block design with three replications at each of three locations, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. The treatments included three forest types (white pine, hybrid poplar, mixed hardwood) and three silvicultural regimes (competition control, competition control plus tillage, competition control plus tillage plus fertilization). Each individual treatment plot is 0.5 acres. Each block of nine plots requires 4.5 acres, and the complete installation at each site requires 13.5 acres. The plots at all three locations have been installed and the plot corners marked with PVC stakes. GPS coordinates of each plot have been collected. Soil samples were collected from each plot to characterize the sites prior to treatment. Baseline soil carbon was determined for each of the eighty-one plots. Fertility analysis of soil samples was completed and these data were used to prepare fertilizer prescriptions and the pre-designated plots were fertilized. We also evaluated economic-based policy instruments that are designed to mitigate the reforestation burden borne by the owner of reclaimed mined land. Results suggest that although profitability of reforestation of these previously reclaimed mine lands may be achievable on better sites under lower interest rates, substantial payments would be required to reach ''profitability'' under many conditions.
Date: August 4, 2004
Creator: Burger, J.; Galbraith, J.; Fox, T.; Amacher, G.; Sullivan, J. & Zipper, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geysers Unit 18

Description: The geothermal user's viewpoint in this case is somewhat unique. San Diego Gas & Electric Company, by virtue of its activity in geothermal exploration and development since 1972, is in a position to be considered not only a user of geothermal, but a producer as well through the activities of its wholly-owned subsidiary, New Albion Resources Co. As the Supervisor of Fuel Development of SDG&E and the General Manager of NARCO, I can speak from experience on both sides of the negotiating table. I have given advice from the user's point of view to SDG&E's fuel acquisitions people as they labored to negotiate a contract to buy from a geothermal producer of hot water. As General Manager of NARCO, I am in the position of developing geothermal resources and negotiating contracts to sell some of NARCO's heat to third parties. So much for the introduction--How does a utility, such as SDG&E, view risk in today's business climate? The answer to that question is very simple. SDG&E has an allowed rate of return of 10.59%. This is based upon 48% debt, having an imbedded interest cost of 8.1%; 14% preferred stock, at a cost of 8.2% and 42% equity. Out rates are supposed to return 14-112% on this equity. Let me put these numbers in perspective. In early March SDG&E sold $50 million of mortgage bonds which bear an interest rate of 16%. In mid-March we sold 2-112 million shares of common stock for $11.50 per share. The current dividend of $1.52 will yield 13.2% and those dividends are paid after taxes. When money borrowed to build a project costs more than you can earn on the project, there is no incentive to build that project and certainly no incentive to take any risk associated with the project. How does SDG&E ...
Date: December 1, 1980
Creator: Finney, John P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of Federal Energy Savings Performance Contracting -- Methodology for Comparing Processes and Costs of ESPC and Appropriatins-Funded Energy Projects

Description: Federal agencies have had performance contracting authority since 1985, when Congress first authorized agencies to enter into shared energy savings agreements with Public Law 99-272, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. By the end of FY 2001, agencies had used energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) to attract private-sector investment of over $1 billion to improve the energy efficiency of federal buildings. Executive Order 13123 directs agencies to maximize their use of alternative financing contracting mechanisms such as ESPCs when life-cycle cost effective to reduce energy use and cost in their facilities and operations. Continuing support for ESPCs at the Administration and Congressional levels is evident in the pending comprehensive national energy legislation, which repeals the sunset provision on ESPC authority and extends ESPC authority to water savings projects. Despite the Congressional and Presidential directives to use ESPCs, some agencies have been reluctant to do so. Decision makers in these agencies see no reason to enter into long-term obligations to pay interest on borrowed money out of their own operating budgets if instead Congress will grant them appropriations to pay for the improvements up front. Questions frequently arise about whether pricing in ESPCs, which are negotiated for best value, is as favorable as prices obtained through competitive sourcing, and whether ESPC as a means of implementing energy conservation projects is as life-cycle cost effective as the standard practice of funding these projects through appropriations. The lack of any quantitative analysis to address these issues was the impetus for this study. ESPCs are by definition cost-effective because of their ''pay-from-savings'' requirement and guarantee, but do their interest costs and negotiated pricing extract an unreasonably high price? Appropriations seem to be the least-cost option, because the U.S. Treasury can borrow money at lower interest rates than the private sector, but appropriations for energy ...
Date: October 8, 2002
Creator: Hughes, P.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Property Tax Assessments as a Finance Vehicle for Residential PV Installations: Opportunities and Potential Limitations

Description: Readily accessible credit has often been cited as a necessary ingredient to open up the market for residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. Though financing does not reduce the high up-front cost of PV, by spreading that cost over some portion of the system's life, financing can certainly make PV systems more affordable. As a result, a number of states have, in the past, set up special residential loan programs targeting the installation of renewable energy systems and/or energy efficiency improvements, and often featuring low interest rates, longer terms, and no-hassle application requirements. Historically, these loan programs have met with mixed success (particularly for PV), for a variety of reasons, including: (1) historical lack of homeowner interest in PV, (2) lack of program awareness, (3) reduced appeal in a low-interest-rate environment, and (4) a tendency for early PV adopters to be wealthy, and not in need of financing. Although some of these barriers have begun to fade--most notably, homeowner interest in PV has grown in some states, particularly those that offer solar rebates--the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) introduced one additional roadblock to the success of low-interest PV loan programs: a residential solar investment tax credit (ITC), subject to the Federal government's 'anti-double-dipping' rules. Specifically, the residential solar ITC--equal to 30% of the system's tax basis, capped at $2000--will be reduced or offset if the system also benefits from what is known as 'subsidized energy financing', which is likely to include most government-sponsored low-interest loan programs. Within this context, it has been interesting to note the recent flurry of announcements from several U.S cities concerning a new type of PV financing program. Led by the City of Berkeley, California, these cities propose to offer their residents the ability to finance the installation of a PV system using ...
Date: February 1, 2008
Creator: Bolinger, Mark A & Bolinger, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PTC, ITC, or Cash Grant? An Analysis of the Choice Facing Renewable Power Projects in the United States

Description: Renewable power technologies are inherently capital-intensive, often (but not always) with relatively high construction costs and low operating costs. For this reason, renewable power technologies are typically more sensitive to the availability and cost of financing than are natural gas power plants, for example. In the United States, the bulk of renewable project finance in recent years has been provided by 'tax equity investors' (typically large investment banks and insurance companies) who partner with project developers through highly specialized financing structures (Bolinger, 2009; Cory et al., 2008; Harper et al., 2007). These structures have been designed primarily to capitalize on federal support for renewable power technologies, which has historically come in the form of tax credits and accelerated depreciation deductions. The number of tax equity investors active in the renewable power market has declined precipitously, however, as a result of the financial crisis that began unfolding across the globe in the summer of 2008. The resulting shortage and increased cost of project financing has, in turn, slowed the development of new renewable power projects, leading to layoffs throughout the entire industry supply chain. In recognition of the fact that tax-based policy incentives are not particularly effective when tax burdens are shrinking or non-existent, Congress included several provisions in 'The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009' (ARRA 2009) designed to make federal incentives for renewable power technologies more useful. Among these provisions is one that allows projects eligible to receive the production tax credit ('the PTC', see Text Box 1) to instead elect the investment tax credit ('the ITC', see Text Box 2). Another provision enables ITC-eligible projects (which now include most PTC-eligible renewable power projects) to instead receive--for a limited time only--a cash grant of equivalent value. These two provisions (among others) could have a significant impact on how ...
Date: March 11, 2009
Creator: Bolinger, Mark; Wiser, Ryan; Cory, Karlynn & James, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The National Fuel End-Use Efficiency Field Test: Energy Savings and Performance of an Improved Energy Conservation Measure Selection Technique

Description: The performance of an advanced residential energy conservation measure (ECM) selection technique was tested in Buffalo, New York, to verify the energy savings and program improvements achieved from use of the technique in conservation programs and provide input into determining whether utility investments in residential gas end-use conservation are cost effective. The technique analyzes a house to identify all ECMs that are cost effective in the building envelope, space-heating system, and water-heating system. The benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) for each ECM is determined and cost-effective ECMs (BCR > 1.0) are selected once interactions between ECMs are taken into account. Eighty-nine houses with the following characteristics were monitored for the duration of the field test: occupants were low-income, houses were single-family detached houses but not mobile homes, and primary space- and water-heating systems were gas-fired. Forty-five houses received a mix of ECMs as selected by the measure selection technique (audit houses) and 44 served as a control group. Pre-weatherization data were collected from January to April 1988 and post-weatherization data were collected from December 1988 to April 1989. Space- and waterheating gas consumption and indoor temperature were monitored weekly during the two winters. A house energy consumption model and regression analysis were employed to normalize the space-heating energy savings to average outdoor temperature conditions and a 68 F indoor temperature. Space and water-heating energy savings for the audit houses were adjusted by the savings for the control houses. The average savings of 257 therms/year for the audit houses was 17% of the average pre-weatherization house gas consumption and 78% of that predicted. Average space-heating energy savings was 252 therms/year (25% of pre-weatherization space-heating energy consumption and 85% of the predicted value) and average water-heating savings was 5 therms/year (2% of pre-weatherization water-heating energy consumption and 17% of predicted). The overall BCR for ...
Date: January 1, 1991
Creator: Ternes, M.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of the technical report on estimating the impact of key programmatic risk allocation decisions on Phase 1 bids and U.S. Department of Energy costs

Description: The US Department of Energy (DOE) is privatizing the processing of hazardous and radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Site in Washington State. As part of the privatization process, a request for proposals describing the conditions and DOE`s expectations for contractor performance and responsibilities was issued. Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory collaborated to analyze programmatic risks and costs associated with privatization. They examined nine major risks to determine financial impacts on the prospective vendors and DOE for three alternative risk allocations: (1) DOE bears the risk, (2) the vendor bears the risk, or (3) the risk is shared. With the help of a subject-matter expert, each risk was characterized by estimating potential consequences and likelihood of occurrence. A financial risk model was developed to estimate the total cost to DOE for a given risk allocation strategy covering all nine risks. Results showed that it is financially advantageous to DOE to bear some risks, share some others, and assign some to the vendor.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Keisler, J.M. & Buehring, W.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic Predictions for Heat Mining: A Review and Analysis of Hot Dry Rock (HDR) Geothermal Energy Technology

Description: The main objectives of this study were first, to review and analyze several economic assessments of Hot Dry Rock (HDR) geothermal energy systems, and second, to reformulate an economic model for HDR with revised cost components. The economic models reviewed include the following studies sponsored by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)-Cummings and Morris (1979), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)-Murphy, et al. (1982), United Kingdom (UK)-Shock (1986), Japan-Hori, et al. (1986), Meridian-Entingh (1987) and Bechtel (1988). A general evaluation of the technical feasibility of HDR technology components was also conducted in view of their importance in establishing drilling and reservoir performance parameters required for any economic assessment. In this review, only economic projections for base load electricity produced from HDR systems were considered. Bases of 1989 collars ($) were selected to normalize costs. Following the evaluation of drilling and reservoir performance, power plant choices and cost estimates are discussed in section 6 of the report. In Section 7, the six economics studies cited above are reviewed and compared in terms of their key resource, reservoir and plant performance, and cost assumptions. Based on these comparisons, the report estimates parameters for three composite cases. Important parameters include: (1) resource quality-average geothermal gradient (C/km) and well depth, (2) reservoir performance-effective productivity, flow impedance, and lifetime (thermal drawdown rate), (3) cost components-drilling, reservoir formation, and power plant costs and (4) economic factors-discount and interest rates, taxes, etc. In Section 8, composite case conditions were used to reassess economic projections for HDR-produced electricity. In Section 9, a generalized economic model for HDR-produced electricity is presented to show the effects of resource grade, reservoir performance parameters, and other important factors on projected costs. A sensitivity and uncertainty analysis using this model is given in Section 10. Section 11 treats a modification of the economic model for ...
Date: July 1, 1990
Creator: Tester, Jefferson W. & Herzog, Howard J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electricity Generation Cost Simulation Model (GenSim)

Description: The Electricity Generation Cost Simulation Model (GenSim) is a user-friendly, high-level dynamic simulation model that calculates electricity production costs for variety of electricity generation technologies, including: pulverized coal, gas combustion turbine, gas combined cycle, nuclear, solar (PV and thermal), and wind. The model allows the user to quickly conduct sensitivity analysis on key variables, including: capital, O&M, and fuel costs; interest rates; construction time; heat rates; and capacity factors. The model also includes consideration of a wide range of externality costs and pollution control options for carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and mercury. Two different data sets are included in the model; one from the US. Department of Energy (DOE) and the other from Platt's Research Group. Likely users of this model include executives and staff in the Congress, the Administration and private industry (power plant builders, industrial electricity users and electric utilities). The model seeks to improve understanding of the economic viability of various generating technologies and their emissions trade-offs. The base case results, using the DOE data, indicate that in the absence of externality costs, or renewable tax credits, pulverized coal and gas combined cycle plants are the least cost alternatives at 3.7 and 3.5 cents/kwhr, respectively. A complete sensitivity analysis on fuel, capital, and construction time shows that these results coal and gas are much more sensitive to assumption about fuel prices than they are to capital costs or construction times. The results also show that making nuclear competitive with coal or gas requires significant reductions in capital costs, to the $1000/kW level, if no other changes are made. For renewables, the results indicate that wind is now competitive with the nuclear option and is only competitive with coal and gas for grid connected applications if one includes the federal production tax credit of 1.8cents/kwhr.
Date: November 1, 2002
Creator: DRENNEN, THOMAS E. & KAMERY, WILLIAM
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nonenergy Benefits from the Weatherization Assistance Program: A Summary of Findings from the Recent Literature

Description: The purpose of this project is to summarize findings reported in the recent literature on nonenergy benefits attributable to the weatherizing of low income homes. This study is a follow-up to the seminal research conducted on the nonenergy benefits attributable to the Department of Energy's national Weatherization Assistance Program by Brown et al. (1993). For this review, nonenergy benefits were broken into three major categories: (1) ratepayer benefits; (2) household benefits; and (3) societal benefits. The ratepayer benefits can be divided into two main subcategories: payment-related benefits and service provision benefits. Similarly, there are two key types of household benefits: those associated with affordable housing and those related to safety, health, and comfort. Societal benefits can be classified as either environmental, social, or economic. Fig. E.S. 1 presents point estimates of the average lifetime monetary value per weatherized home resulting from low income weatherization programs for the key benefit types listed above. These benefits represent net present value estimates (i.e., estimates of the current worth of all benefits expected over the lifetime of the weatherization measures), assuming a 20-year lifetime for installed energy efficiency measures and a 3.2% discount rate. Overall, societal benefits are estimated to be substantially larger than ratepayer and household benefits. Ranges for the societal benefits are also much greater than for the other two categories of nonenergy benefits. The total monetized value for all nonenergy benefit categories associated with weatherizing a home is estimated to be $3346, in 2001 dollars. This represents a national average which, like any point estimate, has considerable uncertainty associated with it. This figure is substantially higher than the total value of nonenergy benefits presented a decade ago in the national weatherization evaluation (Brown et al. 1993) because the current study quantified a much broader array of benefits than did the earlier ...
Date: April 25, 2002
Creator: Schweitzer, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluating state markets for residential wind systems: Results from an economic and policy analysis tool

Description: The market for small wind systems in the United States, often defined as systems less than or equal to 100 kW that produce power on the customer side of the meter, is small but growing steadily. The installed capacity of domestic small wind systems in 2002 was reportedly 15-18 MW, though the market is estimated to be growing by as much as 40 percent annually (AWEA, 2002). This growth is driven in part by recent technology advancements and cost improvements and, perhaps more importantly, by favorable policy incentives targeted at small wind systems that are offered in several states. Currently, over half of all states have incentive policies for which residential small wind installations are eligible. These incentives range from low-interest loan programs and various forms of tax advantages to cash rebates that cover as much as 60 percent of the total system cost for turbines 10 kW or smaller installed in residential applications. Most of these incentives were developed to support a ran ge of emerging renewable technologies (most notably photovoltaic systems), and were therefore not specifically designed with small wind systems in mind. As such, the question remains as to which incentive types provide the greatest benefit to small wind systems, and how states might appropriately set the level and type of incentives in the future. Furthermore, given differences in incentive types and levels across states, as well as variations in retail electricity rates and other relevant factors, it is not immediately obvious which states offer the most promising markets for small wind turbine manufacturers and installers, as well as potential residential system owners. This paper presents results from a Berkeley Lab analysis of the impact of existing and proposed state and federal incentives on the economics of grid-connected, residential small wind systems. Berkeley Lab has designed the ...
Date: December 1, 2004
Creator: Edwards, Jennifer L.; Wiser, Ryan; Bolinger, Mark & Forsyth, Trudy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

1996-2004 Trends in the Single-Family Housing Market: Spatial Analysis of the Residential Sector

Description: This report provides a detailed geographic analysis of two specific topics affecting the residential sector. First, we performed an analysis of new construction market trends using annual building permit data. We report summarized tables and national maps to help illustrate market conditions. Second, we performed a detailed geographic analysis of the housing finance market. We analyzed mortgage application data to provide citable statistics and detailed geographic summarization of the residential housing picture in the US for each year in the 1996-2004 period. The databases were linked to geographic information system tools to provide various map series detailing the results geographically. Looking at these results geographically may suggest potential new markets for TD programs addressing the residential sector that have not been considered previously. For example, we show which lenders affect which regions and which income or mortgage product classes. These results also highlight the issue of housing affordability. Energy efficiency R&D programs focused on developing new technology for the residential sector must be conscious of the costs of products resulting from research that will eventually impact the home owner or new home buyer. Results indicate that home values as a proportion of median family income in Building America communities are closely aligned with the national average of home value as a proportion of median income. Other key findings: • The share of home building and home buying activity continues to rise steadily in the Hot-Dry and Hot-Humid climate zones, while the Mixed-Humid and Cold climate zone shares continue to decline. Other zones remain relatively stable in terms of share of housing activity. • The proportion of home buyers having three times the median family income for their geography has been steadily increasing during the study period. • Growth in the Hispanic/Latino population and to a lesser degree in the Asian ...
Date: September 5, 2006
Creator: Anderson, Dave M. & Elliott, Douglas B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wind turbine reliability :understanding and minimizing wind turbine operation and maintenance costs.

Description: Wind turbine system reliability is a critical factor in the success of a wind energy project. Poor reliability directly affects both the project's revenue stream through increased operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and reduced availability to generate power due to turbine downtime. Indirectly, the acceptance of wind-generated power by the financial and developer communities as a viable enterprise is influenced by the risk associated with the capital equipment reliability; increased risk, or at least the perception of increased risk, is generally accompanied by increased financing fees or interest rates. This paper outlines the issues relevant to wind turbine reliability for wind turbine power generation projects. The first sections describe the current state of the industry, identify the cost elements associated with wind farm O&M and availability and discuss the causes of uncertainty in estimating wind turbine component reliability. The latter sections discuss the means for reducing O&M costs and propose O&M related research and development efforts that could be pursued by the wind energy research community to reduce cost of energy.
Date: March 1, 2006
Creator: Walford, Christopher A. (Global Energy Concepts. Kirkland, WA)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wind turbine reliability : understanding and minimizing wind turbine operation and maintenance costs.

Description: Wind turbine system reliability is a critical factor in the success of a wind energy project. Poor reliability directly affects both the project's revenue stream through increased operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and reduced availability to generate power due to turbine downtime. Indirectly, the acceptance of wind-generated power by the financial and developer communities as a viable enterprise is influenced by the risk associated with the capital equipment reliability; increased risk, or at least the perception of increased risk, is generally accompanied by increased financing fees or interest rates. Cost of energy (COE) is a key project evaluation metric, both in commercial applications and in the U.S. federal wind energy program. To reflect this commercial reality, the wind energy research community has adopted COE as a decision-making and technology evaluation metric. The COE metric accounts for the effects of reliability through levelized replacement cost and unscheduled maintenance cost parameters. However, unlike the other cost contributors, such as initial capital investment and scheduled maintenance and operating expenses, costs associated with component failures are necessarily speculative. They are based on assumptions about the reliability of components that in many cases have not been operated for a complete life cycle. Due to the logistical and practical difficulty of replacing major components in a wind turbine, unanticipated failures (especially serial failures) can have a large impact on the economics of a project. The uncertainty associated with long-term component reliability has direct bearing on the confidence level associated with COE projections. In addition, wind turbine technology is evolving. New materials and designs are being incorporated in contemporary wind turbines with the ultimate goal of reducing weight, controlling loads, and improving energy capture. While the goal of these innovations is reduction in the COE, there is a potential impact on reliability whenever new technologies are introduced. ...
Date: November 1, 2004
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financing Strategies For A Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facility

Description: To help meet the nation’s energy needs, recycling of partially used nuclear fuel is required to close the nuclear fuel cycle, but implementing this step will require considerable investment. This report evaluates financing scenarios for integrating recycling facilities into the nuclear fuel cycle. A range of options from fully government owned to fully private owned were evaluated using DPL (Decision Programming Language 6.0), which can systematically optimize outcomes based on user-defined criteria (e.g., lowest lifecycle cost, lowest unit cost). This evaluation concludes that the lowest unit costs and lifetime costs are found for a fully government-owned financing strategy, due to government forgiveness of debt as sunk costs. However, this does not mean that the facilities should necessarily be constructed and operated by the government. The costs for hybrid combinations of public and private (commercial) financed options can compete under some circumstances with the costs of the government option. This analysis shows that commercial operations have potential to be economical, but there is presently no incentive for private industry involvement. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) currently establishes government ownership of partially used commercial nuclear fuel. In addition, the recently announced Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) suggests fuels from several countries will be recycled in the United States as part of an international governmental agreement; this also assumes government ownership. Overwhelmingly, uncertainty in annual facility capacity led to the greatest variations in unit costs necessary for recovery of operating and capital expenditures; the ability to determine annual capacity will be a driving factor in setting unit costs. For private ventures, the costs of capital, especially equity interest rates, dominate the balance sheet; and the annual operating costs, forgiveness of debt, and overnight costs dominate the costs computed for the government case. The uncertainty in operations, leading to lower than optimal processing ...
Date: July 1, 2006
Creator: Shropshire, David & Chandler, Sharon
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financing Strategies for Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facility

Description: To help meet our nation’s energy needs, reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is being considered more and more as a necessary step in a future nuclear fuel cycle, but incorporating this step into the fuel cycle will require considerable investment. This report presents an evaluation of financing scenarios for reprocessing facilities integrated into the nuclear fuel cycle. A range of options, from fully government owned to fully private owned, was evaluated using a DPL (Dynamic Programming Language) 6.0 model, which can systematically optimize outcomes based on user-defined criteria (e.g., lowest life-cycle cost, lowest unit cost). Though all business decisions follow similar logic with regard to financing, reprocessing facilities are an exception due to the range of financing options available. The evaluation concludes that lowest unit costs and lifetime costs follow a fully government-owned financing strategy, due to government forgiveness of debt as sunk costs. Other financing arrangements, however, including regulated utility ownership and a hybrid ownership scheme, led to acceptable costs, below the Nuclear Energy Agency published estimates. Overwhelmingly, uncertainty in annual capacity led to the greatest fluctuations in unit costs necessary for recovery of operating and capital expenditures; the ability to determine annual capacity will be a driving factor in setting unit costs. For private ventures, the costs of capital, especially equity interest rates, dominate the balance sheet; the annual operating costs dominate the government case. It is concluded that to finance the construction and operation of such a facility without government ownership could be feasible with measures taken to mitigate risk, and that factors besides unit costs should be considered (e.g., legal issues, social effects, proliferation concerns) before making a decision on financing strategy.
Date: December 1, 2005
Creator: Shropshire, David & Chandler, Sharon
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Capture of Heat Energy from Diesel Engine Exhaust

Description: Diesel generators produce waste heat as well as electrical power. About one-third of the fuel energy is released from the exhaust manifolds of the diesel engines and normally is not captured for useful applications. This project studied different waste heat applications that may effectively use the heat released from exhaust of Alaskan village diesel generators, selected the most desirable application, designed and fabricated a prototype for performance measurements, and evaluated the feasibility and economic impact of the selected application. Exhaust flow rate, composition, and temperature may affect the heat recovery system design and the amount of heat that is recoverable. In comparison with the other two parameters, the effect of exhaust composition may be less important due to the large air/fuel ratio for diesel engines. This project also compared heat content and qualities (i.e., temperatures) of exhaust for three types of fuel: conventional diesel, a synthetic diesel, and conventional diesel with a small amount of hydrogen. Another task of this project was the development of a computer-aided design tool for the economic analysis of selected exhaust heat recovery applications to any Alaskan village diesel generator set. The exhaust heat recovery application selected from this study was for heating. An exhaust heat recovery system was fabricated, and 350 hours of testing was conducted. Based on testing data, the exhaust heat recovery heating system showed insignificant effects on engine performance and maintenance requirements. From measurements, it was determined that the amount of heat recovered from the system was about 50% of the heat energy contained in the exhaust (heat contained in exhaust was evaluated based on environment temperature). The estimated payback time for 100% use of recovered heat would be less than 3 years at a fuel price of $3.50 per gallon, an interest rate of 10%, and an engine operation of ...
Date: December 31, 2008
Creator: Lin, Chuen-Sen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department