economics

Dam Proposed for South Fork Skykomish Would be an Economic Loser

July 16, 2013

Dam proposed for South Fork Skykomish would be an economic loser
New Analysis Reveals Extreme Unprofitability of Proposed Sunset Falls Hydropower Project

Contact:

States: 
Region: 
File attachments: 
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Sunset%20Falls%20Synopsis%20Final%20%282%29.pdf

Economic Benefits of Watershed Restoration

Source: 
Wildlands CPR
Year: 
2009
Abstract: 

The primary economic difficulty that watershed restoration faces is that there are relatively few markets for its products. In economic-speak, this is a market failure in the provision of watershed restoration. Because of this market failure, collective action, often in the form of government intervention, usually occurs in order to pay for restoration activities. Many government programs, and society at large, typically require the benefits of an activity to outweigh its costs. Thus it is important to quantify the economic benefits arising from watershed restoration. Measured by damage caused, willingness to pay, political referenda, averted expenditures, travel costs incurred, and changes in housing values, researchers consistently conclude that watershed restoration has significant economic benefits. Watershed restoration projects have other economic impacts as well, directly and indirectly employing many people, and potentially contributing to the long-term viability and growth of communities. However, restoration advocates face hurdles in justifying restoration on economic grounds due to the vague nature of nonmarket valuation, long timescales required for achieving a positive return on investment in certain restoration projects, and unknown incremental benefits of watershed restoration in increasing the natural amenity qualities of communities.  

Author(s): 

Josh Hurd

Contact: 
Notes: 
Category: 

Hydropower and the Environmental Commodities Markets in the U.S

Source: 
Waterpower XVI
Year: 
2009
Abstract: 

The United States is currently one of the many countries across the globe which continues to work towards implementing mechanisms focused on mitigating anthropogenic carbon emissions. In the U.S., markets and the market-like instruments which are employed within them, known most commonly as carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates (RECs), are the tools which encourage the development of renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions. These market-based incentives have the potential to significantly endorse or impede hydropower, dependent upon the potential interaction of science and politics.The implications of the voluntary and compliance markets on alternative and renewable energy affect both the future development of power plants, as well as the management of existing facilities. Case studies demonstrating the financial impacts of these markets on hydropower projects are presented, which highlight the regulatory requirements in place for hydropower and other renewable power plants. The paper concludes with a discussion of what the future may hold for the environmental commodities markets and the role of the hydropower industry within them.

Author(s): 

Kathleen King, Bruno Trouille, David Walters

Contact: 
Notes: 
Category: 

Environmental Constraints on Hydropower: An Ex Post Benefit-Cost Analysis of Dam Relicensing in Michigan

Source: 
Land Economics
Volume: 
82 (3)
Year: 
2006
Abstract: 

We conduct a benefit-cost analysis of a relicensing agreement for two hydroelectric dams in Michigan. The agreement changed daily conditions from peaking to run-of-river flows. We consider three categories of costs and benefits: producer costs of adapting electricity production to the new time profile of hydroelectric output; benefits of reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; and benefits of improved recreational fishing. The best estimates suggest that the aggregate benefits are more than twice as large as the producer costs. The conceptual and empirical methods provide a template for investigating the effects of an environmental constraint on hydroelectric dams. 

Author(s): 

Kotchen, Matthew J., Michael R. Moore, Frank Lupi, and Edward S. Rutherford

Contact: 
Notes: 
Category: 
File attachments: 

Pages