Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Energy Transition and Decarbonization: Essays at the Intersection of Policy and Technology
by Becker, Jonathon M., Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines, 2020, 315; 27964584
Abstract (Summary)

The chapters in this dissertation comprise three separate works exploring the economics of mineral, energy, and environmental policy. In the first chapter, I use analytical and computational methods to examine the output and welfare responses to a tradable performance standard (TPS) under price-responsive demand, long-lived investment, capacity constraints, and foresighted decision-making. The results validate much of the pre-existing work within the environmental economic policy literature, in that the TPS is more costly than a period-over-period emissions equivalent cap (CAP) when costs are summed across an infinite time horizon from start to finish. However, when discounting is present, after the costly transition to the steady-state has taken place and the steady-state is reached, the present value of the perpetual stream of net-benefits that defines the steady-state is greater under the TPS in most cases. This suggests that some classes of future generations—particularly those less-endowed with wealth—stand to benefit from a TPS as opposed to a CAP. The second chapter uses applied general equilibrium modeling to understand the effect on the U.S. consumer of a disruption to Chinese cobalt supply. The results suggest that a Chinese cobalt supply disruption is small and that electric vehicle adoption plays a key role in diversifying the channels for cost-reduction in the event of a Chinese export ban or other extreme supply disruption. This work can help policy-makers prioritize upstream and downstream mineral policy goals into the coming decade. The third chapter uses an applied general equilibrium model of North-South trade to explore the ability of regional climate policy to induce innovation in end-of-pipe carbon-saving technology at home and abroad. The results suggest that carbon-saving technologies such as carbon-capture and storage have unique benefits in terms of reducing carbon leakage and reducing costs associated with policy designed to curb global greenhouse gas emissions. This work highlights benefits associated with a specific class of technology that should be considered by policymakers at the forefront of the global climate policy debate.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carbone, Jared C.
Commitee: Lange, Ian, Gilbert, Benjamin, Steinberg, Daniel, Mohagheghi, Salman
School: Colorado School of Mines
Department: Economics and Business
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, Public policy, Energy
Keywords: Cobalt, Complementarity modeling, Computable general equilibrium, Induced technology change, Technology diffusion, Tradable performance standard
Publication Number: 27964584
ISBN: 9798662436237
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