(Not So) Clean Peak Energy Standards

22 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2020

See all articles by Jeffrey Shrader

Jeffrey Shrader

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Christy Lewis

WattTime

Gavin McCormick

WattTime

Isabelle Rabideau

WattTime

Burcin Unel

Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law

Date Written: December 10, 2019

Abstract

Growth in electricity storage has the potential to increase emissions from power generation. Concerns about this outcome are currently prompting many policies to address the issue. We study a particularly popular policy proposal called the “Clean Peak Standard” that incentivizes storage to discharge during periods of high electricity demand. The stated goal of the policy is to shift storage discharge to offset production from generators with high pollution emissions. We show that the policy is largely ineffective at achieving this emissions reduction goal. The policy reinforces existing incentives faced by storage operators, so it does not have a strong effect on discharging behavior. It is also unable to capture high-frequency changes in marginal operating emissions rates. Alternative policies, such as a carbon tax, are more effective at reducing the emissions increase caused by storage. Policymakers considering Clean Peak-style policies should instead consider these alternative policies.

Keywords: Energy storage; Marginal Emissions; CO2; Incentives; Policy

JEL Classification: Q42, Q48, Q54

Suggested Citation

Shrader, Jeffrey and Lewis, Christy and McCormick, Gavin and Rabideau, Isabelle and Unel, Burcin, (Not So) Clean Peak Energy Standards (December 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3502271 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3502271

Jeffrey Shrader (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jeffreyshrader.com

Christy Lewis

WattTime ( email )

Oakland, CA

Gavin McCormick

WattTime ( email )

Oakland, CA

Isabelle Rabideau

WattTime ( email )

Oakland, CA

Burcin Unel

Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law ( email )

139 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012
United States

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