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Renewable energy and its impact on thermal generation

Christoph Graf and Claudio Marcantonini

Energy Economics, 2017, vol. 66, issue C, 421-430

Abstract: Electricity production from renewable sources generally displaces thermal generation, which leads to lower CO2 emissions in the power sector. However, the intermittent nature of many renewable technologies in combination with less residual demand leads to greater inefficiencies in the operation of existing fossil power plants. This inefficiency translates into a higher rate of emissions relative to output. In this paper we focus on Italian power installations between 2005 and 2014. Using panel econometrics, we show that a 10% increase in photovoltaics and wind infeed has reduced yearly CO2 emissions of the average thermal installation by about 2% while the average plants emissions relative to its output have increased by about 0.3%.

Keywords: Emission factors; Load-cycling; Inefficiency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L94 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q51 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Energy Economics is currently edited by R. S. J. Tol, Beng Ang, Lance Bachmeier, Perry Sadorsky, Ugur Soytas and J. P. Weyant

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