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Emissions savings from wind power generation: Evidence from Texas, California and the Upper Midwest

Daniel Kaffine, Brannin J. McBee () and Jozef Lieskovsky ()
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Brannin J. McBee: Elustria Capital
Jozef Lieskovsky: Bentek Energy LLC

No 2012-03, Working Papers from Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business

Abstract: Wind power has the potential to reduce emissions associated with conventional electricity generation. Using detailed, systemic hourly data of wind generation and emissions from plants in ERCOT (Texas), CAISO (California), and MISO (Upper Midwest), we estimate the SO₂, NOₓ and CO₂ emissions offset by wind generation in those territories. Our estimation strategy implicitly captures both the marginal unit of generation displaced by wind on the electrical grid, and the marginal emissions reduction from that displaced unit. Our results reveal substantial variation in emissions reduction by territory, which appear to be strongly driven by differences in the existing generation mix. While the environmental benefits from emissions reductions in the Upper Midwest roughly cover government subsidies for wind generation, environmental benefits in Texas and California fall short.

Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2012-07
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