Five Almost-Practical Policies to address High Energy Costs in Remote Alaska SWAMC Conference

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Five Almost-Practical Policies
to address High Energy Costs
in Remote Alaska
SWAMC Conference
February 2006
Steve Colt
UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research
[email protected]
The Problem:
High energy COST = High energy PRICE
dollars per million Btu
30
25
18.5
20
15
10
5
5
0
Anchorage gas @
$5/Mcf
Remote place diesel @
$2.50 gal
However,
Price is Not Cost
• Very easy to reduce the price of
things in remote Alaska
– rolled-in pricing (First-class mail)
– subsidized services (bypass mail)
– cost-shifting (Bill the School District!)
• Much harder to reduce the cost – the
overall resources used to provide
energy when, where, how people need
it
Physics Reminder:
Energy is converted from one
form to another
• Electricity is an energy “currency,”
not a primary energy source
• Hydrogen is an energy currency too!
• Example: Your Toaster
Solar energy plantsNatural
GasElectricityHeat
(toast + low-grade heat)
Primary energy consumption per
Alaskan
Primary Energy Input per Alaskan
barrels
oil per person per year
Barrels of Oil per Year
60
Wood and all other
50
Other petroleum
40
Gasoline
30
Diesel
Hydro
20
Coal
10
Natural Gas
Alaska
Gas
Network
PCE
places
Other
How we use it: about 900
gallons/person/year
small
engine 163
electricity
278
gal/person
large
engine 78
community
heat 105
home
space/wtr
heat 270
almost practical Policy #1:
Reduce the Energy Bill
Practical because:
• Alaska is overwhelmingly a Seller of
Energy.
• Overall, We are in GREAT FISCAL
SHAPE when oil prices rise.
Arrows not to Exact Scale!
trillion btu
Overall Disposition of Energy
5,000
net consump
4,000
elec losses
3,000
2,000
1,000
0
-1,000
product import
product export
crude export
re-injected
used for xtraction
gross extraction
Oil & gas processing (462
used up
8%
other
product
13%
distillate
7%
gasoline
10%
trillion btu)
Oil and gas processing
462 trillion btu
LNG
16%
ammonia &
urea
11%
jet fuel
35%
Exports (2,140
5,000
trillion btu
Motor
Gasoline
4,000
1%
Liquid Natural
Gas,
Ammonia,
and Urea
4%
3,000
2,000 Jet Fuel
5%
1,000
0
Exports: total 2,140
trillion btu)
Coal
net consump
1%
elec losses
product import
product export
crude export
re-injected
Oil
used forCrude
xtraction
89%
gross extraction
-1,000
Jet fuel exports are to foreign flights
Reduce the Energy Bill:
Details
• Fully fund PCE, with sliding funding
when diesel prices are high
• Community energy assistance tied to
rising and falling oil prices
almost practical policy #2:
Make PCE a Lump-Sum Payment
Practical because:
• Relatively easy to create a fair
formula using existing data and
program delivery channels
• Might also REDUCE program admin
costs
Make PCE Lump-sum:
Details
• Reward utilities for efficiency
improvements
• Reward entrepreneurs for new
technologies
• Reward consumers for being frugal
– Preserve the Price Signal!
almost practical policy #3:
Pre-Fund Energy Costs as part of a
Capital Project
Practical because:
• We spend a lot of money on the
“capital” budget
• It’s a proven, prudent way to build
sustainable infrastructure
– Most private universities require this
Pre-Fund Energy Costs as Part of a
Capital Project:
Details
• Include an energy (and maintenance?)
endowment in all appropriations
• Maintain endowments in escrow;
• Make payments partly as lump-sum
amounts to encourage efficient
facility design
almost practical Policy #3A:
Include Life-Cycle Energy Costs in
Evaluation of the “Low Bid”
Practical because:
• Communities could do on their own
• Rewards designers for efficient
design rather than penalizing them
for higher capital costs
almost practical Policy #4:
Focus State capital $$ on EnergySaving infrastructure, Away from
Energy-Using Infrastructure
Practical because:
• You save the most $$ with up-front
efficient design
• It’s a proven, prudent way to build
sustainable infrastructure
– Most private universities require this
almost practical policy #5:
Focus State R&D dollars on Adaptation
of Emerging Technologies
Practical because:
• Feds and private sector are
conducting major efforts
• Alaska is a unique market niche with
harsh conditions
Focus on Adaptation:
Details
• Continue support for wind technology,
focus on shared O&M
• Pilot projects:
–
–
–
–
Direct Hydrogen combustion in vehicles
Small-scale coal gasification
Coal-bed methane
Biodiesel utilization
Changing Mix of U.S.
Primary Energy Sources
[email protected]
www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu
•
Other references:
•
Alaska Electric Power Statistics (with Alaska Energy Balance)
1960-2001 by Scott Goldsmith, November 2003.
http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/Publications/akelectricpowerfin
al.pdf
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