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  • Thumbnail for Drilling for innovation : applying induced innovation theory to the oil and gas industry
    Drilling for innovation : applying induced innovation theory to the oil and gas industry by Daniels, Bryce Delano

    In this study I apply the theory that changing energy prices induce innovation to producers of energy, specifically the oil and gas industry. Using pricing, production and patent data from 1980 – 2011, I model the share of total patents that are applicable to oil and gas as a function of expected future commodity prices, production of each commodity and previous stock of knowledge. In the building of the model, I develop knowledge stock variables and expected future prices specific to the industry. I find a significant, positive and highly elastic correlation between expected commodity prices and innovation, that is in line with previous work and the induced innovation theory.

  • Thumbnail for HOW VERMONT’S RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARD AFFECTS UTILITY RATES
    HOW VERMONT’S RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARD AFFECTS UTILITY RATES by Germain, Pierre

    This study uses the synthetic control method to investigate the impact of a 2015 amendment to the renewable portfolio in Vermont on utility rates. Renewable portfolio standards mandate utility providers to supply a certain percentage of their electricity through renewable sources. The study finds that the new more stringent renewable portfolio standard holds utility prices high. However, the findings are not compelling due to poorly balanced synthetic and real Vermont.

  • Thumbnail for UNINTENDED TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS? AN EVALUATION OF ENERGY USAGE ON HIGHER EDUCATION CAMPUSES WITH CARBON NEUTRALITY GOALS
    UNINTENDED TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS? AN EVALUATION OF ENERGY USAGE ON HIGHER EDUCATION CAMPUSES WITH CARBON NEUTRALITY GOALS by Abbott, Emily Yule

    Climate change is a feedback loop of inequality – both a cause and effect on a global scale. The impacts of which such as rising sea levels, increased incidents of natural disasters, and altered weather patterns disproportionately impact developing countries and vulnerable populations. Climate change is fundamentally caused by consumption – resource-intense lifestyles in rich Western countries. Higher education embraced its role as a leader in the response to climate change through sustainability declarations, such as the Climate Commitment and its carbon neutrality goal. But with a history of failed sustainability declarations, how do we know the Climate Commitment is effective and reduces energy consumption behavior? Using data from 119 higher education institutions in the US, this study builds on behavioral economic energy modelling to predict the likelihood an institution signs onto the Climate Commitment, and how energy usage per capita changes afterward. While the study finds that energy consumption decreases on Climate Commitment campuses between the baseline and performance years, the widespread distribution warrants further investigation into the matter.

  • Thumbnail for Commercial building sustainability : energy modeling and assessment of commercial natatoriums
    Commercial building sustainability : energy modeling and assessment of commercial natatoriums by Urban, Luke

    Commercial natatoriums are a unique fraction of the commercial building sector that are currently unaccounted for in terms of energy audits and retrofits (EARs). Commercial natatorium EARs provide enormous potential for economic, environmental, and social benefit. This thesis will outline current methods for commercial building EARs, create a uniform model for commercial natatorium EARs, as well as investigate the need for commercial natatorium EARs within the commercial building sector.