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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Essays on the Impact of Climate Change and Building Codes on Energy Consumption and the Impact of Ozone on Crop Yield

  • Author(s): Aroonruengsawat, Anin
  • Advisor(s): Auffhammer, Maximilian
  • et al.

Part I is a joint paper with Maximilian Auffhammer. The study simulates the impacts of higher temperatures resulting from anthropogenic climate change on residential electricity consumption for California. Flexible temperature response functions are estimated by climate zone, which allow for differential effects of days in different temperature bins on households' electricity consumption. The estimation uses a comprehensive household level dataset of billing data for California's three investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison). The results suggest that the temperature response varies greatly across climate zones. Simulation results using a downscaled version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research global circulation model suggest that holding population constant, total consumption for the households considered may increase by up to 55% by the end of the century.

Part II is a joint work with Maximilian Auffhammer and Alan Sanstad. We study the impacts of state level residential building codes on per capita residential electricity consumption. We construct a timeline of when individual states first implemented residential building codes. Using panel data for 48 US states from 1970-2006, we exploit the temporal and spatial variation of building code implementation and issuance of building permits to identify the effect of the regulation on residential electricity consumption. Controlling for the effect of prices, income, and weather, we show that states that adopted building codes followed by a significant amount of new construction have experienced detectable decreases in per capita residential electricity consumption - ranging from 3-5% in the year 2006. Allowing for heterogeneity in enforcement and code stringency results in larger estimated effects.

In the last part, I estimate the impact of ground level ozone on corn and soybean yields using nation-wide county-level data and ozone measures for the U.S. during 1990-2006. The implementation of the NOx Budget Trading Program (NBP) aiming to reduce NOx and thus ozone during the growing season is used as an instrument to control for endogeneity in the yield regression. The estimated elasticites of soybean and corn yield with respect to seasonal mean ozone concentrations are -0.60 and -0.57 respectively. The estimated elasticities of crop yield with respect to maximum ozone concentrations are higher suggesting a nonlinear relationship. A back of the envelope calculation shows that soybeans and corn loss from a one standard deviation increase in mean ozone during growing season is about $5 billion dollars. The NBP program reduces the value of crop losses by 2.19 billion for soybeans and 3.2 billion dollars corn during 2003 to 2007.

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