University of Surrey

Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC)


SEEC hosts and/or organises a number of different events.

No SEEC events are currently planned

Some previous events include:

17th May 2017
Paolo Agnolucci & Vincenzo De Lipsis, UCL, ‘Energy Consumption Across UK Industrial Subsectors’.
The importance of considering homogenous economic agents when estimating energy demand functions is recognized in the literature, but so far data availability problems have explained the prevalence of empirical analyses only at an aggregate level. Motivated by the goal of developing the new industrial energy consumption model to be adopted by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), we propose the first cointegration analysis that provides evidence on energy demand elasticities with respect to economic activity and energy price at a disaggregated industrial level. While the average of our estimates are comparable to those of the existing literature on the industrial sector as a whole, we find that there is considerable heterogeneity in relation to the long-run impact of economic activity and energy price on energy consumption, as well as to the speed with which firms re-adjust their equilibrium demand of energy in response to economic shocks. Moreover, we discover that long-run disequilibria are tackled through altering the level of energy consumption rather than economic activity, a conclusion that has useful implications for policy analysis. As time series for industrial subsectors at the two-digit SIC level with a length similar to the dataset used in this study are increasingly becoming available, we would welcome application of our approach to industrial subsectors in other countries to start building evidence on energy demand elasticities which reflect the structural peculiarities of firms belonging to different industrial subsectors.

10th May 2017
Xiaoyi (Shawn) Mu, University of Dundee, ‘Asymmetric Volatility in Commodity Markets’.
This paper examines the relationship between return volatility and the level of returns in commodity markets. We develop a simple commodity price framework and show that the volatility of price changes can be positively or negatively related to demand shocks depending on the demand and supply elasticities. We empirically examine the behaviour of volatility using both time-series conditional volatility models and monthly realized volatility measures for a range of commodities including agricultural products, energy, industrial metals and precious metals. An “inverse leverage effect” – the conditional volatility is higher following a positive shock -- is found in about half of the daily spot price series. The effect becomes more prevalent when jumps were modelled, but largely disappears in 3-month futures market. Only crude oil is found to exhibit a “leverage effect” – a higher volatility follows a negative shock.

22nd March 2017.
Subhes Bhattacharyya, De Montfort University, ‘Economics of mini-grids for electricity access in developing countries’.
Around 1.2 billion people lacked access to electricity in 2014. Recent initiatives like the SE4ALL and the launch of Sustainable Development Goals with Goal 7.1 specifically on energy access have set a target of ensuring universal energy access by 2030. There is a long tradition of supporting rural electrification by the state and international community and electricity access has often relied on grid extension but it is now recognised that alternative options have to be pursued given the magnitude of the challenge. Alternative solutions come in two generic forms – stand-alone systems and local-grid systems. Various studies suggest that nearly 60% of the additional generation will come from off-grid, a majority of which will be mini-grids. This talk will consider the factors influencing the economics of mini-grid projects and discuss the trends in this emerging market. Support mechanisms and enabling environment to promote mini-grid based electrification will also be considered.

29th March 2017.
Michael Pollitt, University of Cambridge, ‘Restructuring the Chinese Electricity Supply Sector: Lessons from International Experience’.
We begin with a brief background to the current Chinese power market reforms which began with the No.9 Document of March 2015. We introduce 14 different electricity reform elements from international experience. Under each of these reform elements we will discuss: its theoretical significance; general reform experiences with it; and its application in the Chinese context. Our motivation is how China might bring down the industrial price of electricity. We identify four promising sources of price reduction: the introduction of economic dispatch of power plants; rationalisation of electricity transmission and distribution; reduction of high rates of investment; and rebalancing of electricity charges towards residential customers. We conclude with some overall lessons and identify some important points for future research into Chinese power market reform.

Click here for details of events prior to 2017.


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