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Article
Endogenous Substitution among Energy Resources and Global Warming
Journal of Political Economy (1997)
  • Ujjayant N Chakravorty, Tufts University
  • James Roumasset
  • Kin-Ping Tse
Abstract
The theory of resource extraction has focused primarily on extraction when there is a single, homogeneous demand for the resource. In reality, however, we observe the simultaneous extraction of different resources such as oil, coal, and natural gas and multiple demands such as transportation, residential and commercial heating, and electricity generation. This paper develops a model with multiple resources and grades and multiple demands. The model is simulated with extraction cost, estimated reserves, and energy demand data for the world economy. It is shown that if historical rates of cost reduction in the production of solar energy are maintained, more than 90 percent of the world's coal will never be used. The world will move from oil and natural gas use to solar energy. Global temperatures will rise by only about 1.5-2 degrees centigrade by the middle of the next century and then decline steadily to preindustrial levels, even without carbon taxes. These results are significantly lower than those predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and suggest that the case for global warming may be seriously overstated.
Publication Date
1997
Citation Information
Ujjayant N Chakravorty, James Roumasset and Kin-Ping Tse. "Endogenous Substitution among Energy Resources and Global Warming" Journal of Political Economy (1997)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chakravorty/29/