Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Business and Economics


Mark C. Roberts


This thesis attempts to find the least-cost strategy to reduce CO2 emission by replacing coal by other energy sources for electricity generation in the context of the proposed EPA’s regulation on CO2 emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. An ARIMA model is built to forecast coal consumption for electricity generation and its CO2 emissions in Michigan from 2016 to 2020. CO2 emission reduction costs are calculated under three emission reduction scenarios- reduction to 17%, 30% and 50% below the 2005 emission level. The impacts of Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the intermittency of renewable energy are also discussed. The results indicate that in most cases natural gas will be the best alternative to coal for electricity generation to realize CO2 reduction goals; if the PTC for wind power will continue after 2015, a natural gas and wind combination approach could be the best strategy based on the least-cost criterion.