• Alaska Fuel Price Projections 2013-2035

      Fay, Ginny; Meléndez, Alejandra Villalobos; Pathan, Sohrab; Armagost, Jeffrey (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-06-30)
      The Alaska Fuel Price Projections are developed for the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) for the purpose of estimating the potential benefits and costs of renewable energy projects. Project developers submit applications to AEA for grants awarded under the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund (REF) program process. These fuel price projections are used to evaluate the economic feasibility of project applications; economic feasibility is only one of many factors of the project evaluation process. In this report we present the methodology for the seventh fuel prices projection. In addition to their use for the REF review, the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) uses the projections for other economic research and energy project evaluations. Economists at ISER have completed six previous Alaska Fuel Price Projections since 2008 (all available at: http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/). The fuel price projections fulfill an important need for price information and are used by many stakeholders in addition to AEA. As a result of their broad use among the public, we expanded what used to be cursory notes on methodology. Our intent is to provide more detailed information to the report’s readers and users of the fuel price projections.
    • Analysis of Alaska Transportation Sectors to Assess Energy Use and Impacts of Price Shocks and Climate Change Legislation

      Fay, Ginny; Schwörer, Tobias; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Armagost, Jeffrey (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-04)
      We analyzed the use of energy by Alaska’s transportation sectors to assess the impact of sudden fuel prices changes. We conducted three types of analysis: 1) Development of broad energy use statistics for each transportation sector, including total annual energy and fuel use, carbon emissions, fuel use per ton-mile and passenger-mile, and cost of fuel per ton-mile and passenger-mile. 2) Economic input-output analysis of air, rail, truck, and water transportation sectors. 3) Adjustment of input-output modeling to reflect sudden fuel price changes to estimate the potential impact on industry output and employment. Alaska air transportation used approximately 1.9 billion gallons of fuel annually; 961 million gallons were used for intra-state and exiting Alaska flights. Water transportation used 101.8 million gallons annually, approximately 84.3 million gallons for intra-state and exiting segments. Railroad and truck transportation used 5.1 and 8.8 million gallons annually, respectively. Simulated fuel price increases resulted in an estimated $456.8 million in value-added losses to the Alaska economy through the increase in cost of transportation services, as well as an equivalent loss in income to Alaska household of $26.8 million. A carbon emissions tax would have the greatest impact on the cost of air transportation services followed by water, trucking and rail.
    • Contribution of Land Conservation and Freshwater Resources to Residential Property Values in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough

      Berman, Matthew; Armagost, Jeffrey (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-02)
      Growing interest in quantifying values of ecosystem services has generated numerous studies attempting to measure the contribution of neighborhood environmental amenities to urban and suburban property values. Proximity to freshwater resources -- lakes and streams -- has also figured prominently in many of these studies. Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough, analogous to a county under state law, is a large and rapidly urbanizing local government jurisdiction adjacent to Anchorage, the state’s largest metropolitan area. As the population of the borough grows, and more land becomes subdivided and developed, an important question arises regarding the contribution of remaining undeveloped land and natural amenities to the economy of the borough. Visitors who are attracted to the scenery and recreation opportunities of the borough capture some of that value, and contribute to the borough economy through local purchases of goods and services. Private owners of borough real estate, who are willing to pay more for property located close to natural areas and recreation sites, also appropriate a portion of the value, however. This study focuses on this latter component of value of ecosystem services. It provides estimates of the enhanced value of private residential property and undeveloped land in the Mat-Su borough created by local protected open space and outdoor recreation opportunities. After briefly describing the Mat-Su Borough region, we summarize the valuation methods and the data available for the study. Then we present statistical results, followed by a discussion of the implications of the findings for valuing ecosystem services in the Borough. We conclude with suggestions for future research to improve the estimates.