Anshuman Sahoo

  • Research Associate, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Research Fellow, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
  • Knight Managemnet Center
  • 655 Knight Way
  • Stanford, CA 94305
  • asahoo 'at' stanford 'dot' edu

Research interests: Energy/environmental, behavioral, and public economics; Applied econometrics

Overview of Research

Published Papers
The two papers in Energy Policy below study the effectiveness of a Domestic Content Requirement (DCR). The first provides an ex-ante analysis, while the second provides an ex-post evaluation of its performance in the first phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Mission.

The Effectiveness of Domestic Content Criteria in India's Solar Mission
With Gireesh Shrimali
Abstract: Often, a goal of renewable energy policies is the development of domestic renewable energy technology manufacturing capacity. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (NSM) in India is an example; besides targeting an installation of 20GW of grid-tied solar power capacity, it includes a domestic content requirement (DCR) to strengthen a solar photovoltaic manufacturing base. We ask whether the DCR of the NSM will be effective in ensuring the global competitiveness of the beneficiary sector. Our analysis reveals three observations that indicate this outcome is unlikely: (1) the manufacturing base has become less competitive over time, (2) developers may be favoring thin-film technology, thereby bypassing the DCR, which applies specifically to crystalline silicon cells and modules, and (3) gaps in the Indian innovation system are likely to prevent a return to competitiveness by solar photovoltaic manufacturers. In particular, a comparison with the Chinese innovation system indicates shortcomings in the Indian innovation system of R&D capabilities, coordination of resource provision and complementary industrial strengths. Given these observations, we suggest that policymakers remove the solar photovoltaic DCR from the NSM.
Article in Energy Policy via ScienceDirect
Working paper version

Has India's Solar Mission been effective at deploying domestic content?
With Gireesh Shrimali
Abstract: The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), India's flagship policy for solar energy deployment, includes an increasingly strict Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) intended to promote the domestic crystalline photovoltaic solar industry. We examine the impact of the JNNSM DCR on the utilization of domestic modules. Using a plant level database of approximately 250 plants, we show that the first and weaker version of the policy in the JNNSM Batch I promoted the use of domestic crystalline silicon technology in place of foreign crystalline silicon technology. However, the second and stricter version of the policy in the JNNSM Batch II has not been as effective: it has promoted the use of foreign thin film modules in place of foreign crystalline silicon modules. This analysis shows that upon tightening the DCR requirements between JNNSM Batches I and II, Indian policymakers allowed for leakage to foreign thin film modules. DCR policies need to be comprehensive to ensure that the intended goal of using only domestic content is realized; in doing so, however, policymakers should carefully assess the welfare impacts of such comprehensive restrictions.
Article in Energy Policy via ScienceDirect

Submitted Paper

Time of Use Pricing and the Levelized Cost of Intermittent Electricity Generation
With Stefan Reichelstein
Abstract: An important characteristic of most renewable energy sources is their intemittent pattern of electricity generation. Yet, intermittency is usually ignored in life-cycle cost calculations intended to assess the competitiveness of electric power from renewable as opposed to dispatchable energy sources, such as fossil fuels. This paper demonstrates that for intermittent renewable power sources a traditional life-cycle cost calculation should be appended by a correction factor which we term the Co-Variation coefficient. It captures any synergies, or complementarities, between the time-varying patterns of power generation and pricing. We estimate the Co-Variation coefficient for specific settings in the western United States. Our estimates imply that the benchmark of cost competitiveness for solar PV power is 10-15% lower than average life-cycle costs have suggested. In contrast, the generation pattern of wind power exhibits complementarities with electricity pricing schedules, yielding a cost competitiveness assessment 10-15% above that suggested by traditional calculations.
Working paper version
Currently revising submitted manuscript for publication in a journal

Refereed conference paper

Engaging the Human in the Design of Residential Energy Reduction Applications
With June Flora, Alex Liptsey-Rahe, Annie Scalmanini, Brian Wong, Shaun Stehly, and Banny Banerjee.
Abstract: Most online energy conservation interfaces assume that information provision is sufficient to induce behavior change and energy use reductions. A gap between behavioral theory and field practice partly explains why interfaces have not achieved this goal. In this paper, we describe a research program on human centered interactive interface design that bridges this gap with consumer based investigation of two energy reduction interfaces: Kidogo and Powerbar. Kidogo allows users to donate savings from energy conservation to public goods. In the first study, which examines Kidogo components, we investigate how alternative beneficiaries help users to connect emotionally with saving energy. In our second study, comparing Kidogo and Powerbar interventions, we investigate the ability of affectively and cognitively framed interfaces to persuade individuals to perform conservation behaviors. The first study suggests that interfaces should use negative valence images to establish an emotional connection, and the second provides evidence that affectively framed interfaces promote willingness to perform conservation behaviors.
2012 International Conference on Collaborative Technologies and Systems, Denver, Colorado, May 2012
Full paper

Business Cases and Teaching Notes

KiOR - The Quest for Cellulosic Biofuels
With Stefan Rosenthal and Sara Reichelstein
Case E427, Stanford GSB Case Series, 2013

Teaching Note for KiOR - The Quest for Cellulosic Biofuels
With Stefan Reichelstein
Teaching Note E427-TN, Stanford GSB Case Series, 2013
Case and note available from Harvard Business School Press

Working paper

Carbon Capture and Storage in the U.S.: Fact or Fiction - Two Paths to 2030 in Burgelman, R.A. and A.S. Grove, Toward Electric Cars and Clean Coal: A Comparative Analysis of Strategies and Strategy-Making in the U.S. and China
With J. Perencevich and K. Shattuck
Research Paper 2048, Stanford GSB Research Paper Series, 2010
Full paper

Work in progress

Cost- and Price Dynamics of Solar PV Modules
With Stefan Reichelstein
Details: We derive a model of economically sustainable prices (ESPs) for solar PV modules. These prices emerge from a model of full costs, which we inform with a database of cost data we have recently built. We use our estimates of ESPs to determine whether recently observed low prices for modules reflect true cost reductions or overcapacity in the solar market.
Presentation to the Stanford Energy Seminar

The Impact of Optionality on Measures of Cost Competitiveness
With John Bistline, Stephen Comello and Stefan Reichelstein
Details: This paper derives an accrual-based cost measure that can guide long-run investment decision-making in the presence of uncertainty and managerial flexibility. In particular, we apply the real options literature to explicitly account for uncertainty and managerial flexibility.

Negative Dividends: Internality Losses can Outweigh Externality Gains
With Nik Sawe
Details: We develop a theoretical framework for the evaluation of policy instruments that impact both internalities and externalities. We apply this framework to choice data to highlight three points. First, though behavioral policy interventions are often justified by their potential to reduce external costs, their impacts on individuals' choice processes and subsequent welfare must be considered. Second, behavioral policy can impose a cost on individuals' welfare that is larger than the gain from externality reductions. Third, the impact of behavioral instruments depends on the choice set assumed available to the consumer.
Description at Precourt Energy Efficiency Center

Time Preferences, Future Self-Continuity, Asset Allocation and Asset Holdings
With Hal Hershfield, Brian Knutson and Nik Sawe
Details: In a national sample of 1,550 U.S. homeowners, we examine how differences in future time preferences, as assessed by both financial temporal discounting and a measure of future self-continuity, influence the lifetime accumulation of assets, as well as the allocation of those assets across cash and equities.