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Completed Research


2022

Power Systems Modeling & Infrastructure Analysis, Ad Hoc Studies: MARKAL to ECIO Translation I

Researchers: Randall Jackson and Peter Jarosi

Start Date: September 29, 2021

End Date: October 31, 2022

Funding Agency: NETL, $30,000

Project Summary: This activity focused on enhancing the accuracy of the power source production functions that are used in translating the technology deployments predicted by energy market models (such as MARKAL) to the inputs required by the NETL/WVU Econometric Input-output (EICO) model.


NETL Economic Modeling and General Program Benefits, Ad Hoc Studies: ECIO Technical Documentation I 

Researchers: Randall Jackson and Peter Jarosi

Start Date: September 29, 2021

End Date: October 31, 2022

Funding Agency: NETL, $20,000

Project Summary: The objective of this Technical Direction is to develop an updated documentation of the NETL/WVU Econometric Input-output model (ECIO).


ARC Coal Industry Ecosystem (CIE) Update and Extensions 

Researchers: Randall Jackson and Peter Jarosi

Start Date: May 1, 2021

End Date: June 30, 2022

Funding Agency: ARC, $96,660

Project Summary: This project focuses on updating mine productivity data for use in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Coal Industry Ecosystem (CIE) county economic risk calculations. An index/advanced scoring methodology was devised to generate a single numeric score for any country or multi-county region and an algorithm for fast turnaround scoring and ranking of regions defined and specified as single or multi-county regions was developed and implemented for the 2022 POWER initiative award process.


ECIO Python Port and Updates: Supplements 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7

Researchers: Randall Jackson (PI) and Peter Jarosi, RRI West Virginia University.

StarDate: 5/1/2017

End Date: 10/31/2022

Funding Agency: NETL, $423,040

Project Summary: Update the Python based ECIO tool and employ it to provide economic impact assessments of shock-cases relative to reference cases. The ECIO model will be used to evaluate the economic impacts of potential coal power plant retirements and the potential impacts of extending the life of existing units based on NEMS forecasts. The updates will include the following tasks:

  • Regional Modeling enhancements: Development and implementation of regional impacts forecasts
  • Development and implementation of region-specific power generation technology mix enhancements
  • ECIO Model Documentation


2021

ARC Coal Industry Ecosystem (CIE) Analysis Extensions: Prospectus 

Researchers: Randall Jackson, Peter Jarosi, John Deskins, Eric Bowen, Christiadi, Brian Lego, Heather Stephens, Elham Erfanian, West Virginia University; Jilleah G. Welch, Matthew N. Murray, University of Tennessee

Start Date: July 1, 2019 

End Date: August 31, 2021

Funding Agency: ARC, $500,000 (RRI portion $395,078)

Project Summary: This project focuses on Appalachian coal-based employment, production data and forecasts using tables, maps, and diagrams. Through a conventional shift-share analysis on a subset of high-interest counties, the researchers will identify the unique characteristics of structural economic change in these regions and will perform an analysis for implementing a power industry ecosystem. Existing industrial clusters for five county or multi-county regions will be examined to identify industries and clusters with high potential for economic development in each region and while also evaluating gaps and strengths for these clusters  using location quotients, shift-share methods, and input-output methods. This project will also support the investigation of states’ efforts to empower treatment and recovery programs.To help the region target scarce resources to support regional prosperity, researchers will look at which industries or occupations contribute more to regional growth.


Modeling Economics of Advanced Alloy Development

Researchers: Randall W. Jackson, John Deskins and Eric Bowen

Start Date: January 10, 2019

End Date: June 30, 2021

Funding Agency: NETL, $59,100

Project Summary: Boiler tube failures cause 168 hours of downtime per year and average annual revenue losses of $3 million to $15 million for 300MW - 1 GW+ coal units. Advanced materials being developed by NETL have the potential to make substantial improvements in coal-fired unit availability, saving the industry both operational time and money. The resulting report from this project outlines the potential economic impact of improvements in unit availability for the use of these advanced materials and identifies other uses and benefits of advanced alloy in the power plant.


2020

Developing a SAM to Support the Economic Analysis of Introducing a New Pulp Mill to the Appalachian Coalfields Region

Researchers: Randall Jackson, Gi-Eu Lee

Start Date: January 5, 2020

End Date: March 31, 2020

Funding Agency: The Nature Conservancy, $19,755

Project Summary: As part of a SNAPP project focusing on the Appalachian Coalfields, a computable general equilibrium (CGE) analysis of the impacts of introducing a pulp mill to the region was conducted. CGE modeling frameworks rely on a social accounting matrix (SAM) for calibration of model parameters. Data are available that can be processed to more accurately represent the pulp mill industry in the SAM, which can then be used as the foundation for the CGE model and analysis.


2019

Economic Analysis of Natural Gas Markets

Researchers: Randall W. Jackson, John Deskins and Eric Bowen.

Start Date: May 1, 2019 

End Date: December 31, 2019

Funding Agency: NETL, $15,255 (RRI portion $3,902)

Project Summary:  To enable the continued expansion of production of natural gas, oil and NGLs, additional infrastructure will be necessary. Market awareness and company awareness, along with detailed analysis shall support a better understanding of the potential for sustained or increased production of natural gas,oil and NGLs. We will discuss the potential for economic growth within the Appalachian region, including growth of natural as development, petrochemical and other related industries.


Sugar Grove Naval Base Area Economic Development Resource Needs Assessment and Strategic Action Plan

Researchers: John Deskins (PI), Eric Bowen, Christiadi, Brian Lego, WVU Bureau of Business & Economic Research; Randall Jackson, WVU RRI; Patrick Kirby and Kate Greene, WVU Brownfields Assistance Center; and M Miller Development Services, LLC

Start Date: 3/2/2018

End Date: 6/30/2019

Funding Agency: Department of Defense, $269,800 (RRI portion $12,550) 

Project Summary: A multi-disciplinary team of experts prepared a plan to promote economic development in West Virginia’s Potomac Highlands region now that the naval base has closed. The Potomac Highlands region comprises Pendleton, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy and Mineral counties. Together, these areas form the Region 8 Planning and Development Council.

The team identified the impacted region, assessed its economic and demographic data, identified growth potential by industry and by occupation, identified “at risk” occupations, inventory skill requirements, identified industry certifications, and analyzed economic development gaps.

Working together with local community and regional leaders, a strategic plan was developed with the goal being to attract new businesses.


2018

An Economic Analysis of the Coal Industry Ecosystem in Appalachia

Researchers: Randall Jackson and Peter Jarosi, WVU RRI; John Deskins (PI), Eric Bowen, Christiadi, Brian Lego, WVU Bureau of Business & Economic Research; Peter Schaeffer, Davis College; Mark L. Burton, Rebecca J. Davis, Matthew Murray, University of Tennessee

Start Date: 10/01/2016

End Date: 07/31/2018

Funding Agency: ARC, $349,999 (RRI portion $250,016)

Project Summary: The decline of the coal industry across Appalachia has crushed much of its economic activity. Alternative energy sources increased environmental pressures, and mining technologies that operate with a reduced work force are behind this economic decline. Researchers will examine three major areas: identifying all components of the coal ecosystem and estimating the supply chain impacts in Appalachia; examining the implications of the coal industry’s downturn on the area’s transportation; and developing a typology of regional economies that surround the coal-fired plants in the region using both econometric and input-output techniques. For each Appalachian county, the team will determine how employment and wages are affected by county CIE dependence scores, key suppliers and purchasers, county   distress scores, county risk scores, and spatial vulnerability indices and will look at how coal will affect long-run changes to freight transportation costs. 


West Virginia University – Support for the International Forum on Unconventional Gas Sustainability and the Environment (INFUSE)

Researchers: Tim Carr (PI) Geology and Geography, West Virginia University; Randall Jackson, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University; Paul Ziemkiewicz, National Research Center for Coal and Energy Environmental Technology, West Virginia University; Shawn Grushecky, Natural Resources and Design Forestry and Natural Resources, West Virginia University; Shikha Sharma, Geology and Geography, West Virginia University; Thomas Wilson, Geology and Geography, West Virginia University; Michael McCawley, Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, West Virginia University; Kashy Aminian, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, West Virginia University; Ali Takbiri Borujeni, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, West Virginia University; Ebrahim Fathi, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, West Virginia University.

Start Date: 09/23/2015

End Date: 05/31/2018

Funding Agency: US Department of State $750,000 (RRI portion $41,406)

Project Summary: Coordination of international outreach and education related to the International Forum on Unconventional Gas Sustainability and the Environment (INFUSE). The overall goal was to increase international understanding of how proper drilling, hydraulic fracturing and water management can reduce environmental risks and lead to sustainable resource development. This would enable government officials to better understand the unique safety, environmental, and social challenges associated with the development of unconventional resources and best practices to address those challenges. Based on our experience from the Marcellus and Utica shale intervals in West Virginia and the Appalachian basin, we documented scientific, technical, policy and environmental lessons learned in our region that are appropriate for different countries and regions. The research program had a flexible structure that will work to supplement and accommodate the requirements of effective overseas outreach. 


Marcellus Shale Energy Environmental Laboratory (MSEEL)
Researchers: WVU and The Ohio State University

Researchers: WVU and The Ohio State University

Start Date: 10/01/2014

End Date: 03/31/2018

Funding Agency: DOE/NETL and Northeast Natural Energy $7,770,226 (RRI portion $41,736)

Project Summary: This information is taken from  WVUToday.

“As the Appalachian Region feels the impact of the burgeoning shale-energy industry, a consortium of researchers and industrial partners led by West Virginia University, with the assistance of The Ohio State University, will conduct the first-ever long-term, comprehensive field study of a natural resource that has changed the country’s – and the world’s – energy supply. The team will identify and demonstrate technologies required for best practices in environmentally responsible shale development, from drilling to completion through production. The U.S. Department of Energy will allow the research team to create and manage the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory, a field site and dedicated research laboratory at the Morgantown Industrial Park. The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory will allow the team to address critical gaps of knowledge of the characterization, basic subsurface science, and completion and stimulation strategies that enable more efficient resource recovery from fewer wells with reduced environmental impact. The primary objectives of the project include providing a long-term research site with an existing well and documented production and environment baseline from two previously completed wells. A dedicated scientific-observation well will be used to collect detailed subsurface data and to monitor and test technologies in additional wells to be drilled periodically over the project lifetime. The site also offers a unique opportunity to enable an open, collaborative and integrated program of science and technology development and testing to minimize environmental impacts while maximizing economic benefits.” 


2017

Impact of Sequestration Tax Credits and CCS R & D

Researchers: Randall Jackson, Peter Jarosi

Start Date: 03/16/2017

End Date: 09/30/2017

Funding Agency: NETL, $15,482

Project Summary: The Econometric Input-Output (ECIO) model, is a time-series enabled hybrid econometric input-output (IO) model that combines the capabilities of econometric modeling with the strengths of IO modeling. It is designed to facilitate the estimation of economic (specifically, employment and income) impacts of energy technology development, deployment, and operation over a forecast period consistent with the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS), providing a consistent and comprehensive method for quantifying NETL's programmatic impacts. Researchers performed ECIO runs including post-processing on two NEMS scenarios investigating the Impact of Sequestration Tax Credits and CCS R&D.


Economic Analysis of Energy Alternatives and Policies for WV

Researchers: Levan Elbakidze (PI) Agricultural and Resource Economics, West Virginia University and Randall Jackson, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.

Start Date: 05/19/2016

End Date: 06/30/2017

Funding Agency: The Nature Conservancy, $77,716 (RRI portion $9,376)

Project Summary: As the United States transitions to a low carbon future, there is a need to determine what policies, programs, or projects will create economic benefits for the state of West Virginia and its people while also minimizing environmental impact. To do this, The Nature Conservancy contracted with West Virginia University to perform a study to examine energy efficiency, solar energy, the use of natural gas to encourage solar energy, and forest carbon offset policies, programs, and projects. Some of the areas that were examined include: strengthening or expanding current work in West Virginia to support energy audits and industrial, commercial, small business, and/or residential energy efficiency investments; advancing actions to remove barriers to businesses benefiting from energy efficiency and renewable energy; investing in employing more widely energy innovations and new technologies; encouraging and expanding the use of clean energy technologies; using natural gas to encourage or accelerate renewables; advancing distributed generation; advancing large scale forest restoration and conservation; and establishing a “green bank” to attract private investments in renewables, energy efficiency, and/or forest carbon. 


2016

Comprehensive Update & Revision of ECIO Documentation & Manual

Researchers: Randall Jackson, Xueting Zhao

Start Date: 02/16/2015

End Date: 06/30/2016

Funding Agency: NETL, $74,726

Project Summary: WVU developed the Econometric Input Output (ECIO) model for NETL under previous studies. The objective and scope of this project was to consolidate, streamline, finalize, and package the current version of the ECIO model and update its documentation and operating manual.