Alice Favero

Academic Professional and Associate Director of Graduate Studies

Member Of:
  • School of Public Policy
  • Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory
Office Location:
DM Smith 318
Related Links:
Overview

Alice Favero is an environmental economist. She teaches and conducts research in the areas of environmental policy and economics and climate change policy and economics.

Since 2014, she has been a Visiting Assistant Professor and Lecturer at the School of Public Policy where she teaches Environmental Policy and Climate Change policy. From May 2011 to April 2013, she was a Visiting Research Assistant at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has a Ph.D. in Science and Management of Climate Change from the Economics Department of Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy.

Her research focuses on the use of economic models to study how the optimal technology mix and the optimal use of land are affected by climate mitigation policies and by climate change. She has published her work in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (“Using Markets for Woody Biomass Energy to Sequester Carbon in Forests”), in Resource and Energy Economics (“Trade of woody biomass for electricity generation under climate mitigation policy”), and in Energy Economics (“Investments and Public Finance in a Green, Low Carbon Economy”). 

Education:
  • Ph.D. in Science and Management of Climate Change, Department of Economics, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy, 2009-2013.
  • Visiting Research Assistant, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT, USA, 2011-2013.
  • M.Sc. Economics and Finance, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy, 2005-2007.
  • Visiting Student, Harvard Summer School, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2006.
  • B.A. Economics and Finance, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy, 2001-2004.
Awards and
Distinctions:
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, Ivan Allen College, Georgia Tech, $1,000, 2017.
  • Honors Program Professor, Georgia Tech, $2,000 (2017), $1,250 (2016).
  • Food‐Energy‐Water Fellowship, Center for Serve‐Learn‐Sustain, Georgia Tech, $1,000, 2016.
  • FEEM Research Paper Award, $550, 2014.
  • Ph.D. Fellowship, European Social Fund, Veneto Region, Italy, $40,000, 2009‐2012.
Areas of
Expertise:
  • Environmental Economics, Energy Economics, Forestry Economics, Economics Of Climate Change.
Interests
Research Fields:
  • Energy, Climate and Environmental Policy
Courses
  • PUBP-3315: Environ Policy& Politics
  • PUBP-3320: Climate Policy
  • PUBP-6350: Energy Policy & Markets
  • PUBP-8813: Special Topics
Recent Publications

Journal Articles

  • Life cycle analysis of alternative fibers for paper
       In: J. Advanced Manufacturing and Processing [Peer Reviewed]

    July 2019

  • The Economic and Environmental Performance of Biomass Power as an Intermediate Resource for Power Production
       In: Utilities Policy [Peer Reviewed]

    2019

    Electricity powered by biomass is expanding. We examine four recent biopower plants and global benchmarks to assess their overall performance, confirming the characterization of biomass as an “intermediate” resource for power production. Electricity from biomass is more expensive than energy efficiency, natural gas, wind, or solar but substantially less expensive than new coal or nuclear plants. Compared to coal and natural gas per MWh produced, the NOx and SO2 emissions of biopower are also intermediate. We document that current investments in biopower can be attributed to an array of stakeholder value propositions extending beyond basic economic and environmental metrics.

  • Global cost estimates of forest climate mitigation with albedo: a new integrative policy approach
       In: Environ. Res. Lett [Peer Reviewed]

    December 2018

    Climate change mitigation policies have usually considered forest-based actions as cheap and fast options to reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and slow down global warming. Most economic analyses, however, have ignored the effects of these actions on land surface albedo and the resulting effect on energy balance and temperature. This study estimates the marginal cost of forest mitigation associated with both carbon sequestration and albedo change, by introducing regional and forest-specific albedo information in a global dynamic forestry model. Our analysis indicates that traditional forest sequestration policies have underestimated the costs of climate mitigation, driving forest-based actions in regions where subsequent changes in albedo are significant. To reduce this inefficiency, this paper proposes a novel approach where both carbon sequestration and albedo effect are incorporated into pricing. Our results suggest that, under the same carbon price path, the integrative policy provides greater net global mitigation in absolute terms and per hectare of forest, and thus it is more efficient and less intrusive than the traditional policy

  • Can the global forest sector survive 11°C warming?
       In: Agricultural and Resource Economics Review [Peer Reviewed]

    August 2018

    Although most global forest economic studies have found that warming is likely to increase forest supply, these studies have examined only the limited warming expected through 2100. This study extends the analysis out to 2250 to test much higher levels of warming to examine very long term effects. Future warming is predicted to steadily increase forest productivity, with global timber supply predicted to increase through 2250, even with warming up to 11 °C warming. However, natural forestland and biomass will shrink. This result suggests far future forests will not be able to hold the same stock of carbon they hold today

Working Papers

  • The Economics of Four Virginia Biomass Plants

    April 2018

    Global electricity generated from biomass more than tripled between 2000 and 2016, and it is forecast to grow at an increasing pace through 2050. Electricity generation from biomass is also expanding in the United States, particularly in the Southeast. Given the continued growth and policy support for biomass electricity generation, this paper assesses the economics of four Virginia biomass plants, three converted from coal plants in 2012 and one purchased and expanded in 2004. The goal is to estimate the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) generated from the plants as a metric of their level of competitiveness with respect to alternative ways of meeting electricity demand in the region. The LCOE of the four plants range from $93 to $143/MWh, about 40-53% more expensive than new solar and wind today and is double the cost of energy efficiency. Even with the inclusion of federal subsidies and environmental credits, Dominion’s biomass conversions are not competitive. Overall, our analysis underscores the risks associated with investing in large, long-lived generation assets at a time when technologies and markets are rapidly evolving.

  • The Economics of Four Virginia Biomass Plants

    March 2018

    Global electricity generated from biomass more than tripled between 2000 and 2016, and it is forecast to grow at an increasing pace through the year 2040. Electricity generation from biomass is also expanding in the United States, particularly in the Southeast. Given the continued growth and policy support for biomass electricity generation, this paper assesses the economics of four Virginia biomass plants, three converted from coal plants in 2012 and one purchased and expanded in 2004. The goal is to estimate the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) generated from the plants as a metric of their level of competitiveness with respect to alternative ways of meeting electricity demand in the region. The LCOE of the four plants range from $93 to $143/MWh, about 40-53% more expensive than new solar and wind today. Even with the inclusion of federal subsidies and environmental credits, Dominion’s biomass conversions are not competitive with several other established sources of electricity and affordable energy-efficiency options. Overall, our analysis underscores the risks associated with investing in large, long-lived generation assets at a time when technologies and markets are rapidly evolving.