World Bank Consulting

I recently received an appointment as a consultant for the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice Group at The World Bank. I will be working on the Service Delivery Indicators (SDI) Initiative, which implements standardized surveys throughout Africa that measure the quality of health and education services.

NICHD Fellowship

The Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) at Brown University has awarded me a Demography Trainee Fellowship from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health for the 2013–2014 Academic Year.

NICHD Fellowship

The Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) at Brown University has awarded me a Demography Trainee Fellowship from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health for the 2012–2013 Academic Year.

Renewable Power Opportunities for Rural Communities

A report that I co-authored for the USDA entitled Renewable Power Opportunities for Rural Communities was released today. A complete copy can be accessed here (pdf). An excerpt from the USDA’s announcement immediately follows.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today issued a report that identifies and discusses the wide array of renewable power opportunities available to producers in rural America. The report, titled Renewable Power Opportunities for Rural Communities, is intended to serve as a summary and guide to assist rural utilities that may be considering investing in a renewable electricity generation projects, as well as for policymakers who may be considering how to encourage such investments. […]

The report was prepared under the direction of USDA’s Office of Energy Policy and New Uses (OEPNU) and the Office of the Chief Economist, and produced under a cooperative agreement with the State Utility Forecasting Group at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. Principal authors of the report were Samuel V. Brown, David G. Nderitu, Paul V. Preckel (Principal Investigator), Douglas J. Gotham (Co-Principal Investigator), and Benjamin W. Allen.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Purdue Agricultural Economics community, and the State Utility Forecasting Group in particular, for both enabling and assisting my contribution to this publication.

Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award

Today I received official notification that my master’s thesis has received the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for 2010 from the Purdue University Agricultural Economics Department.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my advisor, Dr. Paul Preckel; and my committee members, Drs. Brigitte Waldorf and Douglas Gotham, for all their guidance and support. I would also like to thank the Purdue Agricultural Economics community for making my two years as a master’s student so productive and enjoyable.

Master’s Thesis Defense

My master’s thesis defense will take place on Tuesday April 13, 2010 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM, in Krannert Building Room 661 on the Purdue Campus. The title of my thesis is Rural Electric Cooperatives’ Adoption of Renewable Energy Technologies. An abstract immediately follows.

Many rural electric cooperatives in the United States are located near rich renewable energy resources, but only a minority have adopted renewable energy technologies. The purpose of this thesis is to identify the relevant factors that impact a rural electric cooperative’s decision to adopt such technologies.

The fundamentals of the electric power system are discussed, including generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure, as well as the different types of businesses that own and operate this infrastructure. The different types of renewable resources, their associated energy conversion technologies, and their regional availability within the United States are also discussed. Transmission issues that impact renewable technology adoption are surveyed, as are existing renewable energy policies.

A probit panel data model is used to identify price, policy, geographic, and other factors that impact a cooperative’s decision to adopt renewable energy technologies. It is determined that both cooperative size and the price of natural gas positively impact this decision. It is also determined that there are significant regional variations in adoption probability, independent of firm characteristics, fossil fuel prices, and existing policies. To address these regional variations, a devolution of renewable energy policy may be in order.

RP&HE Midwest Graduate Student Summit

I will be presenting selected results from my thesis research on Friday April 9, 2010, at the Regional Population and Health Economics (RP&HE) Third Annual Midwest Graduate Student Summit. The title of my presentation is Rural Electric Cooperatives’ Adoption of Renewable Energy Technologies. An abstract for this research immediately follows.

Many rural electric cooperatives in the United States are located near rich renewable energy resources, but only a minority have adopted renewable energy technologies. The purpose of this research is to identify the relevant factors that impact a rural electric cooperative’s decision to adopt such technologies. A probit panel data model is used to identify price, policy, geographic, and other factors that impact a cooperative’s decision to adopt renewable energy technologies. It is determined that both cooperative size and the price of natural gas positively impact this decision. It is also determined that there are significant regional variations in adoption probability, independent of firm characteristics, fossil fuel prices, and existing policies. To address these regional variations, a devolution of renewable energy policy may be in order.

The RP&HE Midwest Graduate Student Summit is being hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. More information is available through the summit website.