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The environmental cost of overhead power transmission lines: the case of Korea

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The purpose of this paper is to measure the environmental costs of overhead power transmission lines (PTLs) in Korea by using a choice experiment (CE) approach. To this end, a mixed logit model is employed to explicitly incorporate preference heterogeneity and avoid the assumption of independence from irrelevant alternatives that is required in conditional logit models. For selecting a preferred alternative, we consider the trade-offs between price and the attributes of environmental impacts from overhead PTLs such as visual disamenity, land use and electric and magnetic fields (EMFs). The results reveal that unlike visual disamenity and land use, EMFs are not statistically significant. This can be interpreted as implying that many respondents are more interested in land use related to property rights than EMFs. This study provides useful information to policy makers for the development and implementation of more appropriate policies to deal with the environmental damage that is caused by overhead PTLs. Undergrounding PTLs without considering the construction cost can lead to an increase in electricity rates. Therefore, we may take into account a cost-effective option in future policies for social optimality.
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Keywords: choice experiment; environmental cost; mixed logit model; power transmission lines

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Korea Electric Power Corporation, 512 Yeongdong-Daero, Gangnam-Ku, Seoul, 135-791, Republic of Korea 2: Department of Energy Policy, Graduate School of Energy & Environment, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, 232 Gongreung-Ro, Nowon-Ku, Seoul, 139-743, Republic of Korea

Publication date: June 3, 2014

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