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Learning by Doing with Constrained Growth Rates:An Application to Energy Technology Policy

Karsten Neuhoff

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Special Issue #2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-NoSI2-9
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Abstract:
Learning by doing methodology attributes cost reductions of a technology to cumulative investment and experience. This paper argues that in addition market growth rates must also be considered. Historically growth rates have been limited in most sectors, thus allowing for feedback in the learning process. When market growth is below the optimal rate, the marginal value of additional investment could be a multiple of the direct learning benefit. Analytic and numeric models quantify this impact emphasizing the need for tailored technology policy in addition to carbon pricing. Implications for the modeling of endogenous technological change are discussed.



Investments in Imperfect Power Markets under Carbon Pricing: A Case Study Based Analysis

Michael Pahle, Kai Lessmann, Ottmar Edenhofer, and Nico Bauer

Year: 2013
Volume: Volume 34
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.34.4.10
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Abstract:
This article addresses the question of how investments in imperfectly competitive electricity markets interact with a price on carbon. The analysis is based on a dynamic numerical Cournot model calibrated to the German market and focuses on (a) the level of investments and technology choice and (b) welfare impacts under optimal carbon pricing. As a special feature, we also restrict access to one technology (coal) to strategic players ("technological market power"). The main results are: (a) In the long-run prices reach competitive levels due to entry by the competitive fringe. If technological market power prevails, this can only be accomplished through high carbon prices. (b) Investment levels and technology choice show different patterns under market power and perfect competition. (c) Apart from driving investments, carbon pricing also renders old carbon-intensive capacities unprofitable and thus induces more extensive fleet turnover. (d) Welfare almost always increases as a result of carbon pricing.



The Political Economy of a Carbon Price Floor for Power Generation

David M. Newbery, David M. Reiner, and Robert A. Ritz

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.1.dnew
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Abstract:
The EU carbon price lies well below estimates of the social cost of carbon and "target-consistent" carbon prices needed to deliver ambitious targets such as the 40% reduction target for 2030. In light of this, the UK introduced a carbon price floor (CPF) for its electricity sector in 2013 and the new Dutch Government has recently made a similar commitment, while successive French Governments have called for an EU-wide CPF. This paper analyzes the impacts and design of a power-sector CPF, both at the EU and national level, using a political-economy approach. We find a good case for introducing such a price-based instrument into the EU ETS. We suggest that a CPF should be designed to "top up" the EUA price to �25-30/tCO2, rising annually at 3-5% above inflation, at least until 2030. We argue that the new EU Market Stability Reserve enhances the value of a CPF in terms of delivering climate benefits, and discuss the potential for a regional CPF in North-West Europe. We also review international policy experience with price floors (and ceilings).



Is Abundant Natural Gas a Bridge to a Low-carbon Future or a Dead-end?

Kenneth Gillingham and Pei Huang

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.2.kgil
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Abstract:
A fierce debate rages on whether abundant natural gas is a bridge to a low-carbon future or a hindrance to long-term decarbonization. This paper uses a detailed energy-economic market equilibrium model to study the effects of an upper bound case of natural gas availability. We show that a market-driven abundant natural gas supply can provide substantial reductions in air pollution but does not considerably reduce CO2 emissions in the longer-term, especially relative to a moderate carbon price. However, we quantify large welfare benefits from abundant natural gas. The spatial disaggregation of our results allows for a clear picture of the distributional impacts of abundant natural gas under different carbon price scenarios, illustrating welfare gains by most regions regardless of whether there is carbon pricing, but substantial heterogeneity in the welfare gains.



The Impact of a Carbon Tax on the CO2 Emissions Reduction of Wind

Chi Kong Chyong, Bowei Guo, and David Newbery

Year: 2020
Volume: Volume 41
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.1.cchy
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Abstract:
Energy policy aims to reduce emissions at least long-run cost while ensuring reliability. Its effecacy depends on the cost of emissions reduced. Britain introduced an additional carbon tax (the Carbon Price Support, CPS) for fuels used to generate electricity that by 2015 added £18/t CO2, dramatically reducing the coal share from 41% in 2013 to 6% in 2018. Policies have both short and long-run impacts. Both need to be estimated to measure carbon savings. The paper shows how to measure the Marginal Displacement Factor (MDF, tonnes CO2 /MWh) for wind. The short-run (SR) MDF is estimated econometrically while the long-run (LR) MDF is calculated from a unit commitment model of the GB system in 2015. We examine counter-factual fuel and carbon price scenarios. The CPS lowered the SR-MDF by 7% in 2015 but raised the LR-MDF (for a 25% increase in wind capacity) by 18%. We discuss reasons for the modest differences in the SR- and LR-MDFs.



National Climate Policies and Corporate Internal Carbon Pricing

Nuno Bento, Gianfranco Gianfrate, and Joseph E. Aldy

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 5
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.5.nben
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Abstract:
While national governments pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement, delivering on these aims will require significant changes in the activities of major sources of emissions such as companies. To drive such changes, companies will need to consider carbon emissions as a cost of production and many companies have begun doing so through internal carbon pricing. By employing data from the Carbon Disclosure Project, we evaluate how national carbon pricing policies influence firm-level internal carbon pricing and corporate emission targets. We find that firm-level internal carbon prices are significantly higher in countries explicitly pricing carbon through tax and/or cap-and-trade programs. These findings shed light on how companies are factoring climate change in their decision-making and on the drivers that can contribute to the generalization of climate pricing in the economy.





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