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New Entrant and Closure Provisions: How do they Distort?

Abstract:
Provisions to endow new entrants with free allowances and to require closed facilities to forfeit allowance endowments are ubiquitous in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, but a new design feature in cap-and-trade systems. This essay seeks to explore, within a comparative statics framework, the effect of these provisions on agent behavior in output and emissions markets assuming profit maximization. The main conclusion is that the principal effect is on capacity. The effect of the resulting over-capacity on output markets is to reduce output price and to increase output. The effect on emissions markets is more ambiguous in that it depends on the emission characteristics of the new capacity, existing capacity, and the capacity not retired, and the distribution of the excess capacity among these categories.

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Energy Specializations: Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases; Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: EU ETS, cap-and-trade, Emission allowances, New entrant and Closure provisions, Distortion

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-NoSI-5


Published in Volume 29, Special Issue of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.