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Energy Journal Issue

The Energy Journal
Volume 38, KAPSARC Special Issue

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Inventory and Distribution of Energy Subsidies of China

Zhan-Ming Chen

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.zche
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To provide support for the energy subsidy reform as a critical step of China's recent energy reform agenda, a comprehensive energy subsidy inventory of China is compiled and the associated distributional effect is investigated in this study. According to the results, the lower boundary estimation of annual energy subsidies of China was 90-202 billion CNY, equivalent to 0.22%-0.37% of GDP or 0.95%-1.21% of government expenditure, during 2010-2014. Thanks to the specific subsidies provided to rural grid construction and transportation, 72% of the energy subsidies were distributed to residents in 2012, while fixed capital and export carried another 13% and 10%. Poorer urban household received higher energy subsidy ratio through dwelling and food expenditures, but lower ratio through transportation and communication expenditures. The overall energy subsidies are slightly regressive, thus adequate reform can narrow wealth gap on the one hand and reduce budgetary pressure on the other.

Pricing electricity and supporting renewables in Heavily Energy Subsidized Economies

David M. Newbery

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.dnew
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Heavily Energy Subsidized Economies' energy subsidies cost the budget on average 4% of GDP in 2014. Resource rents permit administratively undemanding transfers to citizens to maintain political support, whose removal will be resisted, despite resulting inefficient consumption and lock-in risk. Collapsing energy prices delivering severe fiscal shocks combined with growing concerns over climate change damage make carefully designed reforms both urgent and politically more acceptable. Political logic suggests designing reforms that compensate vocal interest groups. The paper presents evidence on the magnitude and impacts of oil, gas and electricity subsidies, and discusses how the electricity sector can be weaned off subsidies, enabling CCGTs and unsubsidized renewables to reduce carbon emissions.

How do Price Caps in China’s Electricity Sector Impact the Economics of Coal, Power and Wind? Potential Gains from Reforms

Bertrand Rioux, Philipp Galkin, Frederic Murphy, and Axel Pierru

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.brio
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China imposes maximum prices by plant type and region on the electricity that generators sell to utilities. We show that these price caps create a need for subsidies and cross-subsidies, and affect the economics of wind power. We model the price caps using a mixed complementarity formulation, calibrated to 2012 data. We find that the caps impose an annual cost of 45 billion RMB, alter the generation and fuel mixes, require subsidies for the market to clear, and do not incentivize adding capacity for a reserve margin. They incentivize market concentration so that generators can cross-subsidize power plants. Depending on the regulatory response, increasing wind capacity can alleviate the distortions due to the price caps. The added wind capacity, however, does not have a significant impact on the amount of coal consumed. We also find that the feed-in tariff was priced slightly higher than necessary.

Economic Impacts of Renewable Energy Promotion in Germany

Christoph Böhringer, Florian Landis, and Miguel Angel Tovar Reaños

Introduction of Nodal Pricing into the Mexican New Electricity Market through FTR Allocations

Friedrich Kunz, Juan Rosellón, and Claudia Kemfert

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.fkun
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The change from a subsidized zonal pricing system to a full nodal pricing regime in the new Mexican electricity market could improve the efficiency of electricity system operation. However, resulting price modifications might also swing surplus across producers and consumers. In this paper, we calculate nodal prices for the Mexican power system and further analyze how allocations of financial transmission rights (FTRs) can be used to mitigate resulting distributional effects. The share of FTRs to be allocated to different generation plants and loads is studied as a second step of an electricity tariff subsidy reform agenda that includes, as a first step, the change to nodal pricing and, as a third step, the reformulation of actual regressive subsidies in a progressive way. We test our model in a realistic nodal price setting, based on an hourly modeling of the Mexican power system.

Comparing Renewable Energy Policies in EU-15, U.S. and China: A Bayesian DSGE Model

Amedeo Argentiero, Tarek Atalla, Simona Bigerna, Silvia Micheli, and Paolo Polinori