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The Impact of Sulfur Limits on Fuel Demand and Electricity Prices in Britain

David M. Newbery

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume15
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-No3-2
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Abstract:
By the year 1996, about one-quarter of Britain's electricity will be generated from gas, compared to zero in 1992, displacing coal. This switch is required by 2000 to meet the EC and UN mandated sulfur emissions limits, but was advanced by the imperfect market created by privatisation. This paper examines the economics of Flue Gas Desulfurisation, and argues that without the right to trade emissions permits, FGD may run at only 17% load because of premature investment in gas generation. Tradable permits have a large impact on profits for the generators and British Coal. At present the pool fails to schedule plant on avoidable cost, and electricity prices are likely to be set by the price of gas, not the emissions limits, though gas prices may rise with tighter future limits.



Power Markets and Market Power

David M. Newbery

Year: 1995
Volume: Volume16
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol16-No3-2
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Abstract:
Privatization was intended to make the English bulk electricity market sufficiently competitive to avoid the need for regulation, but two generators set the spot price over 90% of the time though they supply less than 60% of total electricity generated. Their market power depends on their share of non-baseload plant, and agreed divestiture here should increase competition. The paper argues that the contract market, which makes entry contestable, will ensure that longrun average prices are kept at the competitive entry level, with increased competition mainly increasing medium-run volatility and short-run economic efficiency.



Electricity liberalization in Britain: The quest for a satisfactory wholesale market design

David M. Newbery

Year: 2005
Volume: Volume 26
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol26-NoSI-3
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Abstract:
Britain was the exemplar of electricity market reform, demonstrating the importance of ownership unbundling and workable competition in generation and supply. Privatisation created de facto duopolies that supported increasing price-cost margins and induced excessive (English) entry. Concentration was ended by trading horizontal for vertical integration in subsequent mergers. Competition arrived just as the Pool was replaced by New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA) intended to address its claimed shortcomings. NETA cost over �700 million, and had ambiguous market impacts. Prices fell dramatically as a result of (pre-NETA) competition, generating companies withdrew plant, causing fears about security of supply and a subsequent widening of price-cost margins.



Why Tax Energy? Towards a More Rational Policy

David M. Newbery

Year: 2005
Volume: Volume 26
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol26-No3-1
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Abstract:
The same fuels are taxed at widely different rates in different countrieswhile different fuels are taxed at widely different rates within and across countries. This paper considers what tax theory has to say about efficient energy tax design. The main factors for energy taxes are the optimal tariff argument, the need to correct externalities such as global warming, and second-best considerations for taxing transport fuels as road charges, but these are inadequate to explain current energy taxes. EU energy tax harmonisation and Kyoto suggest that the time is ripe to reform energy taxation.



Nuclear Power: A Hedge against Uncertain Gas and Carbon Prices?

Fabien A. Roques , William J. Nuttall, David M. Newbery, Richard de Neufville, Stephen Connors

Year: 2006
Volume: Volume 27
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol27-No4-1
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Abstract:
High fossil fuel prices have rekindled interest in nuclear power. This paper identifies specific characteristics making nuclear power unattractive to merchant generators in liberalized electricity markets, and argues that non-fossil fuel technologies have an overlooked option value given fuel and carbon price uncertainty. Stochastic optimization estimates the company option value of keeping open the choice between nuclear and gas technologies. The merchant option value decreases sharply as the correlation between electricity, gas, and carbon prices rises, casting doubt on whether merchant investors have adequate incentives to choose socially efficient diversification in liberalized electricity markets.



Pricing Electricity and Supporting Renewables in Heavily Energy Subsidized Economies

David M. Newbery

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: KAPSARC Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.dnew
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Abstract:
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.



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
View Abstract

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).





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