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David Newbery

Year: 2005
Volume: Volume 26
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol26-NoSI-1
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Europe is liberalising electricity in accordance with the European Commission's Electricity Directives. Different countries have responded differently, notably in the extent of restructuring, treatment of mergers, market power, and vertical unbundling. While Britain and Norway have achieved effective competition, others like Germany, Spain and France are still struggling to deal with dominant and sometimes vertically integrated companies. The Netherlands offers an interesting intermediate case, where good economic analysis has sometimes been thwarted by legalistic interpretations. Investment under the new Emissions Trading system could further transform the electricity industry but may be hampered by slow progress in liberalising European gas markets.

UK Electricity Market Reform and the Energy Transition: Emerging Lessons

Michael Grubb and David Newbery

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 6
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.6.mgru
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The 2013 Electricity Market Reform (EMR) was a response to the twin problems of securing efficient finance for a new generation of low carbon investments, and delivering reliability along with a growing share of renewables in its energy-only market. Four EMR instruments combined to revolutionize the sector; stimulating unprecedented technological and structural change. Competitive auctions for both firm capacity and renewable energy have seen prices far lower than predicted and the entry of unexpected new technologies. A carbon price floor displaced coal, whose share fell from 46% in 1995 to 7% in 2017, halving CO2. Renewables grew from under 4% in 2008 to 22% by 2017, projected at 30+% by 2020 despite a political ban on onshore wind. Neither the technological nor regulatory transitions are complete, and the results to date highlight other challenges, notably to transmission pricing and locational signals. EMR is a step forwards, not backwards; but it is not the end of the story.

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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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.

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