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Inducing Clean Technology in the Electricity Sector: Tradable Permits or Carbon Tax Policies?

Yihsu Chen and Chung-Li Tseng

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No3-6
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Abstract:
Tradable permits and carbon taxes are two market-based instruments commonly considered by policymakers to regulate pollutions. While a tax is fixed, predetermined by authorities, the uncertain permits price is driven by market dynamics, fluctuating with the prices of natural gas and electricity. Both instruments offer firms different incentives for adopting clean technologies. This paper explores the optimal investment timing when a coal-fired plant owner considers introducing clean technologies in face of these two policies using a real options approach. We find that tradable permits could effectively trigger adopting clean technologies at a considerably lower level of carbon price relative to a tax policy. Higher levels of volatility in permit prices are likely to induce suppliers to take early actions to hedge against carbon risks. Thus, offset and other price control mechanisms, which are designed to reduce permit prices or to suppress prices volatility, are likely to delay clean technology investments.



Impacts of Technology Uncertainty on Energy Use, Emission and Abatement Cost in USA: Simulation results from Environment Canada's Integrated Assessment Model

Yunfa Zhu and Madanmohan Ghosh

Year: 2014
Volume: Volume 35
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.35.SI1.12
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Abstract:
To what extent could various technological advancements in the coming decades potentially help greenhouse gas mitigation in the U.S.? What could the potential contribution of end-use technology and other key clean electric energy technologies such as CCS, Nuclear power, wind & solar, and biomass be? This paper presents simulation results from an Integrated Assessment Model that suggest that, in the absence of policy measures, even under the most optimistic state of technology development and deployment scenarios, the U.S. energy system would still be dominated by fossil fuels and GHG emissions would increase significantly between 2010 and 2050. A pessimistic scenario in end-use technology would result in increased electric and non-electric energy use and GHG emissions compared to the advanced technology scenario, while a pessimistic scenario in any one of the four clean technologies examined would result in reduced electric and non-electric energy use and a small increase in GHG emissions. However, if all technologies are in pessimistic status, GHG emissions would increase significantly as more fossil fuels would be used in the energy system. Technology alone cannot achieve the abatement levels required. A market-based policy targeting the reduction of U.S. GHG emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2050 would result in dramatic decrease in coal-fired generation. With abatement policies in place, favorable technology scenarios reduce abatement costs and facilitate the energy system transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Keywords: Energy use, Clean technology, GHG abatement, Abatement cost





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