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Comparison of Incentive Policies for Renewable Energy in an Oligopolistic Market with Price-Responsive Demand

Miguel Pérez de Arce and Enzo Sauma

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.3.mdea
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Abstract:
This article compares different incentive policies to encourage the development of renewable energy (RE). These incentive policies (carbon tax, feed-in tariff, premium payment and quota system) are modeled in a simplified radial power network, using price-responsive demand. Most results are derived assuming an oligopolistic Cournot competitive framework and that the costs of subsidies are covered by the government (i.e., customers do not directly pay back for the subsidies). We compare the different RE incentive schemes at different congestion levels in terms of energy prices, RE generation, CO2 emissions, and social welfare. We find that the effectiveness of the different incentive schemes varies significantly depending on the market structure assumed, the costs of renewable energy, and the subsidy recovery method considered. Subsidy policies (FIT and premium payments) are more cost effective in reducing CO2 emissions than those policies that apply penalties or taxes, when assuming oligopoly competition and that customers do not directly pay back for the subsidies. Quota and carbon tax policies are more cost effective when assuming that either a perfectly competitive electricity market takes place or customers directly pay back for the subsidies. Additionally, we show that, in the feed-in tariff system, there is an interaction among incentive levels for renewable energy technologies. Given a certain feed-in tariff price to be set for a particular renewable technology, this price influences the optimal feed-in tariff price to be set for another technology.



Specifying An Efficient Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff

Niall Farrell, Mel T. Devine, William T. Lee, James P. Gleeson, and Sean Lyons

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.2.nfar
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Abstract:
Commonly-employed Feed-in Tariff (FiT) structures result in either investors or policymakers incurring all market price risk. This paper derives efficient pricing formulae for FiT designs that divide market price risk amongst investors and policymakers. With increasing deployment and renewable energy policy costs, a means to precisely apportion this risk becomes of greater importance. Option pricing theory is used to calculate efficient FiT prices and expected policy cost when investors are exposed to elements of market price risk. Expected remuneration and policy cost is equal for all FiTs while policymaker and investor exposure to uncertain market prices differs. Partial derivatives characterise sensitivity to unexpected deviations in market conditions. This sensitivity differs by FiT type. The magnitudes of these effects are quantified using numerical examples for a stylised Irish case study. Based on these relationships, we discuss the conditions under which each policy choice may be preferred.



Economic Impacts of Renewable Energy Production in Germany

Christoph Böhringer, Florian Landis, and Miguel Angel Tovar Reaños

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: KAPSARC Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.cboh
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Abstract:
Over the last decade Germany has boosted renewable energy in power production by means of massive subsidies. The flip side are very high electricity prices which raise concerns that the transition cost towards a renewable energy system will be mainly borne by poor households. In this paper, we combine computable general equilibrium and microsimulation analyses to investigate the economic impacts of Germany's renewable energy promotion. We find that the regressive effects of renewable energy promotion could be attenuated by alternative subsidy financing mechanisms.



Auction Schemes, Bidding Strategies and the Cost-Optimal Level of Promoting Renewable Electricity in Germany

Andreas Voss and Reinhard Madlener

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: KAPSARC Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.avos
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Abstract:
Germany is among the leading countries regarding the promotion of renewable energy towards a sustainable energy system transition. In this paper, we investigate the German pilot auction scheme for solar photovoltaics introduced in the Renewable Energies Act 2014 (EEG 2014) that serves as a pilot for the auction-based promotion of the three major large-scale renewable electricity generation technologies (wind, solar, biomass) as of 2017. A strategic bidding model is used to determine the optimal bidding strategy and to determine the resulting project value. We consider pay-as-bid and uniform pricing and single and multiple bids. Moreover, we investigate the impact of investment cost uncertainty. In a sensitivity analysis we show how bid strategy adjustments affect the outcome. Specifically, higher uncertainty regarding the market clearing price increases the project value, as this additional uncertainty can be used to raise the probability of obtaining a higher level of remuneration by an adjusted auction strategy. The first-price auction can generate additional profits by placing a second, higher bid with a low probability of success. Investment cost uncertainty can have either a positive or negative impact on the project value, depending on the auction parameter values chosen.



Size, Subsidies and Technical Efficiency in Renewable Energy Production: The Case of Austrian Biogas Plants

Andreas Eder and Bernhard Mahlberg

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.1.aede
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Abstract:
This study estimates the efficiency of biogas plants and identifies determinants of inefficiencies. Data Envelopment Analysis is applied on a sample of 86 Austrian biogas plants for the year 2014, covering about one third of the installed electric capacity of Austrian biogas plants. We decompose technical efficiency into scale efficiency and pure technical efficiency (managerial efficiency). In a second-stage regression analysis the effects of subsidies and other variables on managerial efficiency are investigated. The main results are: i) 34% of biogas plants in our sample are technically efficient, 40% are scale efficient and 50% are managerial efficient; ii) small biogas plants (≤100 kW) are scale inefficient exhibiting increasing returns to scale; iii) production subsidies show a significant, negative relationship to managerial efficiency. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that production subsidies provide a disincentive to managerial effort of plant operators.



On the effectiveness of feed-in tariffs in the development of solar photovoltaics

Elbert Dijkgraaf, Tom P. van Dorp, and Emiel Maasland

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.1.edij
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Abstract:
Growing concern about climate change and rising prices of fossil fuels has prompted governments to stimulate the development of renewables. The most common instrument is a feed-in tariff (FIT). This paper empirically tests whether or not FIT policies have been effective in encouraging the development of photovoltaic solar (PV), explicitly taking into account the structure and consistency of FITs. Panel data estimations are employed for 30 OECD member countries in the period 1990-2011. We fnd a positive effect of the presence of a FIT on the development of a country's added yearly capacity of PV per capita. This is in line with the results found in the existing literature. However, our study shows that the literature underestimates the potential impact of FITs, as the effect of a well-designed FIT is much larger than the average effect of the currently applied FITs. Not only the height of the tariff is important, but also the duration of the contract and the absence/presence of a cap have an impact. We also show that consistency greatly affects the effectiveness of FITs. Consistency is especially important when the tariff of a FIT is low. The total effect of a FIT can be seven times larger if it is well designed. Our results are robust for differences between countries with respect to the availability of other policy instruments, the use of nuclear or hydro power and the level of CO2 emissions.





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