Queensland solar feed-in tariffs and the merit-order effect: economic benefit, or regressive taxation and wealth transfers?
AbstractPremium residential solar feed-in tariffs have come under considerable scrutiny in Australia over the past 12 months following a sharp rise in the uptake of subsidised PV units and subsidy cost blow-outs. Using New South Wales data, Nelson, Simshauser and Kelley (2011) demonstrated that the inherent design of premium ‘gross’ feed-in tariffs are regressive in nature and required reform. Since the publication of that article in Economic Analysis & Policy (September 2011 edition), feed-in tariff policies have been substantially wound back in all Australian jurisdictions except Queensland. In this article, we examine the ‘net’ feed-in tariff in Queensland and similarly find it to be a regressive form of taxation. We also examine the so-called ‘merit order effect’ – a purported ‘economic benefit’ arising from premium feed-in tariffs. However, the evidence is clear that merit order effects must, by definition, be transient and above all, are not welfare enhancing.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance in its journal Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP).
Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Feed-in Tariffs; Electricity Prices; Merit Order Effect;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
- Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tim Nelson & Paul Simshauser & Simon Kelley, 2011. "Australian Residential Solar Feed-in Tariffs: Industry Stimulus or Regressive Form of Taxation?," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 41(2), pages 113-129, September.
- Gelabert, Liliana & Labandeira, Xavier & Linares, Pedro, 2011. "An ex-post analysis of the effect of renewables and cogeneration on Spanish electricity prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(S1), pages S59-S65.
- Tim Nelson & Simon Kelley & Fiona Orton & Paul Simshauser, 2010. "Delayed Carbon Policy Certainty and Electricity Prices in Australia," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 29(4), pages 446-465, December.
- Liam Byrnes & Colin Brown & John Foster & Liam Wagner, 2013. "Australian Renewable Energy Policy: Barriers and Challenges," Energy Economics and Management Group Working Papers 2-2013, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
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