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Are tradable green certificates a cost-efficient policy driving technical change or a rent-generating machine? Lessons from Sweden 2003-2008

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  • Bergek, Anna
  • Jacobsson, Staffan
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    Abstract

    In the European policy debate, tradable green certificates (TGC) have been suggested to be a superior regulatory framework for promoting the diffusion of renewable electricity technologies. The purpose of this paper is to assess the performance of the Swedish TGC system, contributing to the European debate on the suitability of different types of frameworks. The expectations of the TGC system were that it would: (a) be effective in terms of increasing the supply of "green" electricity; (b) do this in a cost effective manner (from both a social and a consumer perspective); (c) generate an equitable distribution of costs and benefits and (d) drive technical change. So far, it has performed adequately in terms of effectiveness and social cost effectiveness. However, consumer costs have been substantially higher than expected, very large rents are generated and, at best, it contributes marginally to technical change. Thus, a TGC framework should be selected if the overriding concern is to minimize short term social costs of reaching a certain goal with a high degree of predictability. However, it cannot be expected to also drive technical change, keep consumer costs down and be equitable. Such trade-offs need to be revealed and not obscured by analysts.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 1255-1271

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:3:p:1255-1271

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

    Related research

    Keywords: Tradable green certificates Rents Technical change;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Fagiani, Riccardo & Hakvoort, Rudi, 2014. "The role of regulatory uncertainty in certificate markets: A case study of the Swedish/Norwegian market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 608-618.
    2. Kažukauskas, Andrius & Jaraite, Jurate, 2011. "The Profitability of Power Generating Firms and Policies Promoting Renewable Energy," CERE Working Papers 2011:14, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.
    3. Söderholm, Patrik & Pettersson, Maria, 2011. "Offshore wind power policy and planning in Sweden," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 518-525, February.
    4. Sarasini, Steven, 2013. "Institutional work and climate change: Corporate political action in the Swedish electricity industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 480-489.
    5. del Río, Pablo & Cerdá, Emilio, 2014. "The policy implications of the different interpretations of the cost-effectiveness of renewable electricity support," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 364-372.
    6. Nagl, Stephan, 2013. "Prices vs. Quantities: Incentives for Renewable Power Generation - Numerical Analysis for the European Power Market," EWI Working Papers 2013-4, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
    7. Lüthi, Sonja & Wüstenhagen, Rolf, 2012. "The price of policy risk — Empirical insights from choice experiments with European photovoltaic project developers," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1001-1011.
    8. Uba, Katrin, 2010. "Who formulates renewable-energy policy? A Swedish example," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6674-6683, November.
    9. Jaraitė, Jūratė & Kažukauskas, Andrius, 2013. "The profitability of electricity generating firms and policies promoting renewable energy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 858-865.
    10. Paul Lehmann & Felix Creutzig & Melf-Hinrich Ehlers & Nele Friedrichsen & Clemens Heuson & Lion Hirth & Robert Pietzcker, 2012. "Carbon Lock-Out: Advancing Renewable Energy Policy in Europe," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 323-354, February.
    11. Wiser, Ryan & Barbose, Galen & Holt, Edward, 2011. "Supporting solar power in renewables portfolio standards: Experience from the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 3894-3905, July.
    12. Klitkou, Antje & Godoe, Helge, 2013. "The Norwegian PV manufacturing industry in a Triple Helix perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1586-1594.
    13. Xin-gang, Zhao & Tian-tian, Feng & Lu, Cui & Xia, Feng, 2014. "The barriers and institutional arrangements of the implementation of renewable portfolio standard: A perspective of China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 371-380.
    14. Nagl, Stephan, 2013. "The Effect of Weather Uncertainty on the Financial Risk of Green Electricity Producers under Various Renewable Policies," EWI Working Papers 2013-15, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
    15. Schaffer, Lena Maria & Bernauer, Thomas, 2014. "Explaining government choices for promoting renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 15-27.
    16. Friebe, Christian A. & von Flotow, Paschen & Täube, Florian A., 2014. "Exploring technology diffusion in emerging markets – the role of public policy for wind energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 217-226.
    17. Currier, Kevin M., 2013. "A regulatory adjustment process for the determination of the optimal percentage requirement in an electricity market with Tradable Green Certificates," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1053-1057.
    18. Mundaca, Luis & Mansoz, Mathilde & Neij, Lena & Timilsina, Govinda R, 2013. "Transaction costs of low-carbon technologies and policies : the diverging literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6565, The World Bank.

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