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The role of environmental and technology policies in the transition to a low-carbon energy industry

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Abstract

In a dynamic general equilibrium model we study the interplay between gradual and structural change in the transition to a low-carbon energy industry. We focus on the welfare-theoretic consequences of diverging social and private rates of time preference and a time-to-build feature in capital accumulation. Both features are particularly important in the transformation of energy systems. We show that only a combination of environmental and technology policies can achieve a socially optimal transition. We thus provide a new reason for environmental regulation to be complemented by technology policy such as a non-distortionary investment subsidy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 07/71.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:07-71

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Keywords: environmental and technology policy; social vs. individual rates of time preference; time to build; gradual vs. structural technological change; energy industry;

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  1. van der Zwaan, B. C. C. & Gerlagh, R. & G. & Klaassen & Schrattenholzer, L., 2002. "Endogenous technological change in climate change modelling," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-19, January.
  2. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Schneider, Stephen H., 1999. "Induced technological change and the attractiveness of CO2 abatement policies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 211-253, August.
  3. Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Discounting an uncertain future," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 149-166, August.
  4. Ben Groom & Cameron Hepburn & Phoebe Koundouri & David Pearce, 2005. "Declining Discount Rates: The Long and the Short of it," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(4), pages 445-493, December.
  5. El-Hodiri, Mohamed A & Loehman, Edna & Whinston, Andrew B, 1972. "An Optimal Growth Model with Time Lags," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 1137-46, November.
  6. Gerlagh, Reyer & van der Zwaan, Bob, 2003. "Gross world product and consumption in a global warming model with endogenous technological change," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 35-57, February.
  7. Patrick Asea & Paul J. Zak, 1997. "Time-to-Build and Cycles," UCLA Economics Working Papers 767, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Simon Grant & John Quiggin, 2003. "Public Investment and the Risk Premium for Equity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 1-18, February.
  9. Winkler, Ralph, 2005. "Structural change with joint production of consumption and environmental pollution: a neo-Austrian approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 111-135, March.
  10. Arrow, Kenneth J & Lind, Robert C, 1970. "Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 364-78, June.
  11. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Heinzel, Christoph, 2008. "Implications of diverging social and private discount rates for investments in the German power industry: a new case for nuclear energy?," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 03/08, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  2. Ralph Winkler, 2008. "Optimal control of pollutants with delayed stock accumulation," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/91, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.

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