Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Renewable Energy Subsidies: Second-Best Policy or Fatal Aberration for Mitigation?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Matthias Kalkuhl

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK))

  • Ottmar Edenhofer

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Technical University Berlin)

  • Kai Lessmann

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK))

Abstract

This paper evaluates the consequences of renewable energy policies on welfare, resource rents and energy costs in a world where carbon pricing is imperfect and the regulator seeks to limit emissions to a (cumulative) target. We use a global general equilibrium model with an intertemporal fossil resource sector. We calculate the optimal second-best renewable energy subsidy and compare the resulting welfare level with an efficient first-best carbon pricing policy. If carbon pricing is permanently missing, mitigation costs increase by a multiple (compared to the optimal carbon pricing policy) for a wide range of parameters describing extraction costs, renewable energy costs, substitution possibilities and normative attitudes. Furthermore, we show that small deviations from the second-best subsidy can lead to strong increases in emissions and consumption losses. This confirms the rising concerns about the occurrence of unintended side effects of climate policy { a new version of the green paradox. We extend our second-best analysis by considering two further types of policy instruments: (1) temporary subsidies that are displaced by carbon pricing in the long run and (2) revenue-neutral instruments like a carbon trust and a feed-in-tariff scheme. Although these instruments cause small welfare losses, they have the potential to ease distributional conflicts as they lead to lower energy prices and higher fossil resource rents than the optimal carbon pricing policy.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/2011620942454NDL2011-048.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2011.48.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.48

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Corso Magenta, 63 - 20123 Milan
Phone: 0039-2-52036934
Fax: 0039-2-52036946
Email:
Web page: http://www.feem.it/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Feed-in-Tariff; Carbon Trust; Carbon Pricing; Supply-Side Dynamics; Green Paradox; Climate Policy;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2005. "Cost-Effectiveness of Renewable Electricity Policies," Discussion Papers dp-05-01, Resources For the Future.
  2. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2007. "Climate policies and learning by doing: Impacts and timing of technology subsidies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 58-82, January.
  3. Roberton C. Williams III, 2011. "Setting the Initial Time-Profile of Climate Policy: The Economics of Environmental Policy Phase-Ins," NBER Chapters, in: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy, pages 245-254 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. André Grimaud & Gilles Lafforgue & Bertrand Magné, 2009. "Climate Change Mitigation Options and Directed Technical Change: A Decentralized Equilibrium Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2875, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Nordhaus, William, 2011. "Designing a friendly space for technological change to slow global warming," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 665-673, July.
  6. Martin L. Weitzman, 2010. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," NBER Working Papers 16136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Parry, Ian, 2003. "Are Emissions Permits Regressive?," Discussion Papers dp-03-21, Resources For the Future.
  8. Richard Newell & William Pizer & Jiangfeng Zhang, 2005. "Managing Permit Markets to Stabilize Prices," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(2), pages 133-157, 06.
  9. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Yoder, Jonathan K., 2010. "An integrated tax-subsidy policy for carbon emission reduction," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 310-326, August.
  10. Dockner,Engelbert J. & Jorgensen,Steffen & Long,Ngo Van & Sorger,Gerhard, 2000. "Differential Games in Economics and Management Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637329, October.
  11. Stefan Boeters & J. Koornneef, 2010. "Supply of renewable energy sources and the cost of EU climate policy," CPB Discussion Paper 142, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  12. Burtraw, Dallas & Sweeney, Richard & Walls, Margaret, 2009. "The Incidence of U.S. Climate Policy: Alternative Uses of Revenues from a Cap-and-Trade Auction," Discussion Papers dp-09-17-rev, Resources For the Future.
  13. Markusen James R. & Morey Edward R. & Olewiler Nancy D., 1993. "Environmental Policy when Market Structure and Plant Locations Are Endogenous," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 69-86, January.
  14. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: a supply side approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 360-394, August.
  15. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2012. "Learning or lock-in: Optimal technology policies to support mitigation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-23.
  16. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
  17. Vedenov, Dmitry & Wetzstein, Michael, 2008. "Toward an optimal U.S. ethanol fuel subsidy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2073-2090, September.
  18. Mirrlees, J. A. & Stern, N. H., 1972. "Fairly good plans," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 268-288, April.
  19. Parry, Ian W.H. & Williams, Roberton C. III, 2010. "What Are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives in Designing Domestic Climate Policy?," Discussion Papers dp-10-51, Resources For the Future.
  20. Fischer, Carolyn & Preonas, Louis, 2010. "Combining Policies for Renewable Energy: Is the Whole Less than the Sum of Its Parts?," Discussion Papers dp-10-19, Resources For the Future.
  21. Parry Ian W. H. & Williams Roberton C., 2010. "What are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives for Climate Policy?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, December.
  22. Steven Sorrell, 2003. "Carbon Trading in the Policy Mix," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 420-437.
  23. Lapan, Harvey E. & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2012. "Second-Best Biofuel Policies and the Welfare Effects of Quantity Mandates and Subsidies," Staff General Research Papers 34891, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  24. Lori Bennear & Robert Stavins, 2007. "Second-best theory and the use of multiple policy instruments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 111-129, May.
  25. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2009. "Designing a Carbon Tax to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 63-83, Winter.
  26. David Anthoff & Richard Tol, 2009. "The Impact of Climate Change on the Balanced Growth Equivalent: An Application of FUND," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 351-367, July.
  27. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard, 2004. "Environmental and Technology Policies for Climate Mitigation," Discussion Papers dp-04-05, Resources For the Future.
  28. Heyes, Anthony & Heyes, Catherine, 2000. "An empirical analysis of the Nuclear Liability Act (1970) in Canada," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 91-101, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Amigues, Jean-Pierre & Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Lafforgue, Gilles & Moreaux, Michel, 2012. "Renewable Portfolio Standards and implicit tax-subsidy schemes: Structural differences induced by quantity and proportional mandates," IDEI Working Papers 698, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Mark Andor & Achim Voss, 2014. "Optimal Renewable-Energy Subsidies," Ruhr Economic Papers 0473, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  3. Narbel, Patrick A., 2014. "Rethinking how to support intermittent renewables," Discussion Papers 2014/17, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
  4. Edenhofer, Ottmar & Hirth, Lion & Knopf, Brigitte & Pahle, Michael & Schlömer, Steffen & Schmid, Eva & Ueckerdt, Falko, 2013. "On the economics of renewable energy sources," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages S12-S23.
  5. Matthias Kalkuhl & Ottmar Edenhofer & Kai Lessmann, 2012. "The Role of Carbon Capture and Sequestration Policies for Climate Change Mitigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3834, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Lehmann, Paul, 2013. "Supplementing an emissions tax by a feed-in tariff for renewable electricity to address learning spillovers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 635-641.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.