Flexible Mandates for Investment in New Technology
AbstractRegulators often seek to promote the use of improved, cleaner technology when new investments occur; however, technology mandates are suspected of raising costs and delaying investment. We examine investment choices for electricity generation under a strict emissions rate performance standard requiring the installation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) on fossil-fired plants. We compare the strict standard with a flexible one that imposes a surcharge for emissions in excess of the standard. A third policy allows the surcharge revenue to fund later CCS retrofits. Analytical results indicate that increasing flexibility leads to earlier introduction of CCS, lower aggregate emissions and higher profits. We test this using multi-stage stochastic optimization, with uncertain future natural gas and emissions allowance prices. Under perfect foresight, the analytical predictions hold. With uncertainty, these predictions hold most often but we find outcomes that contradict the theory. In some cases, investments are delayed to enable the decisionmaker to learn additional information.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-12-14.
Date of creation: 27 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
technology standards; innovation; climate change; uncertainty; carbon capture and storage;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
- Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2012-07-23 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2012-07-23 (Environmental Economics)
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.:
- Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
- Milliman, Scott R. & Prince, Raymond, 1989. "Firm incentives to promote technological change in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-265, November.
- Magat, Wesley A., 1978. "Pollution control and technological advance: A dynamic model of the firm," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, March.
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