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Technological Uncertainty and Cost-effectiveness of CO2 Emission Trading Schemes

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  • Otto, Vincent M.
  • Löschel, Andreas

Abstract

This paper studies implications of uncertainty about the arrival date of a competitive CO2 backstop technology for the design of cost-effective CO2 emission trading schemes. For this purpose, we develop a dynamic general equilibrium model that captures empirical links between CO2 emissions associated with energy use, the rate and direction of technical change and the economy. We specify CO2 capture and storage (CCS) as the backstop technology whose competitiveness is anticipated or not. We find that the discounted welfare loss associated with the environmental target is lower if CCS is not anticipated and that CO2 shadow prices are then relatively high in the years before CCS is competitive. By not simply postponing the implementation of an emission reduction strategy until CCS is competitive, one relies more on economy-wide technical change and its welfare-enhancing technology externalities, thus allowing for a higher steady state. -- Dieses Papier untersucht die Implikationen von Unsicherheit bezüglich der Verfügbarkeit einer kompetitiven Technologie zur Kohlenstoffabscheidung und ?speicherung auf die Ausgestaltung kosteneffektiver CO2 Emissionshandelssysteme. Zu diesem Zweck wird ein dynamisches rechenbares allgemeines Gleichgewichtsmodell entwickelt, welches den empirischen Zusammenhang zwischen CO2 Emissionen, Rate und Richtung des technischen Wandels und wirtschaftlichen Aktivitäten berücksichtigt. Kohlenstoffabscheidung und ?speicherung wird als sogenannte Backstop-Technologie modelliert, deren Wirtschaftlichkeit antizipiert wird oder eben nicht. Die Simulationsergebnisse zeigen, dass die diskontierten Wohlfahrtsverluste der Klimapolitik niedriger sind, wenn die Technologie zur Kohlenstoffabscheidung und ?speicherung nicht antizipiert wird. In diesem Fall sind die Preise für CO2 Emissionszertifikate vor der unerwarteten Einführung der Backstop-Technologie relativ hoch. Es wird nicht einfach auf die Wirtschaftlichkeit der Kohlenstoffabscheidung und ? speicherung gewartet. Vielmehr wird ohne die Berücksichtigung von Kohlenstoffabscheidung und ? speicherung ein strikterer Politikpfad zur Erreichung der klimapolitischen Ziele implementiert, der die Internalisierung von technologischen Externalitäten und somit ein höheres Wohlfahrtsniveau ermöglicht. Die Umweltpolitik sollte gegeben der großen technologischen Unsicherheiten vorsichtig sein, Vermeidungsanstrengungen zu verschieben und auf eine Wunderwaffe zu Lösung des Klimaproblems im Energiesektor zu warten.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-050.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7360

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Keywords: CO2 capture and storage; computable general equilibrium modeling; directed technical change; emission trading; technological uncertainty;

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