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Carbon Tax or Carbon Permits: The Impact on Generators Risks


  • Richard Green


Volatile fuel prices affect both the cost and price of electricity in a liberalized market. Generators with the price-setting technology will face less risk to their profit margins than those with costs that are not correlated with price, even if those costs are not volatile. Emissions permit prices may respond to relative fuel prices, further increasing volatility. This paper simulates the impact of this on generatorsÕ profits, comparing an emissions trading scheme and a carbon tax against predictions for the UK in 2020. The carbon tax reduces the volatility faced by nuclear generators, but raises that faced by fossil fuel stations. Optimal portfolios would contain a higher proportion of nuclear plant if a carbon tax was adopted.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Green, 2008. "Carbon Tax or Carbon Permits: The Impact on Generators Risks," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 67-90.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2008v29-03-a04

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jano-Ito, Marco A. & Crawford-Brown, Douglas, 2017. "Investment decisions considering economic, environmental and social factors: An actors' perspective for the electricity sector of Mexico," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 92-106.
    2. Fridrik Baldursson & Nils-Henrik Fehr, 2012. "Price Volatility and Risk Exposure: On the Interaction of Quota and Product Markets," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(2), pages 213-233, June.
    3. Lappi, Pauli & Ollikka, Kimmo & Ollikainen, Markku, 2010. "Optimal fuel-mix in CHP plants under a stochastic permit price: Risk-neutrality versus risk-aversion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 1079-1086, February.
    4. Green, Richard & Vasilakos, Nicholas, 2010. "Market behaviour with large amounts of intermittent generation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3211-3220, July.
    5. Ditya Agung Nurdianto, 2016. "Economic Impacts of a Carbon Tax in an Integrated ASEAN," EEPSEA Special and Technical Paper tp201604t5, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Apr 2016.
    6. Roques, Fabien A., 2008. "Technology choices for new entrants in liberalized markets: The value of operating flexibility and contractual arrangements," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 245-253, December.
    7. Kim, Wook & Chattopadhyay, Deb & Park, Jong-bae, 2010. "Impact of carbon cost on wholesale electricity price: A note on price pass-through issues," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 3441-3448.
    8. Vithayasrichareon, Peerapat & Riesz, Jenny & MacGill, Iain F., 2015. "Using renewables to hedge against future electricity industry uncertainties—An Australian case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 43-56.
    9. Vithayasrichareon, Peerapat & MacGill, Iain F., 2012. "Portfolio assessments for future generation investment in newly industrializing countries – A case study of Thailand," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1044-1058.
    10. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Morris, Adele C. & Wilcoxen, Peter J., 2014. "Pricing carbon in the U.S.: A model-based analysis of power-sector-only approaches," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 130-150.
    11. repec:eee:resene:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:33-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Vithayasrichareon, Peerapat & MacGill, Iain F., 2012. "A Monte Carlo based decision-support tool for assessing generation portfolios in future carbon constrained electricity industries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 374-392.
    13. Keppler, Jan Horst & Cruciani, Michel, 2010. "Rents in the European power sector due to carbon trading," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4280-4290, August.
    14. Zhang, Yin-Fang & Gao, Ping, 2016. "Integrating environmental considerations into economic regulation of China's electricity sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 62-71.
    15. Roques, Fabien A. & Newbery, David M. & Nuttall, William J., 2008. "Fuel mix diversification incentives in liberalized electricity markets: A Mean-Variance Portfolio theory approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1831-1849, July.
    16. repec:dau:papers:123456789/2570 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Tietjen, Oliver & Pahle, Michael & Fuss, Sabine, 2016. "Investment risks in power generation: A comparison of fossil fuel and renewable energy dominated markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 174-185.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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