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Electricity capacity investment under risk aversion: A case study of coal, gas, and concentrated solar power

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  • Fan, Lin
  • Norman, Catherine S.
  • Patt, Anthony G.

Abstract

The policy instrument many economists favor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to shift new investment towards low carbon technologies is the tradable allowance system. Experience with this instrument has been mixed, with a crucial design issue being the choice of whether to auction allowances to firms, or to grandfather them based on historical emissions. In this paper, we examine the changing incentives of investment in different technologies, when investors are risk averse and are expecting an allowance system with a certain allocation rule but do not know if the policy is going to take place in the near future. Investors also cannot fully predict future investment costs for the low-carbon technology. We apply a game theoretic model to examine the combined effects of uncertainty and risk aversion on the actions of potential investors into high and low carbon generating capacity, under both allocation rules and uncertain costs. We find that uncertainty and risk aversion do have implications towards investment incentives. We discuss policy implications of these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Fan, Lin & Norman, Catherine S. & Patt, Anthony G., 2012. "Electricity capacity investment under risk aversion: A case study of coal, gas, and concentrated solar power," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 54-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:1:p:54-61
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2011.10.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Babcock, Bruce A. & Choi, E. Kwan & Feinerman, Eli, 1993. "Risk And Probability Premiums For Cara Utility Functions," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-8, July.
    2. Williges, Keith & Lilliestam, Johan & Patt, Anthony, 2010. "Making concentrated solar power competitive with coal: The costs of a European feed-in tariff," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 3089-3097, June.
    3. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    4. Fan, Lin & Hobbs, Benjamin F. & Norman, Catherine S., 2010. "Risk aversion and CO2 regulatory uncertainty in power generation investment: Policy and modeling implications," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 193-208, November.
    5. Pahle, Michael, 2010. "Germany's dash for coal: Exploring drivers and factors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3431-3442, July.
    6. Held, Hermann & Kriegler, Elmar & Lessmann, Kai & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2009. "Efficient climate policies under technology and climate uncertainty," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(Supplemen), pages 50-61.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Parkinson, Simon C. & Djilali, Ned, 2015. "Long-term energy planning with uncertain environmental performance metrics," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 402-412.
    2. Milstein, Irena & Tishler, Asher, 2015. "Can price volatility enhance market power? The case of renewable technologies in competitive electricity markets," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 70-90.
    3. Ernesto Garnier and Reinhard Madlener, 2016. "The Influence of Policy Regime Risks on Investments in Innovative Energy Technology," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Bollino-M).
    4. Donatella Baiardi & Matteo Manera & Mario Menegatti, 2014. "The Effects of Environmental Risk on Consumption: an Empirical Analysis on the Mediterranean Countries," Working Papers 271, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2014.
    5. Meunier, Guy, 2013. "Risk aversion and technology mix in an electricity market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 866-874.
    6. George A. Gonzalez, 2016. "Transforming Energy: Solving Climate Change with Technology Policy . New York : Cambridge University Press . 360 pages. ISBN 9781107614970, $29.99 paperback. Anthony Patt , 2015 ," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 33(1), pages 111-113, January.
    7. Taylor, Benjamin & Xiao, Ning & Sikorski, Janusz & Yong, Minloon & Harris, Tom & Helme, Tim & Smallbone, Andrew & Bhave, Amit & Kraft, Markus, 2013. "Techno-economic assessment of carbon-negative algal biodiesel for transport solutions," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 262-274.
    8. repec:eee:appene:v:217:y:2018:i:c:p:440-455 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Christian Winzer, 2013. "Robustness of Various Capacity Mechanisms to Regulatory Errors Abstract: In the EU, several governments have introduced or are contemplating a capacity mechanism to ensure adequate investment in gener," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1338, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emissions trading; Allowances; Allocation rules; Uncertainty; Risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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