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Carbon allowance auction design of China's emissions trading scheme: A multi-agent-based approach


  • Tang, Ling
  • Wu, Jiaqian
  • Yu, Lean
  • Bao, Qin


In this paper, a multi-agent-based ETS simulation model is proposed for carbon allowance auction design in China. In the proposed model, two main agents, i.e., the government (the ETS implementer) and the firms in different sectors (the ETS targets), are considered. Under the ETS policy, all agents make various decisions individually according to their own goals, and interact with each other through three main markets: the commodity market, the primary carbon auction market and the secondary carbon trading market. Different popular auction designs are introduced into the ETS formulation to offer helpful insights into China's ETS design. (1) Generally, the ETS would lead to positive effects on China's carbon mitigation and energy structure improvement, but a negative impact on economy. (2) As for auction forms, the uniform-price design is relatively moderate, while the discriminative-price design is quite aggressive in both economic damage and emissions reduction. (3) As for carbon price, the uniform-price auction might generate a slightly higher market clearing price than the discriminative-price auction, and the prices under two auction rules fluctuate about RMB 40 per metric ton. (4) As for carbon cap, the total allowances in the carbon auction market should be carefully set to well balance economic growth and mitigation effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Tang, Ling & Wu, Jiaqian & Yu, Lean & Bao, Qin, 2017. "Carbon allowance auction design of China's emissions trading scheme: A multi-agent-based approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 30-40.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:102:y:2017:i:c:p:30-40 DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.11.041

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    References listed on IDEAS

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