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Climate policy and the social cost of power generation: Impacts of the Swedish national emissions target


  • Söderholm, Patrik
  • Pettersson, Fredrik


The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the design of climate policy in a small open economy may affect the internalization of carbon-related external costs and ultimately the social choice between different power generation technologies. Empirically we focus on the Swedish case and analyze three climate policy regimes, out of which two represent different national goal formulations and thus compliance strategies. The results show that the social choice between power generation technologies in Sweden will be significantly influenced by the choice of climate policy regime. Most notably, if Sweden would abandon its present national target for carbon dioxide emissions and instead make full use of the country's participation in international emissions trading, natural gas-fired power would replace onshore wind power as the power generation source with the lowest social cost.

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  • Söderholm, Patrik & Pettersson, Fredrik, 2008. "Climate policy and the social cost of power generation: Impacts of the Swedish national emissions target," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 4154-4158, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:11:p:4154-4158

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tol, Richard S. J., 2005. "The marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions: an assessment of the uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(16), pages 2064-2074, November.
    2. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
    3. Miranda, Marie Lynn & Hale, Brack, 2001. "Protecting the forest from the trees: the social costs of energy production in Sweden," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 26(9), pages 869-889.
    4. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
    5. Söderholm, Patrik, 2008. "The political economy of international green certificate markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2051-2062, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schaffrin, André & Reibling, Nadine, 2015. "Household energy and climate mitigation policies: Investigating energy practices in the housing sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-10.
    2. Krook Riekkola, Anna & Ahlgren, Erik O. & Söderholm, Patrik, 2011. "Ancillary benefits of climate policy in a small open economy: The case of Sweden," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 4985-4998, September.
    3. Honma, Satoshi & Hu, Jin-Li, 2009. "Total-factor energy productivity growth of regions in Japan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3941-3950, October.
    4. Michanek, Gabriel & Söderholm, Patrik, 2009. "Licensing of nuclear power plants: The case of Sweden in an international comparison," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 4086-4097, October.
    5. Söderholm, Patrik & Wårell, Linda, 2011. "Market opening and third party access in district heating networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 742-752, February.


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