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Rents in the European power sector due to carbon trading

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  • Keppler, Jan Horst
  • Cruciani, Michel

Abstract

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) has imposed a price on the allowances for CO2 emissions of electricity companies. Integrating this allowance price into the price of electricity earns a rent for companies who have received these allowances for free. During Phase I, 2005-2007, rents corresponding to the aggregate value of allocated allowances amounted to roughly [euro] 13 billion per year. However, due to the specific price-setting mechanism in electricity markets true rents were considerably higher. This is due to the fact that companies also that have not received any allowances gain additional infra-marginal rents to the extent that their variable costs are below the new market price after inclusion of the allowance price. Producers with low carbon emissions and low marginal costs thus also benefit substantially from carbon pricing. This paper develops a methodology to determine the specific interaction of the imposition of such a CO2 constraint and the price-setting mechanism in the electricity sector under the assumption of marginal cost pricing in a liberalized European electricity market. The article thus provides an empirical estimate of the true total rents of power producers during Phase I of the EU-ETS (2005-2007). The EU ETS generated in Phase I additional rents in excess of [euro] 19 billion per year for electricity producers. These transfers are distributed very unevenly between different electricity producers. In a second step, the paper assesses the impact of switching from free allocation to an auctioning of allowances in 2013. We show that such a switch to auctioning will continue to create additional infra-marginal rents for certain producers and will leave the electricity sector as a whole better off than before the introduction of the EU ETS.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:8:p:4280-4290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pahle, Michael & Fan, Lin & Schill, Wolf-Peter, 2011. "How Emission Certificate Allocations Distort Fossil Investments: The German Example," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1975-1987.
    2. Liam Wagner & Lynette Molyneaux & John Foster, 2012. "Magnifying uncertainty: the impact of a shift to gas under a carbon price," Energy Economics and Management Group Working Papers 11-2012, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    3. Lehmann, Paul & Gawel, Erik, 2013. "Why should support schemes for renewable electricity complement the EU emissions trading scheme?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 597-607.
    4. Aatola, Piia & Ollikainen, Markku & Toppinen, Anne, 2013. "Price determination in the EU ETS market: Theory and econometric analysis with market fundamentals," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 380-395.
    5. Wagner, Liam & Molyneaux, Lynette & Foster, John, 2014. "The magnitude of the impact of a shift from coal to gas under a Carbon Price," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 280-291.
    6. Jouvet, Pierre-André & Solier, Boris, 2013. "An overview of CO2 cost pass-through to electricity prices in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1370-1376.
    7. Wang, Tan & Gong, Yu & Jiang, Chuanwen, 2014. "A review on promoting share of renewable energy by green-trading mechanisms in power system," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 923-929.
    8. Venmans, Frank, 2012. "A literature-based multi-criteria evaluation of the EU ETS," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 5493-5510.
    9. Castagneto-Gissey, Giorgio, 2014. "How competitive are EU electricity markets? An assessment of ETS Phase II," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 278-297.
    10. da Silva, Patricia Pereira & Moreno, Blanca & Figueiredo, Nuno Carvalho, 2016. "Firm-specific impacts of CO2 prices on the stock market value of the Spanish power industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 492-501.
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7761 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Wolfgang Buchholz & Jonas Frank & Hans-Dieter Karl & Johannes Pfeiffer & Karen Pittel & Ursula Triebswetter & Jochen Habermann & Wolfgang Mauch & Thomas Staudacher, 2012. "Die Zukunft der Energiemärkte: Ökonomische Analyse und Bewertung von Potenzialen und Handlungsmöglichkeiten," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 57, October.

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    Keywords

    EU ETS Electricity markets Rents;

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