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Supplementing an emissions tax by a feed-in tariff for renewable electricity to address learning spillovers

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  • Lehmann, Paul

Abstract

In the presence of learning spillovers related to renewable energy technologies, an optimal strategy to mitigate climate change should complement an emissions tax by a subsidy for renewables. This article addresses the question how such subsidy should be designed. It is shown that the widely-used approach of a revenue-neutral fixed feed-in tariff can yield an optimal outcome under restrictive conditions only. It has to be adapted continuously as the electricity price changes. Moreover, funding the tariff by a surcharge on the electricity price has important implications for the design of the emission tax. The optimal tax rate has to be below the Pigovian level, differentiated across fossil fuels and adapted over time as the patterns of technological development change. These requirements may pose a formidable challenge for practical decision-making. However, it is important to point out that the eventual choices made with respect to the design and funding of a feed-in tariff have to be based on a careful and more comprehensive policy assessment, including, inter alia, economic effects beyond the electricity sector and existing institutional constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Lehmann, Paul, 2013. "Supplementing an emissions tax by a feed-in tariff for renewable electricity to address learning spillovers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 635-641.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:61:y:2013:i:c:p:635-641
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.06.072
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    Cited by:

    1. Jenkins, Jesse D., 2014. "Political economy constraints on carbon pricing policies: What are the implications for economic efficiency, environmental efficacy, and climate policy design?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 467-477.
    2. Fabio Antoniou & Roland Strausz, 2014. "The Effectiveness of Taxation and Feed-in Tariffs," CESifo Working Paper Series 4788, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Corradini, Massimiliano & Costantini, Valeria & Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2014. "Unveiling the dynamic relation between R&D and emission abatement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 48-59.
    4. repec:eee:tefoso:v:122:y:2017:i:c:p:71-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Nachtigall, Daniel & Rübbelke, Dirk, 2016. "The green paradox and learning-by-doing in the renewable energy sector," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 74-92.
    6. Pandey, Rita & Mehra, Meeta Keswani, 2015. "Role of Fiscal Instruments in Promoting Low-carbon Technology Innovation," Working Papers 15/147, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    7. Herrmann, J.K. & Savin, I., 2017. "Optimal policy identification: Insights from the German electricity market," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 71-90.
    8. Abolhosseini, Shahrouz & Heshmati, Almas, 2014. "The main support mechanisms to finance renewable energy development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 876-885.
    9. Schmidt, Tobias S. & Battke, Benedikt & Grosspietsch, David & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2016. "Do deployment policies pick technologies by (not) picking applications?—A simulation of investment decisions in technologies with multiple applications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1965-1983.
    10. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0012-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sijm, Jos & Lehmann, Paul & Chewpreecha, Unnada & Gawel, Erik & Mercure, Jean-Francois & Pollitt, Hector & Strunz, Sebastian, 2014. "EU climate and energy policy beyond 2020: Are additional targets and instruments for renewables economically reasonable?," UFZ Discussion Papers 3/2014, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).

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