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Cost-effectiveness as energy policy mechanisms: The paradox of technology-neutral and technology-specific policies in the short and long term

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  • de Mello Santana, Paulo Henrique

Abstract

Policymakers worldwide have used both technology-neutral and technology-specific policy mechanisms to promote renewable energy sources (RES-E), and there are several recent, successful examples of these policies. When choosing policy mechanisms to design and deploy energy policies, policymakers typically seek cost-effective ones, linking cost-effectiveness to the lowest cost of support for RES-E generation and/or consumer costs. The objectives of this paper are to analyze the cost-effectiveness of renewable portfolio standards (RPS), feed-in tariffs (FIT) and auctions in the short and long term, considering both technology-neutral and technology-specific approaches. Results show that RPS and auctions are more cost-effective than feed-in tariffs (FIT) in the short term if cost-effectiveness is defined as minimizing consumer costs. Also, if one or more emerging technologies with higher levelized life cycle costs (LCC), low cumulative production and high experience elasticity are considered in the pool of RES-E policy design, a technology-neutral approach in the short-term could lock out these emerging technologies, avoiding a long term LCC reduction. In this case, a technology-specific policy used in the short-term would reflect lower total generation policy costs in the long term if compared with a technology-neutral policy in both short and long term. This paper calls this phenomenon the paradox of technology-neutral and technology-specific policies in the long term. Considering the results, this paper suggests a mix of technology-neutral and technology-specific policies using RPS or auction mechanisms to promote RES-E.

Suggested Citation

  • de Mello Santana, Paulo Henrique, 2016. "Cost-effectiveness as energy policy mechanisms: The paradox of technology-neutral and technology-specific policies in the short and long term," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1216-1222.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:58:y:2016:i:c:p:1216-1222
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.12.300
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    2. Thiel, Christian & Nijs, Wouter & Simoes, Sofia & Schmidt, Johannes & van Zyl, Arnold & Schmid, Erwin, 2016. "The impact of the EU car CO2 regulation on the energy system and the role of electro-mobility to achieve transport decarbonisation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 153-166.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:538-550 is not listed on IDEAS

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