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Regulating CO 2 in electricity markets: sources or consumers?

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  • DALLAS BURTRAW

Abstract

The regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector within a cap-and-trade system poses significant policy questions on where to locate the point of compliance. Electricity markets often cross national or other regulatory boundaries, so that electricity generated within the boundary may comply with expectations but imported electricity may not. The question addressed in this article is where to locate the point of compliance in the electricity sector-where in the supply chain linking fuel suppliers to generators to the transmission system to retail load-serving entities should the obligation for measurement and compliance be placed? This problem is examined in the specific context of California's legislative requirements and particular energy markets, with the implications of the different policy options explored. The conclusion offered is that one particular approach to regulating the electricity sector-the 'first-seller approach'-would be best for California. The alternative 'load-based approach' has had a head start in the policy process but would undermine an economy-wide market-based emissions trading programme.

Suggested Citation

  • Dallas Burtraw, 2008. "Regulating CO 2 in electricity markets: sources or consumers?," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(6), pages 588-606, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:tcpoxx:v:8:y:2008:i:6:p:588-606
    DOI: 10.3763/cpol.2007.0499
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3763/cpol.2007.0499
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sperling, Daniel & Farrell, Alexander, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5hv693r2, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Dan, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8ng2h3x7, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    3. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Dan, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt6j67z9w6, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    4. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Daniel & Brandt, A.R. & Eggert, A. & Farrell, A.E. & Haya, B.K. & Hughes, J. & Jenkins, B.M. & Jones, A.D. & Kammen, D.M. & Knittel, C.R. & Melaina, M.W. & O'Hare, M., 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt1hm6k089, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    5. Farrell, Alexander & Sperling, Daniel, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8xv635dc, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    6. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Daniel & Arons, S.M. & Brandt, A.R. & Delucchi, M.A. & Eggert, A. & Farrell, A.E. & Haya, B.K. & Hughes, J. & Jenkins, B.M. & Jones, A.D. & Kammen, D.M. & Kaffka, S.R, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt8zm8d3wj, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    7. Farrell, Alexander & Sperling, Daniel, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5245b5kx, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Yong-Gun & Lim, Jong-Soo, 2014. "An emissions trading scheme design for power industries facing price regulation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 84-90.
    2. Hobbs, Benjamin F. & Bushnell, James & Wolak, Frank A., 2010. "Upstream vs. downstream CO2 trading: A comparison for the electricity context," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3632-3643, July.

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