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Pass-Through of CO2 Emission Costs to Hourly Electricity Prices in Germany

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  • Beat Hintermann

Abstract

I estimate the level of emissions cost pass-through to hourly wholesale electricity prices in Germany, based on spot market data. I control for contemporaneous shocks to demand and supply by constructing a detailed supply curve for fossil generation and intersecting it with residual demand for fossil-based electricity for every hour. Determining the marginal generator allows me to use marginal fuel and allowance costs (rather than prices) as explanatory variables in order to identify the level of cost pass-through directly and with a high level of precision. I find that allowance costs are passed through to electricity prices completely (or nearly completely) on average, but that the degree of pass-through varies over the load curve. My results suggest that there is no economic reason for free allowance allocation to the German electricity sector, and thus I support the updated allocation rules in phase 3 of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Beat Hintermann, 2016. "Pass-Through of CO2 Emission Costs to Hourly Electricity Prices in Germany," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 857-891.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/688486
    DOI: 10.1086/688486
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    Cited by:

    1. Karsten Neuhoff & Robert A. Ritz, 2019. "Carbon cost pass-through in industrial sectors," Working Papers EPRG1935, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    2. Guo, B. & Castagneto Gissey, G., 2019. "Cost Pass-through in the British Wholesale Electricity Market: Implications of Brexit and the ETS reform," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1997, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Marion Leroutier, 2019. "Carbon Pricing and Power Sector Decarbonisation: Evidence from the UK," Policy Papers 2019.03, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    4. Paolo Falbo & Cristian Pelizzari & Luca Taschini, 2016. "Renewables, allowances markets, and capacity expansion in energy-only markets," GRI Working Papers 246, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    5. Wen, Fenghua & Wu, Nan & Gong, Xu, 2020. "China's carbon emissions trading and stock returns," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    6. Linn, Joshua & Muehlenbachs, Lucija, 2018. "The heterogeneous impacts of low natural gas prices on consumers and the environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 1-28.
    7. Woo, C.K. & Chen, Y. & Olson, A. & Moore, J. & Schlag, N. & Ong, A. & Ho, T., 2017. "Electricity price behavior and carbon trading: New evidence from California," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 204(C), pages 531-543.
    8. Woo, C.K. & Chen, Y. & Zarnikau, J. & Olson, A. & Moore, J. & Ho, T., 2018. "Carbon trading’s impact on California’s real-time electricity market prices," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 579-587.
    9. Dickson, Alex & MacKenzie, Ian A., 2018. "Strategic trade in pollution permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 94-113.
    10. Jiménez-Rodríguez, Rebeca, 2019. "What happens to the relationship between EU allowances prices and stock market indices in Europe?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 13-24.
    11. Gabriel E. Lade & James Bushnell, 2019. "Fuel Subsidy Pass-Through and Market Structure: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 563-592.
    12. Germeshausen, Robert & Wölfing, Nikolas, 2019. "How marginal is lignite? Two simple approaches to determine price-setting technologies in power markets," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-031, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    13. Nicolaï, Jean-Philippe, 2019. "Emission reduction and profit-neutral permit allocations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 239-253.
    14. Gabriel E. Lade & James Bushnell, 2016. "Fuel Subsidy Pass-Through and Market Structure: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 16-wp570, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    15. Naegele, Helene & Zaklan, Aleksandar, 2019. "Does the EU ETS cause carbon leakage in European manufacturing?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 125-147.
    16. Abrell, Jan & Kosch, Mirjam & Rausch, Sebastian, 2019. "Carbon abatement with renewables: Evaluating wind and solar subsidies in Germany and Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 172-202.
    17. Jean-Philippe Nicolaï & Jorge Zamorano, 2018. "Windfall Profits Under Pollution Permits and Output-Based Allocation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 69(4), pages 661-691, April.
    18. Woo, C.K. & Olson, A. & Chen, Y. & Moore, J. & Schlag, N. & Ong, A. & Ho, T., 2017. "Does California's CO2 price affect wholesale electricity prices in the Western U.S.A.?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 9-19.
    19. Sebastian Wehrle & Johannes Schmidt, 2018. "District heating systems under high CO2 emission prices: the role of the pass-through from emission cost to electricity prices," Papers 1810.02109, arXiv.org.
    20. Spodniak, Petr & Bertsch, Valentin, 2020. "Is flexible and dispatchable generation capacity rewarded in electricity futures markets? A multinational impact analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    21. Christoph Weissbart, 2018. "Decarbonization of Power Markets under Stability and Fairness: Do They Influence Efficiency?," ifo Working Paper Series 270, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

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