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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
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:685-693 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Harrison Fell, Beat Hintermann, and Herman Vollebergh, 2015. "Carbon content of electricity futures in Phase II of the EU ETS," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    3. 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.
    4. Helene Naegele & Aleksandar Zaklan, 2017. "Does the EU ETS Cause Carbon Leakage in European Manufacturing?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1689, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Dickson, Alex & MacKenzie, Ian A., 2018. "Strategic trade in pollution permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 94-113.
    6. repec:kap:enreec:v:69:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0096-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:9-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:jeeman:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:1-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:appene:v:204:y:2017:i:c:p:531-543 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Mulder, Machiel & Scholtens, Bert, 2016. "A plant-level analysis of the spill-over effects of the German Energiewende," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 1259-1271.
    11. repec:eee:energy:v:159:y:2018:i:c:p:579-587 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Beat Hintermann, 2017. "Market Power in Emission Permit Markets: Theory and Evidence from the EU ETS," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(1), pages 89-112, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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