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Resource Rent Taxation and Benchmarking – A New Perspective for the Swiss Hydropower Sector

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Abstract

The electricity generation in Switzerland is mainly based on hydropower (55% of total production). The exploitation of water in the hydropower sector can generate significant so-called resource rents. These are defined by the surplus return above the value of capital, labor, materials and energy used to exploit hydropower. In Switzerland, hydropower producers pay to the State a fixed fee per kW gross capacity. With this system the substantial differences in costs, revenues and in the production characteristics of the hydropower plants are not taken into account. In this context, the following paper has two main goals: 1) To discuss the introduction in the Swiss hydropower sector of a new payment system based on a resource rent tax; 2) To propose a combination of a RRT system with a benchmarking analysis of the production cost obtained through the estimation of a stochastic frontier variable cost function. We estimate a true random effects stochastic frontier variable cost function using panel data in order to overcome the asymmetric information problem. In addition, using the information on cost efficiency of the single companies, we show how to introduce in the RRT scheme a benchmark system which gives incentives to minimize the production costs.

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  • Massimo Filippini & Silvia Banfi, 2009. "Resource Rent Taxation and Benchmarking – A New Perspective for the Swiss Hydropower Sector," CEPE Working paper series 09-67, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:cee:wpcepe:09-67
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    1. Betz, Regina & Geissmann, Thomas & Kosch, Mirjam & Schillinger, Moritz & Weigt, Hannes, 2019. "The Design of Variable Water Fees and its Impact on Swiss Hydropower Companies and Resource Owners," Working papers 2019/12, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    2. Werner Hediger, 2018. "The Corporate Social Responsibility of Hydropower Companies in Alpine Regions—Theory and Policy Recommendations," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(10), pages 1-20, October.
    3. Alberto Gago & Xavier Labandeira & Xiral López Otero, 2014. "A Panorama on Energy Taxes and Green Tax Reforms," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 145-190, March.
    4. Ries, Jan & Gaudard, Ludovic & Romerio, Franco, 2016. "Interconnecting an isolated electricity system to the European market: The case of Malta," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-14.
    5. Massimo Filippini & Thomas Geissmann & William H. Greene, 2018. "Persistent and transient cost efficiency—an application to the Swiss hydropower sector," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 65-77, February.
    6. Mirjam Kosch & Regina Betz & Thomas Geissmann & Moritz Schillinger & Hannes Weigt, 2021. "The future of Swiss hydropower: how to distribute the risk and the profits?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 157(1), pages 1-17, December.
    7. Massarutto, Antonio & Pontoni, Federico, 2015. "Rent seizing and environmental concerns: A parametric valuation of the Italian hydropower sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 31-40.
    8. Wang, Yongpei & Yan, Weilong & Zhuang, Shangwen & Zhang, Qian, 2019. "Competition or complementarity ? The hydropower and thermal power nexus in China," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 531-541.
    9. Gregor Schwerhoff & Ottmar Edenhofer & Marc Fleurbaey, 2020. "Taxation Of Economic Rents," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 398-423, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource Rent Taxation; Hydropower; Efficiency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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