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When is a carbon price floor desirable?

Author

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  • David M. Newbery

    (Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) Judge Business School & Faculty of Economics Cambridge University)

  • David M. Reiner

    (Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) Judge Business School & Faculty of Economics Cambridge University)

  • Robert A. Ritz

    (Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) Judge Business School & Faculty of Economics Cambridge University)

Abstract

The EU carbon price lies well below estimates of the social cost of carbon and “target-consistent” carbon prices needed to deliver ambitious targets such as the 40% reduction target for 2030. In light of this, the UK introduced a carbon price floor (CPF) for its electricity sector in 2013 and the new Dutch Government has recently made a similar commitment, while successive French Governments have called for an EU-wide CPF. This paper analyzes the impacts and design of a power-sector CPF, both at the EU and national level, using a political-economy approach. We find a good case for introducing such a price-based instrument into the EU ETS. We suggest that a CPF should be designed to “top up” the EUA price to €25–30/tCO2, rising annually at 3–5% above inflation, at least until 2030. We argue that the new EU Market Stability Reserve enhances the value of a CPF in terms of delivering climate benefits, and discuss the potential for a regional CPF in North-West Europe. We also review international experience with price floors (and ceilings).
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • David M. Newbery & David M. Reiner & Robert A. Ritz, 2018. "When is a carbon price floor desirable?," Working Papers EPRG 1816, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:enp:wpaper:eprg1816
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    Cited by:

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    2. 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.
    3. Simon Quemin & Raphael Trotignon, 2018. "Competitive Permit Storage and Market Design: An Application to the EU-ETS," Working Papers 2018.19, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    4. Marion Leroutier, 2021. "Carbon Pricing and Power Sector Decarbonisation: Evidence from the UK," Working Papers halshs-03265636, HAL.
    5. Hua, Weiqi & Jiang, Jing & Sun, Hongjian & Wu, Jianzhong, 2020. "A blockchain based peer-to-peer trading framework integrating energy and carbon markets," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 279(C).
    6. Marion Leroutier, 2021. "Carbon Pricing and Power Sector Decarbonisation: Evidence from the UK," CIRED Working Papers halshs-03265636, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Carbon pricing; electricity markets; market failure; policy failure; political economy; price floor; price corridor;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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