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Policy Uncertainty and Investment in Low-Carbon Technology

Author

Listed:
  • Silvia Albrizio
  • Helia Costa

Abstract

In the context of an emission trading scheme (ETS), we study how uncertainty over the environmental policy affectsfirms' investment in low-carbon technologies. We develop a three period sequential model that combines the industry and the electricity sectors and encompasses both irreversible and reversible investment possibilities for the firms. Additionally, we explicitly model the policy uncertainty in the regulator's objective function as well as the market interactions that give rise to an endogenous price of permits. We find that uncertainty reduces irreversible investment and that the availability of both reversible and irreversible technologies partially eliminates the positive effect of policy uncertainty on reversible technology found in previous literature. Furthermore, we provide a framework that allows to assess the efficiency of different implementations of the scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Albrizio & Helia Costa, 2012. "Policy Uncertainty and Investment in Low-Carbon Technology," Economics Working Papers ECO2012/27, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2012/27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. PAOLO COLLA & MARC GERMAIN & VINCENT Van STEENBERGHE, 2012. "Environmental Policy and Speculation on Markets for Emission Permits," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, pages 152-182.
    2. Yihsu Chen & Chung-Li Tseng, 2011. "Inducing Clean Technology in the Electricity Sector: Tradable Permits or Carbon Tax Policies?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 169-174.
    3. Harrison Fell & Richard Morgenstern, 2010. "Alternative Approaches to Cost Containment in a Cap-and-Trade System," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 275-297.
    4. Kenneth Gillingham & Richard G. Newell & Karen Palmer, 2009. "Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 597-620, September.
    5. Julien Chevallier, 2011. "Econometric analysis of carbon markets: the european union emissions trading scheme and the clean development mechanism," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(4), pages 1-53.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10174 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Blyth, William & Bradley, Richard & Bunn, Derek & Clarke, Charlie & Wilson, Tom & Yang, Ming, 2007. "Investment risks under uncertain climate change policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5766-5773, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Quemin, 2016. "Intertemporal abatement decisions under ambiguity aversion in a cap and trade," Working Papers 1604, Chaire Economie du climat.
    2. Cyril Monnet & Ted Temzelides, 2016. "Monetary emissions trading mechanisms," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, pages 85-100.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emission Trading Scheme; low-carbon investment; policy uncertainty; mechanism design; irreversible and reversible investment;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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