IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fae/wpaper/2019.12.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Carbon Pricing and Power Sector Decarbonisation: Evidence from the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Marion Leroutier

    (Paris School of Economics (PSE), Université Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, Centre International de Recherche pour l'Environnement et le Développement (CIRED))

Abstract

The electricity and heat generation sector represents about 40 % of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2016. Policy-makers have implemented a variety of instruments to decarbonise their power sector. This paper examines the UK Carbon Price Floor (CPF), a novel carbon pricing instrument implemented in the United Kingdom in 2013. After describing the potential mechanisms behind the recent UK power sector decarbonisation, I apply the synthetic control method on country-level data to estimate the impact of the CPF on per capita emissions. I discuss the importance of potential confounders and the amount of net electricity imports imputable to the policy. Depending on the specification, the abatement associated with the introduction of the CPF range from 106 to 185 millions tons of equivalent CO2 over the 2013-2017 period. This implies a reduction of between 41% and 49% of total power sector emissions by 2017. Several placebo tests suggest that these estimates capture a causal impact. This paper shows that a carbon levy on high-emitting inputs used for electricity generation can lead to successful decarbonisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Leroutier, 2019. "Carbon Pricing and Power Sector Decarbonisation: Evidence from the UK," Working Papers 2019.12, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:fae:wpaper:2019.12
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://faere.fr/pub/WorkingPapers/Leroutier_FAERE_WP2019.12.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2019
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence H. Goulder & Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "Challenges from State-Federal Interactions in US Climate Change Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 253-257, May.
    2. Ryan Rafaty & Geoffroy Dolphin & Felix Pretis, 2020. "Carbon pricing and the elasticity of CO2 emissions," Working Papers EPRG2035, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    3. Grischa Perino, 2018. "New EU ETS Phase 4 rules temporarily puncture waterbed," Nature Climate Change, Nature, vol. 8(4), pages 262-264, April.
    4. Ibrahim Ahamada & Djamel Kirat, 2011. "The impact of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme on electricity generation," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) hal-00629900, HAL.
    5. Sato, Misato & Singer, Gregor & Dussaux, Damien & Lovo, Stefania, 2019. "International and sectoral variation in industrial energy prices 1995–2015," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 235-258.
    6. Grischa Perino & Robert A. Ritz & Arthur van Benthem, 2019. "Overlapping Climate Policies," NBER Working Papers 25643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Nikolay Doudchenko & Guido W. Imbens, 2016. "Balancing, Regression, Difference-In-Differences and Synthetic Control Methods: A Synthesis," NBER Working Papers 22791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Gugler, Klaus & Haxhimusa, Adhurim & Liebensteiner, Mario, 2021. "Effectiveness of climate policies: Carbon pricing vs. subsidizing renewables," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
    9. David M. Newbery & David M. Reiner & Robert A. Ritz, 2019. "The Political Economy of a Carbon Price Floor for Power Generation," The Energy Journal, , vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, January.
    10. Isaksen, Elisabeth Thuestad, 2020. "Have international pollution protocols made a difference?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    11. Laurent Gobillon & Thierry Magnac, 2016. "Regional Policy Evaluation: Interactive Fixed Effects and Synthetic Controls," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 535-551, July.
    12. Gilbert E. Metcalf & James H. Stock, 2023. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Europe's Carbon Taxes," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 265-286, July.
    13. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
    14. Guo, B. & Newbery, D., 2020. "The Cost of Carbon Leakage: Britain’s Carbon Price Support and Cross-border Electricity Trade," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2014, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    15. Van den Bergh, Kenneth & Delarue, Erik, 2015. "Quantifying CO2 abatement costs in the power sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 88-97.
    16. Jonathan Colmer & Ralf Martin & Mirabelle Muûls & Ulrich J. Wagner, 2020. "Does pricing carbon mitigate climate change? Firm-level evidence from the European Union emissions trading scheme," CEP Discussion Papers dp1728, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    17. Zachmann, Georg & von Hirschhausen, Christian, 2008. "First evidence of asymmetric cost pass-through of EU emissions allowances: Examining wholesale electricity prices in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 465-469, June.
    18. Rivers, Nicholas & Schaufele, Brandon, 2015. "Salience of carbon taxes in the gasoline market," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 23-36.
    19. Alberto Abadie & Alexis Diamond & Jens Hainmueller, 2015. "Comparative Politics and the Synthetic Control Method," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 59(2), pages 495-510, February.
    20. Guo, B. & Newbery, D. & Gissey, G., 2019. "The Impact of Unilateral Carbon Taxes on Cross-Border Electricity Trading," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1951, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    21. Bowei Guo & David Newbery, 2020. "The Cost of Trade Distortion: Britain's Carbon Price Support and Cross-border Electricity Trade," Working Papers EPRG2005, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    22. Kirat, Djamel & Ahamada, Ibrahim, 2011. "The impact of the European Union emission trading scheme on the electricity-generation sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 995-1003, September.
    23. Lee, Kangil & Melstrom, Richard T., 2018. "Evidence of increased electricity influx following the regional greenhouse gas initiative," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 127-135.
    24. Martin, Ralf & de Preux, Laure B. & Wagner, Ulrich J., 2014. "The impact of a carbon tax on manufacturing: Evidence from microdata," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 1-14.
    25. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
    26. Jan Abrell & Mirjam Kosch & Sebastian Rausch, 2019. "How Effective Was the UK Carbon Tax? — A Machine Learning Approach to Policy Evaluation," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 19/317, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    27. Chi Kong Chyong, Bowei Guo, and David Newbery, 2020. "The Impact of a Carbon Tax on the CO2 Emissions Reduction of Wind," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    28. Kim, Man-Keun & Kim, Taehoo, 2016. "Estimating impact of regional greenhouse gas initiative on coal to gas switching using synthetic control methods," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 328-335.
    29. Julius J. Andersson, 2019. "Carbon Taxes and CO2 Emissions: Sweden as a Case Study," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 1-30, November.
    30. 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.
    31. 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.
    32. Ralf Martin & Mirabelle Muûls & Ulrich J. Wagner, 2016. "The Impact of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme on Regulated Firms: What Is the Evidence after Ten Years?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(1), pages 129-148.
    33. A. Denny Ellerman & Claudio Marcantonini & Aleksandar Zaklan, 2016. "The European Union Emissions Trading System: Ten Years and Counting," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(1), pages 89-107.
    34. Ibrahim Ahamada & Djamel Kirat, 2011. "The impact of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme on electricity generation," Post-Print hal-00629900, HAL.
    35. I. A. Grant Wilson & Iain Staffell, 2018. "Rapid fuel switching from coal to natural gas through effective carbon pricing," Nature Energy, Nature, vol. 3(5), pages 365-372, May.
    36. Staffell, Iain, 2017. "Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 463-475.
    37. Christoph Böhringer & Henrike Koschel & Ulf Moslener, 2008. "Efficiency losses from overlapping regulation of EU carbon emissions," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 299-317, June.
    38. Alberto Abadie, 2021. "Using Synthetic Controls: Feasibility, Data Requirements, and Methodological Aspects," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 391-425, June.
    39. World Bank & Ecofys, "undated". "State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2018," World Bank Publications - Reports 29687, The World Bank Group.
    40. Julius Andersson, 2017. "Cars, carbon taxes and CO2 emissions," GRI Working Papers 212, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    41. Ibrahim Ahamada & Djamel Kirat, 2011. "The impact of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme on electricity generation," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00629900, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Marion Leroutier, 2021. "Carbon Pricing and Power Sector Decarbonisation: Evidence from the UK," CIRED Working Papers halshs-03265636, HAL.
    2. Marion Leroutier, 2021. "Carbon Pricing and Power Sector Decarbonisation: Evidence from the UK," Working Papers halshs-03265636, HAL.
    3. Rafaty, R. & Dolphin, G. & Pretis, F., 2020. "Carbon pricing and the elasticity of CO2 emissions," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 20116, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Pier Basaglia & Sophie Behr & Moritz A. Drupp, 2023. "De-Fueling Externalities: How Tax Salience and Fuel Substitution Mediate Climate and Health Benefits," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 2041, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Pier Basaglia & Sophie M. Behr & Moritz A. Drupp, 2023. "De-Fueling Externalities: Causal Effects of Fuel Taxation and Mediating Mechanisms for Reducing Climate and Pollution Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 10508, CESifo.
    6. Abrell, Jan & Kosch, Mirjam & Rausch, Sebastian, 2022. "How effective is carbon pricing?—A machine learning approach to policy evaluation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    7. 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.
    8. Guo, Bowei & Castagneto Gissey, Giorgio, 2021. "Cost pass-through in the British wholesale electricity market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    9. Zhang, Yue-Jun & Cheng, Hao-Sen, 2021. "The impact mechanism of the ETS on CO2 emissions from the service sector: Evidence from Beijing and Shanghai," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 173(C).
    10. Felix Pretis, 2022. "Does a Carbon Tax Reduce CO2 Emissions? Evidence from British Columbia," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 83(1), pages 115-144, September.
    11. Anderson, Heather M. & Gao, Jiti & Turnip, Guido & Vahid, Farshid & Wei, Wei, 2023. "Estimating the effect of an EU-ETS type scheme in Australia using a synthetic treatment approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    12. Arcila, Andres & Baker, John D., 2022. "Evaluating carbon tax policy: A methodological reassessment of a natural experiment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).
    13. Brehm, Johannes & aus dem Moore, Nils & Gruhl, Henri, 2022. "Driving Innovation? – Carbon Tax Effects in the Swedish Transport Sector," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264085, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Andrianesis, Panagiotis & Biskas, Pandelis & Liberopoulos, George, 2021. "Evaluating the cost of emissions in a pool-based electricity market," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 298(C).
    15. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & Ferran A. Mazaira-Font, 2020. "Ensuring Stability, Accuracy and Meaningfulness in Synthetic Control Methods: The Regularized SHAP-Distance Method," IREA Working Papers 202005, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2020.
    16. Bruno Ferman & Cristine Pinto & Vitor Possebom, 2020. "Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 510-532, March.
    17. Bowei Guo & Giorgio Castagneto Gissey, 2019. "Cost Pass-through in the British Wholesale Electricity Market: Implications of Brexit and the ETS reform," Working Papers EPRG1937, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    18. Niklas Potrafke & Fabian Ruthardt & Kaspar Wuthrich, 2020. "Protectionism and economic growth: Causal evidence from the first era of globalization," Papers 2010.02378, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2022.
    19. Michael Funke & Kadri Männasoo & Helery Tasane, 2023. "Regional Economic Impacts of the Øresund Cross-Border Fixed Link: Cui Bono?," CESifo Working Paper Series 10557, CESifo.
    20. Runst, Petrik & Thonipara, Anita, 2020. "Dosis facit effectum why the size of the carbon tax matters: Evidence from the Swedish residential sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon tax; electricity generation; synthetic control method;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fae:wpaper:2019.12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Dorothée Charlier (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/faereea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.