IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Renewable Energy Subsidies: Second-Best Policy or Fatal Aberration for Mitigation?

  • Matthias Kalkuhl

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK))

  • Ottmar Edenhofer

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Technical University Berlin)

  • Kai Lessmann

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK))

This paper evaluates the consequences of renewable energy policies on welfare, resource rents and energy costs in a world where carbon pricing is imperfect and the regulator seeks to limit emissions to a (cumulative) target. We use a global general equilibrium model with an intertemporal fossil resource sector. We calculate the optimal second-best renewable energy subsidy and compare the resulting welfare level with an efficient first-best carbon pricing policy. If carbon pricing is permanently missing, mitigation costs increase by a multiple (compared to the optimal carbon pricing policy) for a wide range of parameters describing extraction costs, renewable energy costs, substitution possibilities and normative attitudes. Furthermore, we show that small deviations from the second-best subsidy can lead to strong increases in emissions and consumption losses. This confirms the rising concerns about the occurrence of unintended side effects of climate policy { a new version of the green paradox. We extend our second-best analysis by considering two further types of policy instruments: (1) temporary subsidies that are displaced by carbon pricing in the long run and (2) revenue-neutral instruments like a carbon trust and a feed-in-tariff scheme. Although these instruments cause small welfare losses, they have the potential to ease distributional conflicts as they lead to lower energy prices and higher fossil resource rents than the optimal carbon pricing policy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/2011620942454NDL2011-048.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2011.48.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.48
Contact details of provider: Postal: Corso Magenta, 63 - 20123 Milan
Phone: 0039-2-52036934
Fax: 0039-2-52036946
Web page: http://www.feem.it/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lapan, Harvey & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2012. "Second-best biofuel policies and the welfare effects of quantity mandates and subsidies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 224-241.
  2. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Yoder, Jonathan K., 2010. "An integrated tax-subsidy policy for carbon emission reduction," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 310-326, August.
  3. Markusen James R. & Morey Edward R. & Olewiler Nancy D., 1993. "Environmental Policy when Market Structure and Plant Locations Are Endogenous," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 69-86, January.
  4. Boeters, Stefan & Koornneef, Joris, 2011. "Supply of renewable energy sources and the cost of EU climate policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1024-1034, September.
  5. Parry, Ian W. H., 2004. "Are emissions permits regressive?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 364-387, March.
  6. Richard Newell & William Pizer & Jiangfeng Zhang, 2005. "Managing Permit Markets to Stabilize Prices," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(2), pages 133-157, 06.
  7. Martin L. Weitzman, 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(2), pages 221-244, 03.
  8. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2005. "Cost-Effectiveness of Renewable Electricity Policies," Discussion Papers dp-05-01, Resources For the Future.
  9. André Grimaud & Gilles Lafforgue & Bertrand Magné, 2009. "Climate Change Mitigation Options and Directed Technical Change: A Decentralized Equilibrium Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2875, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: A supply side approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19638, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2008. "Designing A Carbon Tax to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions," NBER Working Papers 14375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lori Bennear & Robert Stavins, 2007. "Second-best theory and the use of multiple policy instruments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 111-129, May.
  13. Mirrlees, J. A. & Stern, N. H., 1972. "Fairly good plans," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 268-288, April.
  14. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2007. "Climate policies and learning by doing: Impacts and timing of technology subsidies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 58-82, January.
  15. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard, 2004. "Environmental and Technology Policies for Climate Mitigation," Discussion Papers dp-04-05, Resources For the Future.
  16. Fischer, Carolyn & Preonas, Louis, 2010. "Combining Policies for Renewable Energy: Is the Whole Less than the Sum of Its Parts?," Discussion Papers dp-10-19, Resources For the Future.
  17. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2012. "Learning or lock-in: Optimal technology policies to support mitigation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-23.
  18. Sinn, Hans-Werner, . "Das grüne Paradoxon ; Plädoyer für eine illusionsfreie Klimapolitik," Monographs in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics, number 19627.
  19. Roberton C. Williams III, 2011. "Setting the Initial Time-Profile of Climate Policy: The Economics of Environmental Policy Phase-Ins," NBER Chapters, in: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy, pages 245-254 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Heyes, Anthony & Heyes, Catherine, 2000. "An empirical analysis of the Nuclear Liability Act (1970) in Canada," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 91-101, January.
  21. Parry Ian W. H. & Williams Roberton C., 2010. "What are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives for Climate Policy?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, December.
  22. Vedenov, Dmitry & Wetzstein, Michael, 2008. "Toward an optimal U.S. ethanol fuel subsidy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2073-2090, September.
  23. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521637329 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Steven Sorrell, 2003. "Carbon Trading in the Policy Mix," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 420-437.
  25. Burtraw, Dallas & Sweeney, Richard & Walls, Margaret, 2009. "The Incidence of U.S. Climate Policy: Alternative Uses of Revenues from a Cap-and-Trade Auction," Discussion Papers dp-09-17-rev, Resources For the Future.
  26. David Anthoff & Richard Tol, 2009. "The Impact of Climate Change on the Balanced Growth Equivalent: An Application of FUND," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 351-367, July.
  27. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
  28. Nordhaus, William, 2011. "Designing a friendly space for technological change to slow global warming," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 665-673, July.
  29. Parry, Ian W.H. & Williams, Roberton C. III, 2010. "What Are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives in Designing Domestic Climate Policy?," Discussion Papers dp-10-51, Resources For the Future.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.