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Second-Best Analysis of European Energy Policy: Is One Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush?

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Hübler

    (Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Leibniz Universität Hannover)

  • Oliver Schenker

    (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))

  • Carolyn Fischer

    (Resources for the Future (RFF))

Abstract

This paper studies policy instruments that correct insufficient learning-by-doing (LbD) and research and development (R&D) of renewable electricity technologies and insufficient investments in energy efficiency (EE) in the presence of carbon pricing. The theoretical model analysis shows how to re-adjust the first-best in second-best situations, in which one of the policy instruments is restricted. Calibrated to the European power sector, the first-best choice of all instruments reduces the climate policy cost by one third. Feed-in tariffs turn out to be good substitutes for LbD, but not for R&D or EE subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Hübler & Oliver Schenker & Carolyn Fischer, 2015. "Second-Best Analysis of European Energy Policy: Is One Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush?," Working Papers 2015.106, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2015.106
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams, Roberton III & Goulder, Lawrence H., 1999. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 52-84, January.
    2. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams III, Roberton C. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1999. "The cost-effectiveness of alternative instruments for environmental protection in a second-best setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 329-360, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard G., 2008. "Environmental and technology policies for climate mitigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 142-162, March.
    5. 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.
    6. R. G. Lipsey & Kelvin Lancaster, 1956. "The General Theory of Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 11-32.
    7. Christoph Böhringer & Knut Rosendahl, 2010. "Green promotes the dirtiest: on the interaction between black and green quotas in energy markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 316-325, June.
    8. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "Second-Best Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 100-104, May.
    9. Hirth, Lion & Ueckerdt, Falko, 2013. "Redistribution effects of energy and climate policy: The electricity market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 934-947.
    10. Lori Bennear & Robert Stavins, 2007. "Second-best theory and the use of multiple policy instruments," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 111-129, May.
    11. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2001. "Second-best taxation of emissions and polluting goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 169-197, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Second-best; Climate Policy; Energy Policy; Feed-in tariff; Power Sector; EU;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • 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
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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