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Assessing and ordering investments in polluting fossil-fueled and zero-carbon capital

  • Oskar Lecuyer

    ()

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement [CIRAD] : UMR56 - CNRS : UMR8568 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - AgroParisTech)

  • Adrien Vogt-Schilb

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement [CIRAD] : UMR56 - CNRS : UMR8568 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - AgroParisTech)

Climate change mitigation requires to replace preexisting carbon-intensive capital with different types of cleaner capital. Coal power and inefficient thermal engines may be phased out by gas power and efficient thermal engines or by renewable power and electric vehicles. We derive the optimal timing and costs of investment in a low- and a zero-carbon technology, under an exogenous ceiling constraint on atmospheric pollution. Producing output from the low-carbon technology requires to extract an exhaustible resource. A general finding is that investment in the expensive zero-carbon technology should always be higher than, and can optimally start before, investment in the cheaper low-carbon technology. We then provide illustrative simulations calibrated with data from the European electricity sector. The optimal investment schedule involves building some gas capacity that will be left unused before it naturally depreciates, a process known as mothballing or early scrapping. Finally, the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) is a misleading metric to assess investment in new capacities. Optimal LCOEs vary dramatically across technologies. Ranking technologies according to their LCOE would bring too little investment in renewable power, and too much in the intermediate gas power.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series CIRED Working Papers with number hal-00866442.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:ciredw:hal-00866442
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00866442
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  1. CHAKRAVORTY Ujjayant & MOREAUX Michel & TIDBALL Mabel, 2006. "Ordering the Extraction of Polluting Nonrenewable Resources," LERNA Working Papers 06.19.212, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  2. Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Stéphane Hallegatte, 2013. "Marginal Abatement Cost Curves and the Optimal Timing of Mitigation Measures," Working Papers 2013.89, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Guy Meunier & Stéphane Hallegatte, 2013. "Should marginal abatement costs differ across sectors? The effect of low-carbon capital accumulation," CIRED Working Papers hal-00850682, HAL.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2009. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 15451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Delucchi, Mark & Lipman, Timothy, 2001. "An Analysis of the Retail and Lifecycle Cost of Battery-Powered Electric Vehicles," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt50q9060k, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  6. Fischer, Carolyn & Toman, Michael & Withagen, Cees, 2002. "Optimal Investment in Clean Production Capacity," Discussion Papers dp-02-38, Resources For the Future.
  7. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
  8. Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Meunier, Guy & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2013. "Should marginal abatement costs differ across sectors ? the effect of low-carbon capital accumulation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6415, The World Bank.
  9. Renaud Coulomb & Fanny Henriet, 2014. "The Grey Paradox: How Oil Owners Can Benefit From Carbon Regulation," PSE Working Papers hal-00818350, HAL.
  10. Gerlagh, R. & Kverndokk, S. & Rosendahl, K.E., 2009. "Optimal timing of climate change policy : Interaction between carbon taxes and innovation externalities," Other publications TiSEM 4312dde8-f323-4ee2-9764-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  11. Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Guy Meunier & Stéphane Hallegatte, 2012. "How inertia and limited potentials affect the timing of sectoral abatements in optimal climate policy," Post-Print hal-00722574, HAL.
  12. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3107039 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Ogden, Joan M. & Williams, Robert H. & Larson, Eric D., 2004. "Societal lifecycle costs of cars with alternative fuels/engines," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 7-27, January.
  14. Frederick Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 1991. "Pollution control and the Ramsey problem," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 215-236, June.
  15. 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.
  16. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00850682 is not listed on IDEAS
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