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European experiences with white certificate obligations: A critical review of existing evaluations

Author

Listed:
  • Louis-Gaetan Giraudet

    (ISAE-SUPAERO - Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace)

  • Dominique Finon

    (CIRED - centre international de recherche sur l'environnement et le développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement)

Abstract

White certificate obligations impose energy savings targets on energy companies and allow them to trade energy savings certificates. They can be seen as a means of internalizing energy-use externalities and addressing energy efficiency market failures. This paper reviews existing evaluations of experiences with white certificate obligations in Great Britain, Italy and France. Ex ante microeconomic analysis find that the obligation is best modelled as a hybrid subsidy-tax instrument, whereby energy companies subsidize energy efficiency and pass-through the subsidy cost onto energy prices. Ex post static efficiency assessments find largely positive benefit-cost balances, with national differences reflecting heterogeneity in technical potentials. Compliance involved little trading between obligated parties. Whether the cost borne by obligated parties was recovered through increased energy revenue could not be ascertained. Ex post dynamic efficiency assessments find that in addition to addressing liquidity constraints through subsidies, white certificate obligations seem to have addressed informational and organisational market failures. Confidence in these conclusions is limited by the fact that no econometric analysis was performed. Yet the lack of publicly available data, a counterpart to the rationale of the instrument of harnessing private financing, makes any empirical evaluation of white certificate obligations challenging.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis-Gaetan Giraudet & Dominique Finon, 2015. "European experiences with white certificate obligations: A critical review of existing evaluations," Post-Print hal-01140415, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01140415
    DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.4.1.lgir
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01140415
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Labandeira, Xavier & Labeaga, José M. & Linares, Pedro & López-Otero, Xiral, 2020. "The impacts of energy efficiency policies: Meta-analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    2. Kerr, N. & Winskel, M., 2020. "Household investment in home energy retrofit: A review of the evidence on effective public policy design for privately owned homes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    3. Malinauskaite, Jurgita & Jouhara, Hussam & Egilegor, Bakartxo & Al-Mansour, Fouad & Ahmad, Lujean & Pusnik, Matevz, 2020. "Energy efficiency in the industrial sector in the EU, Slovenia, and Spain," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 208(C).
    4. Franzò, Simone & Frattini, Federico & Cagno, Enrico & Trianni, Andrea, 2019. "A multi-stakeholder analysis of the economic efficiency of industrial energy efficiency policies: Empirical evidence from ten years of the Italian White Certificate Scheme," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 240(C), pages 424-435.
    5. Martin K. Patel & Jean-Sébastien Broc & Haein Cho & Daniel Cabrera & Armin Eberle & Alessandro Federici & Alisa Freyre & Cédric Jeanneret & Kapil Narula & Vlasios Oikonomou & Selin Yilmaz, 2021. "Why We Continue to Need Energy Efficiency Programmes—A Critical Review Based on Experiences in Switzerland and Elsewhere," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 14(6), pages 1-28, March.
    6. Stede, Jan, 2017. "Bridging the industrial energy efficiency gap – Assessing the evidence from the Italian white certificate scheme," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 112-123.

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