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Effects of Carbon Policies and Technology Change

Author

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  • Macauley, Molly

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Shih, Jhih-Shyang

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

We develop and estimate an index-based measure of expected consumer welfare under various carbon emissions control policies in the electricity generation sector. This approach estimates welfare effects by a somewhat less data intensive methodology than econometric approaches or more complex modeling. We include anticipated technological change in the production of renewable and nonrenewable power generation during the next two decades. We estimate welfare improvements from 2000 to 2020 as renewable energy technologies continue to be improved and gradually adopted, compared with a counterfactual scenario allowing for continual improvement of nonrenewable generation technology. We formally incorporate uncertainty. We evaluate the model under alternative carbon emissions control policies, including policies that create incentives through price mechanisms and policies that mandate the composition of the generation portfolio. We focus on three countries that differ widely in their power fuel mix: India, Germany, and the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Macauley, Molly & Shih, Jhih-Shyang, 2003. "Effects of Carbon Policies and Technology Change," Discussion Papers dp-03-14, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-14
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-03-14.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Darmstadter, Joel & McVeigh, James, 1999. "Winner, Loser, or Innocent Victim? Has Renewable Energy Performed As Expected?," Discussion Papers dp-99-28, Resources For the Future.
    2. Krupnick, Alan J. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1996. "The social costs of electricity: Do the numbers add up?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 423-466, December.
    3. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
    4. Austin, David & Macauley, Molly & Darmstadter, Joel & Shih, Jhih-Shyang & Aronow, Emily & Bath, Tom, 2002. "Measuring the Contribution to the Economy of Investments in Renewable Energy: Estimates of Future Consumer Gains," Discussion Papers dp-02-05-, Resources For the Future.
    5. Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1986. "Measuring the Spillovers from Technical Advance: Mainframe Computers inFinancial Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 742-755, September.
    6. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Bharvirkar, Ranjit & Paul, Anthony, 2001. "The Effect of Allowance Allocation on the Cost of Carbon Emission Trading," Discussion Papers dp-01-30-, Resources For the Future.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon emissions control; electricity generation; technological change; consumer welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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