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Renewable Energy Policy in the Presence of Innovation: Does Government Pre-Commitment Matter?

  • Madlener, Reinhard


    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

  • Neustadt, Ilja


    (Socioeconomic Institute (SOI), Faculty of Economics, University of Zurich)

In a perfectly competitive market with a possibility of technological innovation we contrast guaranteed feed-in tariffs for electricity from renewables and tradable green certificates from a dynamic efficiency and social welfare point of view. Specifically, we model decisions about the technological innovation with convex costs within the framework of a game-theoretic model, and discuss implications for optimal policy design under different assumptions regarding regulatory pre-commitment. We find that for the case of technological innovation with convex costs subsidy policies are preferable over quota-based policies. Further, in terms of dynamic efficiency, no pre-commitment policies are shown to be at least as good as the pre-commitment ones. Thus, a government with a preference for innovation being performed if the achievable cost reduction is high should be in favor of the no pre-commitment regime.

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Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 4/2010.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision: Jun 2010
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2010_004
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  1. Nielsen, Lene & Jeppesen, Tim, 2003. "Tradable Green Certificates in selected European countries--overview and assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 3-14, January.
  2. Berry, David, 2002. "The market for tradable renewable energy credits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 369-379, September.
  3. Amundsen, Eirik S. & Mortensen, Jorgen Birk, 2001. "The Danish Green Certificate System: some simple analytical results," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 489-509, September.
  4. Nilsson, Mats & Sundqvist, Thomas, 2007. "Using the market at a cost: How the introduction of green certificates in Sweden led to market inefficiencies," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 49-59, March.
  5. Amundsen, Eirik S. & Nese, Gjermund, 2002. "Provision of renewable energy using green certificates: market power and price limits," MPRA Paper 10558, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. V. Denicolo, 1997. "Pollution-Reducing Innovations Under Taxes or Permits," Working Papers 281, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  7. Menanteau, Philippe & Finon, Dominique & Lamy, Marie-Laure, 2003. "Prices versus quantities: choosing policies for promoting the development of renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 799-812, June.
  8. Soderholm, Patrik & Sundqvist, Thomas, 2003. "Pricing environmental externalities in the power sector: ethical limits and implications for social choice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 333-350, October.
  9. Weiyu Gao & Reinhard Madlener & Peter Zweifel, 2005. "Promoting renewable electricity generation in imperfect markets: price vs. quantity control," CEPE Working paper series 05-45, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  10. Pizer, William A., 1999. "The optimal choice of climate change policy in the presence of uncertainty," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 255-287, August.
  11. Amundsen, E.S. & Mortensen, J.B., 2001. "The Danish Green Certificate System: Some Simple Analytical Results," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 226, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  12. Weitzman, Martin L, 1978. "Optimal Rewards for Economic Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 683-91, September.
  13. Söderholm, Patrik, 2008. "The political economy of international green certificate markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2051-2062, June.
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