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Water Misallocation and Environmental Externalities in Electricity Generation

Author

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  • Etienne BILLETTE DE VILLEMEUR
  • Annalisa VINELLA

Abstract

We explore the interactions between environmental externalities and intertemporal market power in electricity generation industries where thermal operators imperfectly compete with operators using scarce water stored in dams. Relying upon a two-period model, we show that, in countries where demand peaks at the first (resp.ly, second) period after water renewal, dynamic market power worsens (resp.ly, ameliorates) resource allocation and environmental health. We then address policy issues. We show that, in general, second best is not decentralized by means of standard tools such as price cap. We argue that the hydraulic process requires specific regulation. We put forward a quantity-based version of the contracts for price difference increasingly used in power pools, to be adopted jointly with either a flexible form of taxation or an intertemporal price cap.

Suggested Citation

  • Etienne BILLETTE DE VILLEMEUR & Annalisa VINELLA, 2008. "Water Misallocation and Environmental Externalities in Electricity Generation," RSCAS Working Papers 2008/27, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2008/27
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    Cited by:

    1. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Pineau, Pierre-Olivier, 2010. "Environmentally damaging electricity trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1548-1558, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    power generation; water allocation; externalities; price cap; contracts for water difference.;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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