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Technological Uncertainty and Cost-effectiveness of CO2 Emission Trading Schemes

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  • Otto, Vincent M.
  • Löschel, Andreas

Abstract

This paper studies implications of uncertainty about the arrival date of a competitive CO2 backstop technology for the design of cost-effective CO2 emission trading schemes. For this purpose, we develop a dynamic general equilibrium model that captures empirical links between CO2 emissions associated with energy use, the rate and direction of technical change and the economy. We specify CO2 capture and storage (CCS) as the backstop technology whose competitiveness is anticipated or not. We find that the discounted welfare loss associated with the environmental target is lower if CCS is not anticipated and that CO2 shadow prices are then relatively high in the years before CCS is competitive. By not simply postponing the implementation of an emission reduction strategy until CCS is competitive, one relies more on economy-wide technical change and its welfare-enhancing technology externalities, thus allowing for a higher steady state.

Suggested Citation

  • Otto, Vincent M. & Löschel, Andreas, 2008. "Technological Uncertainty and Cost-effectiveness of CO2 Emission Trading Schemes," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-050, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7360
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CO2 capture and storage; computable general equilibrium modeling; directed technical change; emission trading; technological uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • 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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