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[en] In order to cover their CO2 emissions, power companies receive most of the required EU ETS allowances for free. In line with economic theory, these companies pass on the costs of these allowances in the price of electricity. This article analyses the implications of the EU ETS for the power sector, notably the impact of free allocation of CO2 emission allowances on the price of electricity and the profitability of power generation. As well as some theoretical reflections, the article presents empirical and model estimates of CO2 cost pass-through for Germany and The Netherlands, indicating that pass-through rates vary between 60 and 100% of CO2 costs, depending on the carbon intensity of the marginal production unit and various other market- or technology-specific factors. As a result, power companies realize substantial windfall profits, as indicated by the empirical and model estimates presented in the article. (Author)
[en] It is difficult or very costly to avoid all market power in electricity markets. A recurring response is that a limited amount of market power is accepted with the justification that it is necessary to produce revenues to cover some of the fixed costs. It is assumed that all market participants benefit equally from the increased prices. However, this assumption is not satisfied if different production technologies are used. We assess the case of a generation mix of conventional generation and intermittent generation with exogenously varying production levels. If all output is sold in the spot market, then intermittent generation benefits less from market power than conventional generation. If forward contracts or option contracts are signed, then market power might be reduced but the bias against returns to intermittent generators persists. Thus allowing some level of market power as a means of encouraging investment in new generation may result in a bias against intermittent technologies or increase the costs of strategic deployment to achieve renewable quotas. (Author)
[en] This paper analyses the economics of long-term gas contracts under changing institutional conditions, mainly gas sector liberalisation. The paper is motivated by the increasingly tense debate in continental Europe, UK and the US on the security of long-term gas supply. We discuss the main issues regarding long-term contracts, i.e. the changing role of the flexibility clause, the effect of abandoning the destination clause, and the strategic behaviour of producers between long-term sales and spot-sales. The literature suggests consumers and producers benefit from risk hedging through long-term contracts. Furthermore long-term contracts may reduce exercise of market power. Our analysis adds an additional benefit if the long-run demand elasticity is significantly lower than the short-run elasticity, both strategic producers and consumers benefit from lower prices and larger market volume. Some policy implications of the findings are also discussed. (Author)
[en] We compare the national allocation plans (NAPs), proposed and submitted by EU Member States as of October 2006, with our estimations for CO2 emissions by the installations covered by these NAPs. The collective allocations proposed under phase II NAPs exceed the historic trend of emissions extrapolated forward. Using our projections we find, depending on uncertainty in fuel prices, economic growth rates, performance of the non-power sector and CDM/JI availability, a 15% chance of a 'dead market' with emissions below cap even at zero prices. With an expected inflow of committed CDM/JI credits of 100 MtCO2/year, allowance supply will exceed demand in 50% of cases without any carbon price, and in 80% of our euros20/tCO2 scenarios. Banking of allowances towards post-2012 conditions could create additional demand, but this is difficult to anticipate and conditional on policy evolution. The proposed phase II NAPs would result in low prices and only small volumes of CDM/JI would enter the EU ETS. CDM/JI would almost exclusively be public-sector funded, placing the cost of Kyoto compliance entirely upon governments. (Author)
[en] A comparison of support schemes for market-based deployment of renewable energy in the UK and Germany shows that the feed-in tariff reduces costs to consumers and results in larger deployment. A survey among project developers suggests two explanations: (1) Site selection presents the biggest obstacle under the feed-in tariff. Uncertain financing of other schemes reduces efforts at initial project stages and planning permits become a major obstacle. (2) Project developers do not compete in price but for good sites under the feed-in tariff. Most importantly, turbine producers and construction services contribute to most of the costs, and face at least equal levels of competition under the feed-in tariff. (author)
[en] Average market prices for intermittent generation technologies are lower than for conventional generation. This has a technical reason but can be exaggerated in the presence of market power. When there is much wind smaller amounts of conventional generation technologies are required, and prices are lower, while at times of little wind prices are higher. This effect reflects the value of different generation technologies to the system. But under conditions of market power, conventional generators with market power can further depress the prices if they have to buy back energy at times of large wind output and can increase prices if they have to sell additional power at times of little wind output. This greatly exaggerates the effect. Forward contracting does not reduce the effect. An important consequence is that allowing market power profit margins as a support mechanism for generation capacity investment is not a technologically neutral policy. (author)
[en] This first monograph of the Ifri program on European Governance and Geopolitics of Energy is devoted to the control of carbon dioxide emissions within the European Union. Since it is almost unanimously accepted that Greenhouse Gas emissions constitute the main cause of the observed increase of the world average temperature, the system implemented by the European Union to limit and decrease the CO2 emissions is a significant pillar of the EU energy policy, the two others being the acceptance by the Member States of long-term commitments (for instance on the future share of renewable energy sources in their energy balance sheet) and the establishment of an internal market for electricity and gas. Though simple in principle, the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is in fact rather complex, and only experts really understand its merits and its deficiencies. These deficiencies are real and will have to be corrected in the future for the system to be effective. At this moment, when the 2005-2007 trial phase of the EU ETS is ending, the monograph has the purpose to stimulate the discussion between experts and to enable all those interested in the topic to understand the issues and to take part in the public debates on the subject. The monograph contains five papers: - 'An Overview of the CO2 Emission Control System in the European Union' by Jacques Lesourne and Maite Jaureguy-Naudin. - 'Description and Assessment of EU CO2 Regulations' by Yves Smeers. - 'Assessment of EU CO2 Regulations' by Jean-Paul Bouttes, Jean-Michel Trochet and Francois Dassa. - 'Investment in Low Carbon Technologies, Policies for the Power Sector' by Karsten Neuhoff. - 'Lessons Learned from the 2005-2007 Trial Phase of the EU Emission Trading System' by Jan Horst Keppler
[en] Renewables require support policies to deliver the European 20% target. We discuss the requirements for least-cost development and efficient operation and quantify how different schemes (i) allow for the development of a renewable energy technology portfolio; (ii) reduce rent transfers to infra-marginal technologies or better than marginal resource bases and (iii) minimise regulatory risk and thus capital costs for new projects. Long-term take-or-pay contracts minimise regulatory uncertainty, create appropriate incentives for location and operation, allow for efficient system operation and seem compatible with European state aid. We discuss how property rights legislation protects existing renewables investors, and thus can ensure ongoing investment during a transition towards the new scheme
[en] Average market prices for intermittent generation technologies are lower than for conventional generation. This has a technical reason but can be exaggerated in the presence of market power. When there is much wind smaller amounts of conventional generation technologies are required, and prices are lower, while at times of little wind prices are higher. This effect reflects the value of different generation technologies to the system. But under conditions of market power, conventional generators with market power can further depress the prices if they have to buy back energy at times of large wind output and can increase prices if they have to sell additional power at times of little wind output. This greatly exaggerates the effect. Forward contracting does not reduce the effect. An important consequence is that allowing market power profit margins as a support mechanism for generation capacity investment is not a technologically neutral policy.
[en] Photovoltaic (PV) technologies have demonstrated significant price reductions, but large-scale global application of PV requires further technology improvements and cost reductions along the value chain. We survey policies in Germany and China and the industrial actors they can encourage to pursue innovation, including deployment support, investment support for manufacturing plants and R and D support measures. While deployment support has been successful, investment support for manufacturing in these nations has not been sufficiently tied to innovation incentives, and R and D support has been comparatively weak. The paper concludes with a discussion of the opportunities for global policy coordination. - Highlights: ► Describes policies applied to support PV technology and characterizes the technical potential and industry structure in Germany and China. ► Identifies opportunities to enhance innovation incentives—to contribute to 50% further cost reductions required for large scale application. ► Discusses synergies of technology policy in both countries by identifying and pursuing shared environmental and technology objectives.