FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2012 .082

Redistribution Effects of Energy and Climate Policy: The Electricity Market


Authors: Lion Hirth, Falko Ueckerdt
Series: Energy: Resources and Markets
Editor: Giuseppe Sammarco
Keywords: Carbon Tax, Emission Trading, Redistribution, Consumer Surplus, Producer Surplus, Wind Power Generation, Electricity Market Modelling
JEL n.: Q42, Q48, L94, H23, D61, D62, C61, C63

Abstract

Energy and climate policies are usually seen as measures to internalize externalities. However, as a side effect, these policies redistribute wealth between consumers and producers, and within these groups. While redistribution is seldom the focus of the academic literature in energy economics, it plays a central role in real world policy debates. This paper compares the redistribution effects of two major electricity policies: support schemes for renewable energy sources, and CO2 pricing. We find that the redistribution effects of both policies are large, and they work in opposed directions: while renewables support transfers wealth from producers to consumers, carbon pricing does the opposite. More specifically, we show that moderate amounts of wind subsidies leave consumers better off even if they bear the costs of subsidies. In the case of CO2 pricing, we find that while suppliers as a whole benefit even without free allocation of emission certificates, large amounts of producer surplus are redistributed between different types of producers. These findings are derived from an analytical model of electricity markets, and a calibrated numerical model of the Northwestern European integrated power system. Our findings imply that a society with a preference for avoiding large redistribution might prefer a mix of policies, even if CO2 pricing alone is the first best climate policy in terms of allocative efficiency.

Download file
Download PDF file

FEEM Newsletter & Update

Subscribe to stay connected.

Your personal data will be processed by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei. – data Controller – with the aim of emailing the FEEM newsletter & Update. The use of Your email address is necessary for the implementation of the newsletter service. You are invited to read the Privacy Policy in order to obtain additional information about the protection of Your rights.

This Website uses technical cookies and cookie analytics, as well as “third party” profiling cookies.
If you close this banner or you decide to continue navigating on this Website, you express consent to the use of cookies. If you need additional information or you wish to express selective choices on the use of cookies, please refer to the   Cookie PolicyI agree