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The project aims to further study phenomena observed in energy markets and related to environmental issues under conditions of uncertainty, with a focus on the role of transition-critical minerals and policy tools to foster decarbonization. Depending on the relevant topic, the approach used can be either theoretical (e.g., microeconomic models, real options) or empirical in nature.

Main objectives

The main objectives of the research project are:

  • Construction of a real options model to describe the optimal choice of polluting firms with respect to investment in carbon capture, with the aim of showing how this decision can be anticipated by the policy maker;
  • Empirical study of the uncertainty associated with the price and quantity of emissions observed within the EU ETS market;
  • Study of the market for minerals critical to the energy transition, with the aim of investigating, using a nonlinear dynamic programming model, the possibility that the large concentration of reserves of these materials may give cause for the formation of cartels;
  • Implementation of an IAM with the aim of deepening the deployment of carbon capture and storage systems, with the purpose of highlighting whether this could be an effective complement to other technologies associated with the energy transition and exploring the effects of the heterogeneity of possible applications.

These objectives correspond to specific studies currently underway within the project, each of which will be enhanced by submission to international peer-reviewed scientific journals. If deemed appropriate or functional for the development of the topics covered, some papers may be pre-released as working papers before this stage.

Main results and outputs

During the year 2024, the following outputs of the research activity are expected to be achieved:

  • one publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • two submissions to peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • at least two among FEEM “Working Notes,” CESifo and CEEPR working papers.


Project activities and outputs are aimed at providing decision-making tools and empirical analysis to support the activities of policy makers in both energy and environmental programming. In terms of science-based impact, it is intended to improve the state of the art within the literature on real options, IAMs, and nonlinear dynamic programming.

In terms of social economic impact, it is intended to provide tools for policies that support the green energy transition. The study of uncertainty should enable better prospective evaluation of policy makers’ choices.


Participation in the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Italian Economic Association (SIE) held in L’Aquila, Italy, October 19-21, 2023. Paper presentation “The effects of carbon taxation on electricity price dynamics: empirical evidence from the Australian market” by Nicola Comincioli.

Participation in the 12th Annual Conference of the Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (IAERE) co-organized by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei. Presentation of the paper “Potential cartelization of critical minerals for the energy transition” by Nicola Comincioli.

Sixth International Conference on Fossil & Renewable Energy

Xi International Academic Symposium – “Green investments for the energy transition”

Energy Finance Italia 8

12th IAERE - Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economists Annual Conference