بازده اجتماعی از ابزار ترویج انرژی های تجدید پذیر: دیدگاه معامله هزینه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18818||2007||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 62, Issue 1, 1 April 2007, Pages 77–92
This paper compares the social efficiency of the regulatory instruments used to promote renewable energy sources in electricity generation, taking into consideration their role in promoting the preservation of collective goods. They are based on a purchase obligation and act either by price (feed-in tariffs) or by quantity (bidding for new RES-E capacities; RES-E quotas). From the Public Economics perspective, the two instruments are distinct in terms of cost-efficacy and market incentives in a world of imperfect information. Exchangeable quotas of green certificates are preferred because this instrument allows better control over consumer costs and whilst retaining market incentives. Transaction cost economics (TCE) contributes to the assessment of these instruments, by introducing RES-E investment safeguard as a major determinant of social efficiency, and the instruments' conformity to its institutional environment as a determinant of its viability. In light of this additional consideration, the arrangements between RES-E producers and obligated buyers inherent in each instrument are in fact quite similar—either long-term contracting or vertical integration. We compare and assess RES-E price- and quantity-instruments on several dimensions from both the public economics and TCE perspectives: control of the cost for consumers, safeguards of RES-E investments, adaptability of the instrument in order to preserve its stability in the long run, market incentive intensity, and conformity with the new market regime of electricity industry. It shows neither instruments offer an optimal solution in each of these dimensions. The government will thus select an instrument in accordance with the relative importance of its objectives.
Since the 1990s, multiple objectives have driven governments to develop renewable energy policies: preserving a set of collective goods; climate stability; local environment; and energy security. Ambitious targets have been set at both national and European Union (EU) levels. If the voluntary objectives adopted by EU Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources are met, the share of “new” renewables in the electricity production are projected to increase from 1% to 8% of the total electricity production in average in the EU by 2010 (European Commission, 2001). Government support is necessary for Renewable Energy Sources in Electricity (RES-E) because, although desirable from a social welfare perspective, their private costs are not competitive in power generation systems dominated by large electricity generation plants. Three reasons account for the bias against RES-E in the electricity market: (i) environmental costs are not adequately internalized for conventional electricity generation technologies; (ii) the absence of scale effects on costs, due to the small size of the plants,1 and (iii) the random nature of their intermittent production of some major sources of RES (wind power, minihydraulic) which creates negative externalities. Following failed attempts using systems of voluntary purchases of green electricity by consumers, as well as direct investment subsidies, demand-side strategic deployment policies have emerged as the preferred instrument in most countries. By imposing obligations to purchase RES electricity or to meet a RES-E quota on a clearly specified type of agents, these policies are designed to allow demand-side forces to determine the allocation of RES-E production subsidies to pre-commercial and commercial RES-E technologies. There are three instruments with such common character: feed-in tariffs (FIT), bidding instruments (BI) for the assignment of long-term purchase contracts and exchangeable quotas (EQ).2 FIT obliges electricity distributors (or the incumbent suppliers in a spatial area) to purchase electricity from any new RES-E plant in their service area and pay a minimum guaranteed tariff per kilowatt-hour that is fixed over a long period of time. BI selects by auctions RES-E projects and obliges local electricity distributors (or the incumbent supplier in the market regime) to buy electricity from the successful plants by a long-term contract on the basis of bid price in the reference design (or the marginal price in some countries). EQ introduces future obligatory targets for electricity suppliers to buy either green electricity directly from the RES-E producers or green certificates issues to RES-E producers, targets being defined in terms of a percentage of their electricity deliveries. A complementary trait is a compensation mechanism for the opportunity cost for obligated purchasers, which is different in the monopoly regime and in the market regime. This paper analyses the intrinsic properties of these instruments in their reference design from the perspective of transaction cost economics (TCE). By doing so, we make useful contribution to the findings from the public economics literature which compares the efficiency of policy instruments on different issues:3 the choice between price-instrument and quantity-instrument in a world of uncertainty, the issue of long-term efficiency by differentiating the support of RES-E technologies and the possibilities of control of the collective cost and the windfall rent for the producers. Using the TCE approach introduces three valuable aspects. Firstly, instruments are analyzed as “governance structures” that legally bind agents by contractual frames offering safeguard on RES-E investments to agents. Secondly, TCE approach takes into consideration the performances of RES-E instruments both in terms of efficiency and in terms of transaction cost supported by contractors. Finally, TCE also considers issues of feasibility which is strengthened with greater conformity with the new market electricity regime, and issues of credibility, i.e., the strength of its guarantee that the regulatory instrument will not deviate from its course or be abandoned (Levy and Spiller, 1994). Both issues are rooted in institutional environment of transactions firstly analysed by Nobel Prize laureate D.C. North (1990). To date, few studies have been carried out with specific focus on TCE to assess and compare public policy instruments designed to promote the preservation of environmental goods. Delmas and Marcus (2004) explore the role of transaction costs in determining relative desirability of alternative instruments (command and control, market instruments, voluntary agreements) from the perspective of the firm, by tracing out the parameters of the preferential choice. Langniss and Wiser (2003) and Langniss (2004), on the other hand, compare transaction costs of RES-E instruments from the perspective of the developers–investors. Here we adopt a double perspective: the point of view of government who aims to maximize social welfare by providing sufficient incentives for RES-E investments using the least-cost method, and also the point of view of investors and producers whose objective is to maximize private returns. We note two methodological difficulties. First, the comparison of the three instruments is made on the basis of the intrinsic qualities of their reference design. This method has its own limitations because each instrument has many variants, each with varying levels of efficiency performance and ability to adapt to address inefficiencies. Second, references to empirical observations is misguiding because we cannot isolate the influence of instruments from other factors that contribute to the development of RES-E.4 Some factors create obstacles, such as the planning permission procedures and the relation to the grid operators for the recovery of connection costs (these are generally not among the activists of the RES-E promotion). Conversely, each instrument frequently benefits from other support measures such as investment subsidies, low-interest loans, tax credits, or exemption of ecological tax. We therefore do not refer to results of effective RES-E policies based on instruments as proof of intrinsic performances. The paper is structured as follow. First, we present a survey of the main findings from comparison of RES-E instruments in the public economics perspective in order to throw light on issues let aside. Second, we introduce our theoretical framework for assessing RES-E regulation as a governance structure in its institutional environment. Third, we characterize the governance structure implied by the implementation of each instrument. We illuminate the convergence of the three instruments in terms of their role in long-term contracting between RES-E producers and obligated buyers and providing investment safeguards. Fourth, we compare the instruments' relative ability to strengthen market incentives, from both static and dynamic perspectives.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The paper has compared the three RES-E instruments in several dimensions related to the TCE perspective: safeguards of RES-E investments, adaptability of the instrument in order to preserve its stability, market incentive intensity and con- formitywiththenewmarketregimeofelectricityindustry.The TCE approach focuses on the safeguarding of investment specific to a RES-E policy and its balance with incentive in- tensity for controlling the collective cost of the policy and the cost of consumers. This approach shows up other qualities of RES-EregulatorymechanismsthanthosehighlightedbyPublic Economics and recalled in the first part. Public economics approach focuses on collective cost control to determine the clear superiority of exchangeable quotas because of intensive- ness of market incentives and limitation of producers' rent. By focusing on the risks of expropriation of RES-E investors and in particular the regulatory risk, the TCE approach underlines importance of safeguards. Such safeguards must be obtained in two ways: through long-term contracting and credibility of regulation. In the first, there is a de facto convergence of the three instruments towards more hierarchical arrangements. It is intrinsic to the FIT governance structure and in a lesser extent to the bidding system; whereas in the EQ system which a priori is set to capture cost efficiency by markets, producers and obligated buyers are forced to seek long-term contracts or vertical integration ( Table 1 ). In a complementary way, conditions of a successful instru- ment vis-à-vis the regulatory risk include long-term govern- ment's commitment, foreseeability of the instrument and exante flexibility to capture decreasing RES-E cost and correct redistributive effects. Social efficiency must be sought by incompletenessoftheregulatory contract andex ante definition of rules of flexibility rather than in the high-powered market incentiveswhichinfacttendtocreatelargeriskstoinvest.Inthis respect, the FIT instrument is the most suited to adaptability. Moreover, if it is the combination of investment safeguards and the generosity of the support which determine the efficacy in terms of installation of RES-E plants, these two characters are not independent. The generosity of the support must not be abstractedfrom the incurring risksandtransaction cost. Indeed, an instrument must not be the source of excessive transaction costs for preparation of projects, installation and ex post adap- tation of the producers – buyers contracts, as shown by the dif- ficulties met through the experience with bidding instruments and EQ systems. Ifan instrument createsde facto an investment risk and transaction costs, the earnings of the investor – de- velopers should have to be higher than the cost-price of the equipment. In this respect, the bidding system with a tight cost cap and EQ instrument are quite unfavourable to the realisation of plants because of insufficient payments. Finally, in terms of market conformity with the electricity market regimes for which the EQ instrument is unquestion- ably the best, the differentiation between instruments is not so clear. Even if the FIT and bidding instruments appear to lack compatibility with the pure market model, adaptations of the instruments are possible in those of the electricity industries in which market reforms are imperfect and preserve territorial dominant positions. It appears to be sufficient to impose the purchase obligation on incumbents, before viewing to transfer the purchase obligation to a public agency. This paper shows that none of the three instruments offer an optimal solution in all dimens ions: safeguards of RES-E in- vestments, market incentive int ensity, and conformity with the market regime of electricity industry. As a consequence, a government will have to select an instrument and sustain it in the long run in accordance with the relative importance of its objectives.