EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Commitment vs. Discretion in Climate and Energy Policy

Florian Habermacher () and Paul Lehmann

No 6355, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: To decarbonize the power sector policy-makers need to commit to long-term credible rules for climate and energy policy. Otherwise, time-inconsistent policy-making will impair investments into low-carbon technologies. However, the future benefits and costs of decarbonization are subject to substantial uncertainties. Thus, there may also be societal gains from allowing policy-makers the discretion to adjust the policies as new information becomes available. We examine how this trade-off between policy commitment and discretion affects the optimal intertemporal design of policies to support the deployment of renewable energy sources. Using a dynamic partial equilibrium model of the power sector, we show that commitment to state-contingent renewable subsidies outperforms both unconditional commitment and discretion. The choice between the practically more feasible approaches of unconditional commitment and discretion is analytically ambiguous. A numerical illustration with naïve assumptions suggests that policy discretion may outperform unconditional commitment in terms of welfare. However, extensions to more realistic cases where only a limited fraction of climate uncertainty resolves, where future policy-makers have own agendas, or with risk-averse investors show commitment as favorable.

Keywords: climate change; public policy; subsidies; renewable energy; time inconsistency; uncertainty; commitment; hold-up (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H23 Q42 Q48 Q54 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-ene, nep-env and nep-reg
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6355.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6355

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Klaus Wohlrabe ().

 
Page updated 2019-10-14
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6355