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White certificate schemes: the static and dynamic efficiency of an adaptive policy instrument

Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet and Dominique Finon
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Dominique Finon: CIRED - Centre international de recherche sur l'environnement et le développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - AgroParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Abstract: White certificate schemes mandate energy companies to promote energy efficiency through flexibility mechanisms, including the trading of energy savings. They can be characterized as a quantity-based, baseline-and-credit system for the diffusion of energy efficient technologies. This paper offers a comprehensive comparison of experiences with white certificate schemes in Great Britain, Italy and France. Starting from the identification of the key drivers underlying each scheme, it proposes an original interpretation of this type of scheme as an adaptive instrument, in the sense that it can take different forms in response to specific institutional contexts. The analysis shows that schemes perform well in terms of static efficiency - they generate net social benefits over the period considered - though there are large discrepancies in cost-effectiveness due to various technical potentials across countries. They achieved mixed results regarding dynamic efficiency - the ability to induce and sustain technological change over the long run. Market transformation occurred in Great Britain, but was poorly incentivized in Italy and France due to inadequate compliance cost recovery rules. Substantial organisational change has occurred in every country, mainly by strengthening vertical relationships between obliged parties and upstream businesses. Overall, the obligation (rather than the market component) drives the early phases of the schemes.

Keywords: White certificate schemes; Energy efficiency; Flexibility mechanisms; Static efficiency; Dynamic efficiency; certificats blancs; efficacité énergétique; mécanismes de flexibilité; efficacité statique; efficacité dynamique (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-07
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