Nouveaux working papers de la Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan

The Rebound Effect and Energy Efficiency Policy / Kenneth Gillingham, David Rapson, Gernot Wagner. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2014 (Nota di lavoro 2014.107)

What do we know about the size of the rebound effect? Should we believe claims that energy efficiency improvements lead to an increase in energy use? This paper clarifies what the rebound effect is, and provides a guide for economists and policymakers interested in its magnitude. We describe how some papers in the literature consider the rebound effect from a costless exogenous increase in energy efficiency, while others examine the effects of a particular energy efficiency policy—a distinction that leads to very different welfare and policy implications. We present the most reliable evidence available quantifying the energy efficiency rebound, and discuss areas where estimation is extraordinarily difficult. Along these lines, we offer a new way of thinking about the macroeconomic rebound effect. Overall, the existing research provides little support for the so-called “backfire” hypothesis. Still, much remains to be understood, particularly relating to induced innovation and productivity growth.

European Natural Gas Seasonal Effects on Futures Hedging / Beatriz Martínez, Hipòlit Torró. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2015 (Nota di lavoro 2015.010)

This paper is the first to discuss the design of futures hedging strategies in European natural gas markets (NBP, TTF and Zeebrugge). A common feature of energy prices is that conditional mean and volatility are driven by seasonal trends due to weather, demand, and storage level seasonalities. This paper follows and extends the Ederington and Salas (2008) framework and considers seasonalities in mean and volatility when minimum variance hedge ratios are computed. Our results show that hedging effectiveness is much higher when the seasonal pattern in spot price changes is approximated with lagged values of the basis (futures price minus spot price). This fact remain true for short (a week) and long (one, three and six months) hedging periods. Furthermore, volatility of weekly price changes also has a seasonal pattern and is higher in winter than in summer. A simple volatility seasonal model that is based on sinusoidal functions on the basis improves the risk reduction obtained by strategies in which hedging ratios are estimated with linear regressions. Seasonal hedging strategies, linear regression based strategies, or even a naïve position, perform better than more sophisticated statistical methods.

Unconventional Gas and the Europe Union: Prospects and Challenges for Competitiveness / Herman R.J. Vollebergh, Eric Drissen. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2014 (Nota di lavoro 2014.109)

This article studies the likely impact of unconventional gas developments in the U.S. on EU competitiveness. We find, first of all, little evidence for a prosperous unconventional gas development in Europe. Second, the U.S. boom has already a strong impact on both world and European energy markets. In particular, lower U.S. gas and coal prices have changed relative energy prices both at home and abroad. Finally, competitiveness impacts in some (sub)sectors will be considerable. These impacts are not only related to production based on gas use as a feedstock but also on the ‘byproducts’ from unconventional gas production, such as ethylene, propane and butane. However, several indirect impacts, such as lower coal import prices, may soften the adverse competitiveness impact in the EU.

How Does Stock Market Volatility React to Oil Shocks? / Andrea Bastianin, Matteo Manera. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2014 (Nota di lavoro 2014.110)

We study the impact of oil price shocks on U.S. stock market volatility. We derive three different structural oil shock variables (i.e. aggregate demand, oil-supply, and oil-demand shocks) and relate them to stock market volatility, using bivariate structural VAR models, one for each oil price shock. Identification is achieved by assuming that the price of crude oil reacts to stock market volatility only with delay. This implies that innovations to the price of crude oil are not strictly exogenous, but predetermined with respect to the stock market. We show that volatility responds significantly to oil price shocks caused by sudden changes in aggregate and oil-specific demand, while the impact of supply-side shocks is negligible.

Flexibility in the Market for International Carbon Credits and Price Dynamics Difference with European Allowances / Claire Gavard, Djamel Kirat. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2015 (Nota di lavoro 2015.003)

We analyze the price dynamics of European allowances and international carbon credits in the second phase of the European carbon market. We develop and use a model combining fundamental drivers associated with the demand for quotas by installations and risk-return considerations related to the financial nature of carbon permits. We estimate it with autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity models. Although carbon permits present some characteristics of financial assets, we find that an increased volatility is not associated with an increased return. The price of allowances and credits are explained by similar factors. However, whereas the corresponding returns present comparable dynamics, the long-term relationships between the price of these two types of permits and their drivers differ significantly. While the price of allowances is demand-driven, we suggest the existence of a supply-side effect for credits, and explain it by the flexibility in the related market. The impact of the European economic activity is less visible on credits than on allowances. The price elasticity of allowances with regards to the coal and gas prices is negative in time periods of low economic activity while it is positive in the rest of the time. We suggest an explanation for this dynamics difference.

Carbon Price and Wind Power Support in Denmark / Claire Gavard. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2015 (Nota di lavoro 2015.004)

This paper aims at characterizing the conditions of wind power deployment in order to infer a carbon price level that would provide wind power with comparable advantage over fossil fuel technologies as effective wind support policies. The analysis is conducted on Danish data from 2000 to 2010, i.e. after market liberalization took place in 2000. Probit technique is used to analyze the connection of new turbines to the grid each month and tobit analysis is employed on the additional capacity installed monthly. I find that the level and type of the support policy are the dominant drivers of deployment. Electricity price impact is not visible. The investment cost impact is not significant either, but the effect of the interest rate, although not visible in the probit analysis, is significant in the tobit analysis. The number of turbines already installed, that is taken as a proxy for the sites availability, does not have any significant effect either. A feed-in tariff significantly brings more wind power in than a premium policy. The fact that the support policy is a feed-in tariff rather than a premium increases the additional capacity installed monthly by up to several tens MW. The additional capacity installed monthly increases by up to thousand kW for each additional e/MWh of support. If the policy is a premium, I find that 24 e/MWh of support in addition to electricity price is needed to observe the connection of new turbines to the grid with a 0.5 probability. I convert this support level into a carbon price of 28 e/ton if wind power competes with coal, and 50 e/t if it competes with gas.

Implications of Weak Near-term Climate Policies on Long-term Mitigation Pathways / Gunnar Luderer, Christoph Bertram, Katherine Calvin, Enrica De Cian, Elmar Kriegler. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2015 (Nota di lavoro 2015.005)

While the international community has agreed on the long-term target of limiting global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, only a few concrete climate policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been implemented.
We use a set of three global integrated assessment models to analyze the implications of current climate policies on long-term mitigation targets. We define a weak-policy baseline scenario, which extrapolates the current policy environment by assuming that the global climate regime remains fragmented and that emission reduction efforts remain unambitious in most of the world’s regions. These scenarios clearly fall short of limiting warming to 2°C. We investigate the cost and achievability of the stabilization of atmospheric GHG concentrations at 450 ppm CO2e by 2100, when countries follow the weak policy pathway until 2020 or 2030 before pursuing the long-term mitigation target with global cooperative action. We find that after a deferral of ambitious action the 450 ppm CO2e is only achievable with a radical up-scaling of efforts after target adoption. This has severe effects on trans-formation pathways and exacerbates the challenges of climate stabilization, in particular for a delay of cooperative action until 2030. Specifically, reaching the target with weak near-term action implies (a) faster and more aggressive transformations of energy systems in the medium term, (b) more stranded investments in fossil-based capacities, (c) higher long-term mitigation costs and carbon prices and (d) stronger transitional economic impacts, rendering the political feasibility of such pathways questionable.

Incentives for Price Manipulation in Emission Permit Markets with Stackelberg Competition / Francisco J. André, Luis M. de Castro. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2015 (Nota di lavoro 2015.006)

It has been shown in prior research that cost effectiveness in the competitive emissions permit market could be affected by tacit collusion or price manipulation when the corresponding polluting product market is oligopolistic. We analyze these cross market links using a Stackelberg model to show that under reasonable assumptions, there are no incentives to collude for lobbying prices up. However, incentives for manipulating the price of permits up appear if there is an initial free allocation of permits, which is a policy argument against grandfathering and in favor of auctioning. This effect is increasing with the amount of permits allocated to the leader. Moreover, the changes for price manipulation increase with those changes that tend to undermine the leader’s advantage in output production or to reduce the leader’s abatement cost.

Integrated Environmental Assessment of Future Energy Scenarios Based on Economic Equilibrium Models / Elorri Igos, Benedetto Rugani, Sameer Rege, Enrico Benetto, Laurent Drouet, Dan Zachary, Tom Haas. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, 2015 (Nota di lavoro 2015.009)

The future evolution of energy supply technologies strongly depends on (and affects) the economic and environmental systems, due to the high dependency of this sector on the availability and cost of fossil fuels, especially on the small regional scale. This paper aims at presenting the modeling system and preliminary results of a research project conducted on the scale of Luxembourg to assess the environmental impact of future energy scenarios for the country, integrating outputs from partial and computable general equilibrium models within hybrid Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) frameworks. The general equilibrium model for Luxembourg, LUXGEM, is used to evaluate the economic impacts of policy decisions and other economic shocks over the time horizon 2006-2030. A techno-economic (partial equilibrium) model for Luxembourg, ETEM, is used instead to compute operation levels of various technologies to meet the demand for energy services at the least cost along the same timeline. The future energy demand and supply are made consistent by coupling ETEM with LUXGEM so as to have the same macro-economic variables and energy shares driving both models…


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