Defended thesis

“An economic and ex-post analysis of the impacts of the carbon price on the European power sector”, Boris Solier

Published on 23 June 2014


June 2014

Boris Solier defended his PhD « An economic and ex-post analysis of the impacts of the carbon price on the European power sector » at Paris Dauphine University.

This thesis is an evaluation of the interaction between the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and electricity markets over the period 2005-2012. It rests on econometric and modelling instruments to both explain the development of markets and draw lessons for the conduct of future policies. The ex-post analysis of the introduction of a carbon price into electricity markets in Europe unveils three types of interactions with: the formation of electricity prices; the technical and economic choices and CO2 emissions; the formation of electricity rents. Empirical estimates show that the degree to which the carbon cost is passed on through electricity prices is generally not homogeneous but rather varies over both time and markets, contingent upon a combination of factors. The impacts of the carbon price on both the technological mix and the CO2emissions from the power sector are estimated using the simulation model ZEPHYR-Elec, which aims at replicating the short-term equilibrium between electricity supply and demand. Emission reductions in the electricity sector induced by the European carbon market amount to between 3% and 5% of counterfactual emissions. From 2012 on, the carbon price has not been high enough to compensate for the gas-to-coal price differential in Europe. Distributional effects of the carbon price on the electricity sector are introduced into the ZEPHYR-Elec model using an analytical representation of the formation of rents. Estimates suggest that profits made by the electricity sector are generally higher with a carbon price in place, including when allowances are auctioned.

Keywords: EU ETS, electricity markets, pass-through, CO2 emissions, rents, energy-climate policies, Europe.

Download the complete thesis (available in French only)

Download the presentation (available in French only)