Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Links yo

Posted by Rich Sweeney on March 17, 2009

I’m heading out of town again today, and prolly won’t be able to post for a few days. So, til then:

  1. Mike Giberson continues to translate empirical data and academic research into succinct critiques of output based renewable energy subsidies.
  2. Also on KP, Lynne Keisling picks up on the debate that sprung up in the comments after my cursory dismissal of Sean Casten’s cap and trade post on Grist last week. Most of the disagreement appears to have been the result of loose language choice (price <> cost). While I still think its pretty clear that prices have to go up in the short run because of stranded capital and the current state of cost differentials for renewables, the effect on long run equilibrium energy expenditures is definitely ambiguous (and quite possibly negative), depending on how the program is designed. By the way, I’m still planning on following up on Sean’s response with a longer post on what he would describe as a “real” cap and trade policy. I asked around, and some of my collegues have looked at free allocation of carbon permits to renewable generators, which is essentially what he was suggesting (I think). As for efficiency investments earning carbon permits, that seems a lot trickier to me…..
  3. Sticking with Grist, Clark Williams-Derry has a great summary of the recent literature on the incidence of cap and [insert synonym for rebate] proposals. However, he fails to counter the damning “but what about, like, french fries?” critique leveled by the WSJ last week.
  4. The NYTimes takes a look at solar subsidies in California, and gets UC Berkeley professor Severin Borenstein to play his now familiar role of Debbie Downer. I love how pointing out that the incentives of a public policy don’t seem to match the stated objectives makes you green enemy number one in California.
  5. Finally Washington Monthly takes a look at renewable energy policy in Gainesville, Florida, which has followed ze Germans’ lead and implemented feed-in tariffs.

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