Kopafbeelding publicaties CPB

Supply of renewable energy sources and the cost of EU climate policy

CPB Discussion Paper 142, 24 February 2010

What are the excess costs of a separate 20% target for renewable energy as a part of the EU climate policy for 2020? We answer this question using a computable general equilibrium model, WorldScan, which has been extended with a bottom-up module of the electricity sector.

The model set-up makes it possible to directly use available estimates of costs and capacity potentials for renewable energy sources for calibration. In our base case simulation, the costs of EU climate policy with the renewables target are 6% higher than those of a policy without this target.

As information on the supply of renewable energy is scarce and uncertain, we perform an extensive sensitivity analysis with respect to the level and steepness of the supply curves for wind energy and biomass. In the range we explore, the excess costs vary from zero (when the target is not binding) to 23% (when the cost progression and the initial cost disadvantage for renewables are doubled).

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