Part of the policy strategy to avert the worst outcomes of global climate change is a transition to low carbon energy on an unprecedented scale. In particular, strong incentives are in place to promote the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies, stimulate their rapid uptake and displace fossil fuel power generation. In this paper we argue that the penetration of renewable energy into the power market can directly result in a price response of fossil fuels which in turn affects the relative competitiveness of renewable power generation, thereby reducing the rate of the renewable energy transition or increasing the cost of the policy support measures required to achieve it. The price response we hypothesise is distinct from the Green Paradox and Carbon Leakage theories, which in different ways address the effect of climate change policy on the extraction and use of fossil fuels. In order to assess the possible existence and scale of the problem, we identify a price response mechanism backed by standard economic theory, based on the specific characteristics of the fossil fuel markets considered, e.g., coal and natural gas.
Former Research FellowJorge is a former research fellow specializing in energy and economics, with research interests in energy and macroeconomics, energy policies…Jorge is a former research fellow specializing in energy and economics, with research interests in energy and macroeconomics, energy policies and transitions.
Visiting ResearcherBaltasar is an associate professor of economics at the University of Vigo and has been a visiting researcher at KAPSARC…Baltasar is an associate professor of economics at the University of Vigo and has been a visiting researcher at KAPSARC since 2014. From 2005 to 2009, he served as an economic advisor to the president of Galicia. Baltasar has a Ph.D. in economics from the Universidad Complutense, Madrid and has published extensively in academic journals, mainly focusing on the intersection of macroeconomics and energy.