Upstream vs. Downstream CO2 Trading: A Comparison for the Electricity Context

B.F. Hobbs, J. Bushnell & F.A. Wolak
In electricity, “downstream” CO2 regulation requires retail suppliers to buy energy from a mix of sources so that their weighted emissions satisfy a standard. It has been argued that such “load-based” regulation would solve emissions leakage, cost consumers less, and provide more incentive for energy efficiency than traditional source-based cap-andtrade programs. Because pure load-based trading complicates spot power markets, variants (GEAC and CO2RC) that separate emissions attributes from energy have been proposed. When all energy...
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