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Interfuel Substitution and Energy Use in the U.K. Manufacturing Sector

Jevgenijs Steinbuks

Year: 2012
Volume: Volume 33
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol33-No1-1
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This paper investigates interfuel substitution, separately accounting for different types of energy use in the U.K. manufacturing sector. Econometric models of interfuel substitution are applied to aggregate energy use, as well as to a specific energy use process--thermal heating--where interfuel substitution is technologically feasible. Compared to the aggregate data, the estimated own-price elasticities for all fuels and the cross-price elasticities for fossil fuels are considerably higher for thermal heating processes. Nonetheless, electricity is found to be a poor substitute for other fuels based on both aggregate data and, separately, for the heating process. An increase in real fuel prices from the Climate Change Levy in 2001 resulted in higher substitution elasticities based on aggregate data, and lower substitution elasticities for the thermal heating process. The results of a counterfactual decomposition of change in the estimated elasticities indicate that technological change was the major determinant of the differences in observed elasticities before and after the energy price increase.

Keywords: Climate change levy, Elasticities, Energy use, Interfuel substitution, Manufacturing sector, United Kingdom

Carbon Tax and Energy Intensity: Assessing the Channels of Impact using UK Microdata

Morakinyo O. Adetutu, Kayode A. Odusanya, and Thomas G. Weyman-Jones

Year: 2020
Volume: Volume 41
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.2.made
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Prior empirical studies indicate that carbon taxes have a negative impact on energy intensity, yet, the literature is unable to shed much light on the channels through which a moderate carbon tax reduces industrial energy intensity. Using a two-stage econometric approach, we provide the first comprehensive analysis of the five components of the energy intensity gain (EIG) arising from the UK climate change levy (CCL). First, we propose an EIG decomposition based on a stochastic energy cost frontier and a confidential panel of UK manufacturing plants covering 2001-2006. In the second stage, we identify the impact of the CCL on EIG components using an instrumental variable (IV) approach that addresses the endogeneity of the carbon tax rules. Factor substitution and technological progress are the dominant firm responses to the CCL, while energy efficiency is surprisingly the least responsive component. Our findings underscore the challenge arising from overreliance on narrow energy policy objectives such as energy efficiency improvements, suggesting that a broader policy approach aimed at improving overall firm resource allocation might be more appropriate.

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