A multi-stakeholder analysis of the economic efficiency of industrial energy efficiency policies: Empirical evidence from ten years of the Italian White Certificate Scheme

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Applied Energy, 2019, 240 pp. 424 - 435
Issue Date:
2019-04-15
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© 2019 There is growing interest worldwide in more effective policies to promote industrial energy efficiency and mitigate climate change. The White Certificates Scheme is a market-based mechanism aimed at stimulating the adoption of Energy Efficiency Measures. The Italian White Certificates scheme - one of the most long-standing and articulated - is a successful example of industrial energy efficiency policies, considered an interesting and remarkable case by other countries, especially due to its robustness in terms of the volume of certificates traded. Despite the considerable interest in White Certificates, an in-depth analysis of the economic efficiency of the mechanism from the perspective of different stakeholders is still lacking. To address this gap, this study develops a cost-benefit evaluation framework and a multi-stakeholder economic efficiency analysis of the Italian White Certificates scheme focusing on the Italian State, utilities, players in the energy efficiency value chain, and energy users. Our findings (also corroborated with sensitivity analyses) show that the White Certificates Scheme has led to several positive impacts for almost all stakeholders involved, with the exception of energy utilities that have suffered a major economic loss mainly due to a reduction of energy sold to end users. Such loss is likely to promote a deep change in the role of utilities in the energy market in terms of the services they offer and their business models. Our findings, in addition to providing useful directions for future research, offer interesting insights and implications for policymakers who may take inspiration from the pros and cons of the Italian White Certificates scheme when promoting energy efficiency through incentive mechanisms.
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