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Hard coal subsidies: A never-ending story?

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  • Frondel, Manuel
  • Kambeck, Rainer
  • Schmidt, Christoph M.

Abstract

In Germany, hard coal has been subsidized for almost half a century. Despite the declining significance of hard coal production for the domestic labor market, the magnitude of subsidies increased until the middle of the last decade. In 1996, they peaked at € 6.7 bill.While German hard coal subsidies have been shrinking to € 2.7 bill. in 2005, it is very likely that they will be extended well into the next decade and even beyond. This article discusses the feeble arguments raised by the proponents of hard coal subsidization in Germany and other EU countries. Most importantly, in addition to the drain imposed on public budgets, these subsidies imply a substantial opportunity cost, leading funds away from alternative, more beneficial public investments. From a social welfare perspective, we therefore recommend the rapid abolition of these subsidies not only in Germany, where in nominal terms the accumulated amount of subsidies has now by far exceeded € 130 bill., but all across Europe.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 35 (2007)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 3807-3814

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:35:y:2007:i:7:p:3807-3814

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References

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  1. Radetzki, Marian, 1995. "Elimination of West European coal subsidies : Implications for coal production and coal imports," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 509-518, June.
  2. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "Evaluating environmental programs: the perspective of modern evaluation research," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-59, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Welsch, Heinz, 1998. "Coal subsidization and nuclear phase-out in a general equilibrium model for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 203-222, April.
  4. Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 2018, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Manuel Frondel & Jörg Peters, 2005. "Biodiesel: A New Oildorado?," RWI Discussion Papers 0036, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  6. Storchmann, Karl, 2005. "The rise and fall of German hard coal subsidies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1469-1492, July.
  7. Jochen Kluve & Lena Jacobi, 2006. "Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 0041, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  8. Anderson, Kym, 1995. "The political economy of coal subsidies in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 485-496, June.
  9. Ullrich Heilemann & Bernhard Hillebrand, 1992. "The German Coal Market After 1992," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
  10. Steenblik, Ronald P & Coroyannakis, Panos, 1995. "Reform of coal policies in Western and Central Europe : Implications for the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 537-553, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Manuel Frondel & Christoph M. Schmidt & Colin Vance, 2012. "Germany’s Solar Cell Promotion: An Unfolding Disaster," Ruhr Economic Papers 0353, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Manuel Frondel & Nolan Ritter & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2009. "Measuring Energy Supply Risks: A G7 Ranking," Ruhr Economic Papers 0104, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  3. Manuel Frondel & Nolan Ritter & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2008. "Germany's Solar Cell Promotion: Dark Clouds on the Horizon," Ruhr Economic Papers 0040, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Manuel Frondel & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2008. "Measuring Energy Security – A Conceptual Note," Ruhr Economic Papers 0052, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Liu, Wei & Li, Hong, 2011. "Improving energy consumption structure: A comprehensive assessment of fossil energy subsidies reform in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4134-4143, July.
  6. Manuel Frondel & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2009. "Am Tropf Russlands? Ein Konzept zur empirischen Messung von Energieversorgungssicherheit," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(1), pages 79-91, 02.
  7. Manuel Frondel & Christoph M. Schmidt & Nils aus dem Moore, 2010. "Eine unbequeme Wahrheit – Die frappierend hohen Kosten der Förderung von Solarstrom durch das Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz," RWI Positionen, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 24, December.
  8. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2014. "A measure of a nation's physical energy supply risk," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 208-215.
  9. Manuel Frondel & Christoph M. Schmidt & Colin Vance, 2014. "„Grüner“ Strom gleich guter Strom? Warum Solarförderung ein teurer Irrtum ist," RWI Positionen, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 19, 04.

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