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Germany's Solar Cell Promotion: Dark Clouds on the Horizon

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  • Manuel Frondel

    ()

  • Nolan Ritter
  • Christoph M. Schmidt

Abstract

This article demonstrates that the large feed-in tariffs currently guaranteed for solar electricity in Germany constitute a subsidization regime that, if extended to 2020, threatens to reach a level comparable to that of German hard coal production, a notoriously outstanding example of misguided political intervention. Yet, as a consequence of the coexistence of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and theEUEmissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the increased use of renewable energy technologies does not imply any additional emission reductions beyond those already achieved by ETS alone. Similarly disappointing is the net employment balance, which is likely to be negative if one takes into account the opportunity cost of this form of solar photovoltaic support. Along the lines of the International Energy Agency (IEA 2007:77), we therefore recommend the immediate and drastic reduction of the magnitude of the feed-in tariffs granted for solar-based electricity. Ultimately, producing electricity on this basis is among the most expensive greenhouse gas abatement options.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0040.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0040

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Keywords: Energy policy; energy security; learning effects;

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References

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  1. Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 2018, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Manuel Frondel & Jörg Peters, 2005. "Biodiesel: A New Oildorado?," RWI Discussion Papers 0036, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  3. Frondel, Manuel & Kambeck, Rainer & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2007. "Hard coal subsidies: A never-ending story?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 3807-3814, July.
  4. Papineau, Maya, 2006. "An economic perspective on experience curves and dynamic economies in renewable energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 422-432, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Martin, Nigel & Rice, John, 2013. "The solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff scheme in New South Wales, Australia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 697-706.
  2. White, Lee V. & Lloyd, Bob & Wakes, Sarah J., 2013. "Are Feed-in Tariffs suitable for promoting solar PV in New Zealand cities?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 167-178.
  3. Tveten, Åsa Grytli & Bolkesjø, Torjus Folsland & Martinsen, Thomas & Hvarnes, Håvard, 2013. "Solar feed-in tariffs and the merit order effect: A study of the German electricity market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 761-770.
  4. Manuel Frondel & Nolan Ritter & Christoph M. Schmidt & Colin Vance, 2009. "Economic Impacts from the Promotion of Renewable Energy Technologies - The German Experience," Ruhr Economic Papers 0156, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. David Anthoff & Robert Hahn, 2010. "Government failure and market failure: on the inefficiency of environmental and energy policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 197-224, Summer.
  6. Gawel, Erik & Strunz, Sebastian & Lehmann, Paul, 2014. "A public choice view on the climate and energy policy mix in the EU — How do the emissions trading scheme and support for renewable energies interact?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 175-182.
  7. Christoph Böhringer, 2010. "1990 bis 2010: Eine Bestandsaufnahme von zwei Jahrzehnten europäischer Klimapolitik," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(s1), pages 56-74, 05.
  8. Stokes, Leah C., 2013. "The politics of renewable energy policies: The case of feed-in tariffs in Ontario, Canada," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 490-500.
  9. Lehmann, Paul & Gawel, Erik, 2013. "Why should support schemes for renewable electricity complement the EU emissions trading scheme?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 597-607.
  10. Antonelli, Marco & Desideri, Umberto, 2014. "The doping effect of Italian feed-in tariffs on the PV market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 583-594.
  11. Lehmann, Paul, 2013. "Supplementing an emissions tax by a feed-in tariff for renewable electricity to address learning spillovers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 635-641.
  12. Peters, Michael & Schneider, Malte & Griesshaber, Tobias & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2012. "The impact of technology-push and demand-pull policies on technical change – Does the locus of policies matter?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1296-1308.
  13. Christoph Heinzel & Thomas Winkler, 2011. "Economic functioning and politically pragmatic justification of tradable green certificates in Poland," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 13(2), pages 157-175, June.
  14. Hart, David M., 2010. "Making, breaking, and (partially) remaking markets: State regulation and photovoltaic electricity in New Jersey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6662-6673, November.
  15. Lüthi, Sonja & Wüstenhagen, Rolf, 2012. "The price of policy risk — Empirical insights from choice experiments with European photovoltaic project developers," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1001-1011.

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