IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eneeco/v40y2013is1ps12-s23.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

On the economics of renewable energy sources

Author

Listed:
  • Edenhofer, Ottmar
  • Hirth, Lion
  • Knopf, Brigitte
  • Pahle, Michael
  • Schlömer, Steffen
  • Schmid, Eva
  • Ueckerdt, Falko

Abstract

With the global expansion of renewable energy (RE) technologies, the provision of optimal RE policy packages becomes an important task. We review pivotal aspects regarding the economics of renewables that are relevant to the design of an optimal RE policy, many of which are to date unresolved. We do so from three interrelated perspectives that a meaningful public policy framework for inquiry must take into account. First, we explore different social objectives justifying the deployment of RE technologies and review model-based estimates of the economic potential of RE technologies, i.e. their socially optimal deployment level. Second, we address pivotal market failures that arise in the course of implementing the economic potential of RE sources in decentralized markets. Third, we discuss multiple policy instruments curing these market failures. Our framework reveals the requirements for an assessment of the relevant options for real-world decision makers in the field of RE policies. This review makes it clear that there are remaining white areas on the knowledge map concerning consistent and socially optimal RE policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Edenhofer, Ottmar & Hirth, Lion & Knopf, Brigitte & Pahle, Michael & Schlömer, Steffen & Schmid, Eva & Ueckerdt, Falko, 2013. "On the economics of renewable energy sources," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages 12-23.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:40:y:2013:i:s1:p:s12-s23
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2013.09.015
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988313002107
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Cramton & Axel Ockenfels, 2012. "Economics and Design of Capacity Markets for the Power Sector," Papers of Peter Cramton 12cocap, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2012.
    2. Braun, Frauke G & Schmidt-Ehmcke, Jens & Zloczysti, Petra, 2010. "Innovative Activity in Wind and Solar Technology: Empirical Evidence on Knowledge Spillovers Using Patent Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 7865, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Nemet, Gregory F., 2009. "Interim monitoring of cost dynamics for publicly supported energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 825-835, March.
    4. Nordhaus, William, 2011. "Designing a friendly space for technological change to slow global warming," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 665-673, July.
    5. Brigitte Knopf & Yen-Heng Henry Chen & Enrica De Cian & Hannah Förster & Amit Kanudia & Ioanna Karkatsouli & Ilkka Keppo & Tiina Koljonen & Katja Schumacher & Detlef van Vuuren, 2014. "Beyond 2020 - Strategies and Costs for Transforming the European Energy System," Working Papers 2014.15, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Economic development as self-discovery," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 603-633, December.
    7. Paul L. Joskow, 2011. "Comparing the Costs of Intermittent and Dispatchable Electricity Generating Technologies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 238-241, May.
    8. Gunnar Luderer & Valentina Bosetti & Michael Jakob & Marian Leimbach & Jan Steckel & Henri Waisman & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2012. "The economics of decarbonizing the energy system—results and insights from the RECIPE model intercomparison," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 9-37, September.
    9. Ottmar Edenhofer , Brigitte Knopf, Terry Barker, Lavinia Baumstark, Elie Bellevrat, Bertrand Chateau, Patrick Criqui, Morna Isaac, Alban Kitous, Socrates Kypreos, Marian Leimbach, Kai Lessmann, Bertra, 2010. "The Economics of Low Stabilization: Model Comparison of Mitigation Strategies and Costs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I).
    10. Neij, Lena, 2008. "Cost development of future technologies for power generation--A study based on experience curves and complementary bottom-up assessments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2200-2211, June.
    11. William D. Nordhaus, 2009. "The Perils of the Learning Model For Modeling Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 14638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. N. Lesca, 2011. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00640604, HAL.
    13. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2012. "Learning or lock-in: Optimal technology policies to support mitigation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-23.
    14. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2013. "Renewable energy subsidies: Second-best policy or fatal aberration for mitigation?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 217-234.
    15. Yeh, Sonia & Rubin, Edward S., 2012. "A review of uncertainties in technology experience curves," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 762-771.
    16. DeCesaro, Jennifer & Porter, Kevin & Milligan, Michael, 2009. "Wind Energy and Power System Operations: A Review of Wind Integration Studies to Date," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 34-43, December.
    17. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard G., 2008. "Environmental and technology policies for climate mitigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 142-162, March.
    18. David McCollum & Volker Krey & Keywan Riahi & Peter Kolp & Arnulf Grubler & Marek Makowski & Nebojsa Nakicenovic, 2013. "Climate policies can help resolve energy security and air pollution challenges," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 479-494, July.
    19. You, C.F. & Xu, X.C., 2010. "Coal combustion and its pollution control in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 4467-4472.
    20. Felix Creutzig & Christoph von Stechow & David Klein & Carol Hunsberger & Nico Bauer & Alexander Popp & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2012. "Can Bioenergy Assessments Deliver?," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    21. Palmer, Karen & Burtraw, Dallas, 2005. "Cost-effectiveness of renewable electricity policies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 873-894, November.
    22. Hirth, Lion, 2013. "The market value of variable renewables," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 218-236.
    23. Jaffe, Adam B. & Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2005. "A tale of two market failures: Technology and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 164-174, August.
    24. Rodilla, P. & Batlle, C., 2012. "Security of electricity supply at the generation level: Problem analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 177-185.
    25. Alistair Ulph & David Ulph, 2009. "Optimal Climate Change Policies When Governments Cannot Commit," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200909, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
    26. Massimo Tavoni & Enrica Cian & Gunnar Luderer & Jan Steckel & Henri Waisman, 2012. "The value of technology and of its evolution towards a low carbon economy," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 39-57, September.
    27. Ulph, Alistair & Ulph, David, 2009. "Optimal Climate Change Policies When Governments Cannot Commit," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-42, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    28. Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
    29. Alistair Ulph & David Ulph, 2009. "Optimal Climate Change Policies When Governments Cannot Commit," Working Papers 0921, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    30. Severin Borenstein, 2012. "The Private and Public Economics of Renewable Electricity Generation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 67-92, Winter.
    31. Sensfuß, Frank & Ragwitz, Mario & Genoese, Massimo, 2008. "The merit-order effect: A detailed analysis of the price effect of renewable electricity generation on spot market prices in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 3076-3084, August.
    32. Lamont, Alan D., 2008. "Assessing the long-term system value of intermittent electric generation technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1208-1231, May.
    33. C. Dominguez-Pery, 2011. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00740570, HAL.
    34. Ueckerdt, Falko & Hirth, Lion & Luderer, Gunnar & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2013. "System LCOE: What are the costs of variable renewables?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 61-75.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy; Mitigation; Integrated assessment modeling; Variable renewables; Electricity market design; Renewable policy;

    JEL classification:

    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:40:y:2013:i:s1:p:s12-s23. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.