IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The political economy of international green certificate markets


  • Söderholm, Patrik


This paper analyzes the political economy of establishing bilateral trade in green certificate markets as one step towards harmonization of European green electricity support systems. We outline some of the economic principles of an integrated bilateral green certificates market, and then discuss a number of issues that are deemed to be critical for the effectiveness, stability and legitimacy of such a market. By drawing on some of the lessons of the fairly recent intentions to integrate a future green certificate market in Norway with the existing Swedish one, we highlight, exemplify and discuss some critical policy implementation and design issues. These include, for instance, the system's connection to climate policy targets, the role of other support schemes and the definition of what green electricity technologies should be included. Furthermore, the establishment of an international market presumes that the benefits of renewable power (e.g., its impacts on the environment, diversification of the power mix, self-sufficiency, etc.) are approached and valued from an international perspective rather than from a national one, thus implying lesser emphasis on, for instance, employment and regional development impacts. A bilateral green certificate system thus faces a number of important policy challenges, but at the same time it could provide important institutional learning effects that can be useful for future attempts aiming at achieving greater policy integration in the European renewable energy sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Söderholm, Patrik, 2008. "The political economy of international green certificate markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2051-2062, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:6:p:2051-2062

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    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

    1. Ford, Andrew & Vogstad, Klaus & Flynn, Hilary, 2007. "Simulating price patterns for tradable green certificates to promote electricity generation from wind," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 91-111, January.
    2. Mozumder, Pallab & Marathe, Achla, 2004. "Gains from an integrated market for tradable renewable energy credits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 259-272, July.
    3. Eirik Amundsen & Fridrik Baldursson & Jørgen Mortensen, 2006. "Price Volatility and Banking in Green Certificate Markets," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 35(4), pages 259-287, December.
    4. Jørgen Hansen & Camilla Jensen & Erik Madsen, 2003. "The establishment of the danish windmill industry—Was it worthwhile?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 139(2), pages 324-347, June.
    5. Söderholm, Patrik, 2008. "Harmonization of renewable electricity feed-in laws: A comment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 946-953, March.
    6. Patrik Söderholm & Ger Klaassen, 2007. "Wind Power in Europe: A Simultaneous Innovation–Diffusion Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 163-190, February.
    7. Jensen, S. G. & Skytte, K., 2002. "Interactions between the power and green certificate markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 425-435, April.
    8. Mandell, Svante, 2004. "A Generalized Hybrid Approach to Controlling Emissions," Research Papers in Economics 2004:17, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    9. Midttun, Atle & Koefoed, Anne Louise, 2003. "Greening of electricity in Europe: challenges and developments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 677-687, June.
    10. Munoz, Miquel & Oschmann, Volker & David Tabara, J., 2007. "Harmonization of renewable electricity feed-in laws in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 3104-3114, May.
    11. Söderholm, Patrik & Ek, Kristina & Pettersson, Maria, 2007. "Wind power development in Sweden: Global policies and local obstacles," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 365-400, April.
    12. Voogt, M.H. & Uyterlinde, M.A., 2006. "Cost effects of international trade in meeting EU renewable electricity targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 352-364, February.
    13. del Rio, Pablo, 2005. "A European-wide harmonised tradable green certificate scheme for renewable electricity: is it really so beneficial?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1239-1250, July.
    14. Lemming, Jacob, 2003. "Financial risks for green electricity investors and producers in a tradable green certificate market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 21-32, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Reinhard Madlener & Ilja Neustadt, 2010. "Renewable energy policy in the presence of innovation: does government pre-commitment matter?," SOI - Working Papers 1010, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    2. Söderholm, Patrik & Pettersson, Fredrik, 2008. "Climate policy and the social cost of power generation: Impacts of the Swedish national emissions target," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 4154-4158, November.
    3. Bergek, Anna & Jacobsson, Staffan, 2010. "Are tradable green certificates a cost-efficient policy driving technical change or a rent-generating machine? Lessons from Sweden 2003-2008," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1255-1271, March.
    4. Söderholm, Patrik & Pettersson, Maria, 2011. "Offshore wind power policy and planning in Sweden," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 518-525, February.
    5. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Tangerås, Thomas P., 2013. "A reexamination of renewable electricity policy in Sweden," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 57-63.
    6. Söderholm, Patrik, 2008. "Harmonization of renewable electricity feed-in laws: A comment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 946-953, March.
    7. Gawel, Erik & Lehmann, Paul & Purkus, Alexandra & Söderholm, Patrik & Witte, Katherina, 2016. "The rationales for technology-specific renewable energy support: Conceptual arguments and their relevance for Germany," UFZ Discussion Papers 4/2016, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    8. Heshmati, Almas, 2014. "An Empirical Survey of the Ramifications of a Green Economy," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 356, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    9. Strunz, Sebastian & Gawel, Erik & Lehmann, Paul & Söderholm, Patrik, 2015. "Policy convergence: A conceptual framework based on lessons from renewable energy policies in the EU," UFZ Discussion Papers 14/2015, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:6:p:2051-2062. 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: .

    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.