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Optimal renewable-energy promotion: Capacity subsidies vs. generation subsidies

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  • Andor, Mark
  • Voss, Achim

Abstract

We derive optimal subsidization of renewable energies in electricity markets. The analysis takes into account that capacity investment must be chosen under uncertainty about demand conditions and capacity availability, and that capacity as well as electricity generation may be sources of externalities. The main result is that generation subsidies should correspond to externalities of electricity generation (e.g., greenhouse gas reductions), and investment subsidies should correspond to externalities of capacity (e.g., learning spillovers). If only capacity externalities exist, then electricity generation should not be subsidized at all. Our results suggest that some of the most popular promotion instruments cause welfare losses. We demonstrate such welfare losses with data from the German electricity market.

Suggested Citation

  • Andor, Mark & Voss, Achim, 2016. "Optimal renewable-energy promotion: Capacity subsidies vs. generation subsidies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 144-158.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:45:y:2016:i:c:p:144-158
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2016.06.002
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aen:journl:ej37-si3-pahle is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Carsten Helm & Mathias Mier, 2016. "Efficient diffusion of renewable energies: A roller-coaster ride," Working Papers V-389-16, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2016.
    3. repec:aen:journl:ej38-si1-frondel is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:energy:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:1998-2012 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Michael Pahle, Wolf-Peter Schill, Christian Gambardella, and Oliver Tietjen, 2016. "Renewable Energy Support, Negative Prices, and Real-time Pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Sustainab).
    6. Gerster, Andreas, 2016. "Negative price spikes at power markets: The role of energy policy," Ruhr Economic Papers 636, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Andreas Gerster, 2016. "Negative price spikes at power markets: the role of energy policy," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 271-289, December.
    8. Mark A. Andor, Manuel Frondel, and Colin Vance, 2017. "Germanys Energiewende: A Tale of Increasing Costs and Decreasing Willingness-To-Pay," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(KAPSARC S).
    9. repec:eee:renene:v:121:y:2018:i:c:p:730-744 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Massimiliano Corradini & Valeria Costantini & Anil Markandya & Elena Paglialunga & Giorgia Sforna, 2018. "Some reflections on policy mix in the EU low-carbon strategy," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0236, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    11. Wagner, Johannes, 2016. "Grid Investment and Support Schemes for Renewable Electricity Generation," EWI Working Papers 2016-8, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI), revised 10 Aug 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peak-load pricing; Capacity investment; Demand uncertainty; Renewable energy sources; Optimal subsidies; Feed-in tariffs;

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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