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German Nuclear Phase-out Policy: Effects on European Electricity Wholesale Prices, Emission Prices, Conventional Power Plant Investments and Eletricity Trade

  • Thure Traber
  • Claudia Kemfert

The German decision to finally phase-out nuclear electricity has led to a debate on its effects on electricity prices, emission prices in the European emission trading system, as well as on international electricity trade. We investigate these effects with a Electricity market model for Europe with investments in power plants under oligopolistic conditions in Germany. We find modest price increases on the German wholesale market by the mid-term 2020 and an effect of the accelerated nuclear phase- out of between four and twelve percent. Moreover, the increase in the emission allowance prices due to the change in nuclear policy is between 1:8 and 3 Euro per ton of CO2 by the same period. The large variations in our results are induced by four combinations of the European emission trading policy and the success of the German energy efficiency policy. Most pronounced price effects are found in scenarios with a successful energy savings policy, which acts as a substitute for new power plants. Moreover, the tighter the emission trading system is, the larger are the effects of the accelerated phase-out on electricity and emission prices. Under a tight system, however, investments in conventional generation are likely to be dominated by natural gas fired plants since the decrease of utilization rates induced by renewable energies are more important for coal fired power plants with their relative high investment costs.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.405142.de/dp1219.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1219.

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Length: 17 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1219
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  1. Thure Traber & Claudia Kemfert, 2009. "Impacts of the German Support for Renewable Energy on Electricity Prices, Emissions, and Firms," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 155-178.
  2. James B. Bushnell & Erin T. Mansur & Celeste Saravia, 2008. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition: An Analysis of Restructured US Electricity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 237-66, March.
  3. Michaela Fursch & Dietmar Lindenberger & Raimund Malischek & Stephan Nagl & Timo Panke & Johannes Truby, 2012. "German Nuclear Policy Reconsidered: Implications for the Electricity Market," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
  4. Traber, Thure & Kemfert, Claudia, 2011. "Gone with the wind? -- Electricity market prices and incentives to invest in thermal power plants under increasing wind energy supply," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 249-256, March.
  5. Barquin, J. & Boots,M. G. & Ehrenmann, A. & Hobbs, B.F. & Neuhoff, K. & Rijkers, F. A. M., 2004. "Network-constrained models of liberalized electricity markets: the devil is in the details," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0405, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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