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Renewable Energy Support in Germany: Surcharge Development and the Impact of a Decentralized Capacity Mechanism

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  • Thure Traber
  • Claudia Kemfert

Abstract

The German support for renewable energies in the electricity sector is based on the feed-in tariff for investors that grants guaranteed revenues for their renewable energy supply. Corresponding to differences of granted tariffs and respective market values, a surcharge on consumption covers differential costs. While granted tariffs are bound to fall with advances in renewable energy technologies, the market design and the flexibility of the system influence the expected market values of renewables and the necessary surcharge. We apply the European electricity market equilibrium model EMELIE-ESY to investigate this relationship. We find a crucial dependence of market values of renewables on a high system flexibility and the current so-called energy-only market design. Under these conditions, the market values of renewables sequentially recover with increasing market prices by 2024 and 2034. This allows to limit the increase of the core surcharge to below a quarter of its 2013 value by 2024 despite a doubling of renewables, and to introduce substantial surcharge reductions through 2034. However, the introduction of a capacity market would erode market values of renewable energies and induce a pronounced growth of the core surcharge. Under inflexible supply structures and a capacity market, we find an increase of the core surcharge of more than 50 percent by 2024, a respective loss of the market value of wind power of the same magnitude, and an increase of the generation induced part of the consumer prices of more than a quarter.

Suggested Citation

  • Thure Traber & Claudia Kemfert, 2015. "Renewable Energy Support in Germany: Surcharge Development and the Impact of a Decentralized Capacity Mechanism," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1452, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1452
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rathmann, M., 2007. "Do support systems for RES-E reduce EU-ETS-driven electricity prices?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 342-349, January.
    2. O'Mahoney, Amy & Denny, Eleanor, 2011. "The Merit Order Effect of Wind Generation on the Irish Electricity Market," MPRA Paper 56043, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.
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    5. Lion Hirth, 2013. "The Market Value of Variable Renewables. The Effect of Solar and Wind Power Variability on their Relative Price," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/36, European University Institute.
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    8. Thure Traber, 2014. "Capacity Mechanisms on Central European Electricity Markets: Effects on Consumers, Producers and Technologies until 2033," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1385, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    electricity market; renewable energy support; capacity mechanism;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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