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Germany's Solar Cell Promotion: Dark Clouds on the Horizon

  • Manuel Frondel

    ()

  • Nolan Ritter
  • Christoph M. Schmidt

This article demonstrates that the large feed-in tariffs currently guaranteed for solar electricity in Germany constitute a subsidization regime that, if extended to 2020, threatens to reach a level comparable to that of German hard coal production, a notoriously outstanding example of misguided political intervention. Yet, as a consequence of the coexistence of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and theEUEmissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the increased use of renewable energy technologies does not imply any additional emission reductions beyond those already achieved by ETS alone. Similarly disappointing is the net employment balance, which is likely to be negative if one takes into account the opportunity cost of this form of solar photovoltaic support. Along the lines of the International Energy Agency (IEA 2007:77), we therefore recommend the immediate and drastic reduction of the magnitude of the feed-in tariffs granted for solar-based electricity. Ultimately, producing electricity on this basis is among the most expensive greenhouse gas abatement options.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0040.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0040
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  1. Manuel Frondel & Jörg Peters, 2005. "Biodiesel: A New Oildorado?," RWI Discussion Papers 0036, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  2. Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 2018, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Manuel Frondel & Rainer Kambeck & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2006. "Hard Coal Subsidies: A Never-Ending Story?," RWI Discussion Papers 0053, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  4. Papineau, Maya, 2006. "An economic perspective on experience curves and dynamic economies in renewable energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 422-432, March.
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