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Power generation and structural change: Quantifying economic effects of the coal phase-out in Germany

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  • Heinisch, Katja
  • Holtemöller, Oliver
  • Schult, Christoph

Abstract

In the fight against global warming, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a major objective. In particular, a decrease in electricity generation by coal could contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. We study potential economic consequences of a coal phase-out in Germany, using a multi-region dynamic general equilibrium model. Four regional phase-out scenarios before the end of 2040 are simulated. We find that the worst case phase-out scenario would lead to an increase in the aggregate unemployment rate by about 0.13 [0.09 minimum; 0.18 maximum] percentage points from 2020 to 2040. The effect on regional unemployment rates varies between 0.18 [0.13; 0.22] and 1.07 [1.00; 1.13] percentage points in the lignite regions. A faster coal phase-out can lead to a faster recovery. The coal phase-out leads to migration from German lignite regions to German non-lignite regions and reduces the labour force in the lignite regions by 10,100 [6,300; 12,300] people by 2040. A coal phase-out until 2035 is not worse in terms of welfare, consumption and employment compared to a coal-exit until 2040.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinisch, Katja & Holtemöller, Oliver & Schult, Christoph, 2020. "Power generation and structural change: Quantifying economic effects of the coal phase-out in Germany," IWH Discussion Papers 16/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:162019
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    dynamic general equilibrium model; labour market friction; energy; structural change;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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