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Optimal Renewable-Energy 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 are likely to cause welfare losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Andor, Mark & Voss, Achim, 2014. "Optimal Renewable-Energy Subsidies," Ruhr Economic Papers 473, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:473
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    peak-load pricing; capacity investment; demand and supply uncertainty; renewable energy sources; energy policy; optimal subsidies; feed-in tariffs;
    All these keywords.

    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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