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A vision of the European energy future? The impact of the German response to the Fukushima earthquake

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  • Grossi, Luigi
  • Heim, Sven
  • Waterson, Michael

Abstract

The German response to the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident was possibly the most significant change of policy towards nuclear power outside Japan, leading to a sudden and very significant shift in the underlying power generation structure in Germany. This provides a very useful natural experiment on the impact of increasing proportions of renewable compared to conventional fuel inputs into power production, helping us to see how changed proportions in future as a result of policy moves in favour of renewables are likely to impact. We find through quasi-experimental exploration of a modified demand-supply framework that despite the swift, unpredicted change, the main impact was a significant increase in prices, partly caused by more frequent situations with unilateral market power. The price impact was also most significant in off-peak hours, leading to changed investment incentives. There were no appreciable quantity effects on the market, such as power outages, contrary to some views that the impacts would be significant. Furthermore, we find the sudden and unilateral phase-out decision by the German government has significantly affected electricity prices and thus competitiveness in neighbouring countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossi, Luigi & Heim, Sven & Waterson, Michael, 2014. "A vision of the European energy future? The impact of the German response to the Fukushima earthquake," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-051, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:14051
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    Cited by:

    1. Lisa Flatley & Monica Giulietti & Luigi Grossi & Elisa Trujillo-Baute & Michael Waterson, 2016. "Analysing the potential economic value of energy storage," Working Papers 2016/2, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. repec:dui:wpaper:1504 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Klaus Gugler & Adhurim Haxhimusa & Mario Liebensteiner, 2016. "Integration and Efficiency of European Electricity Markets: Evidence from Spot Prices," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp226, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    4. Waterson, Michael, 2017. "The characteristics of electricity storage, renewables and markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 466-473.
    5. repec:wiw:wus005:6019 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    electricity markets; Atomausstieg; German power market; nuclear outages; renewables;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • 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
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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