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Innovative Energy Technologies and Climate Policy in Germany

Discussion Papers 509, 29 S.

Katja Schumacher, Ronald D. Sands

2005. Aug.

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Published in: Energy Policy 34 (2006) 18, 3929-3941


Due to the size and structure of its economy, Germany is one of the largest carbon emitters in the European Union. However, Germany is facing a major renewal and restructuring process in electricity generation. Within the next two decades, up to 50% of current electricity generation capacity may retire because of end-of-plant lifetime and the nuclear phase-out pact of 1998. Substantial opportunities therefore exist for deployment of advanced electricity generating technologies in both a projected baseline and in alternative carbon policy scenarios. We simulate the potential role of coal integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), natural gas combined cycle (NGCC), carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), and wind power within a computable general equilibrium of Germany from the present through 2050. These advanced technologies and their role within a future German electricity system are the focus of this paper. We model the response of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany to various technology and carbon policy assumptions over the next few decades. In our baseline scenario, all of the advanced technologies except CCS provide substantial contributions to electricity generation. We also calculate the carbon price where each fossil technology, combined with CCS, becomes competitive. Constant carbon price experiments are used to characterize the model response to a carbon policy. This provides an estimate of the cost of meeting an emissions target, and the share of emissions reductions available from the electricity generation sector.

JEL-Classification: Q43;Q48;O31;C68
Keywords: Climate policy; Energy technology; General equilibrium modelling; CO2 capture and storage
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