Jürgen Blazejczak, Frauke G. Braun, Dietmar Edler, Wolf-Peter Schill
Many countries around the world are currently promoting the development and large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies. Potential advantages of renewable energy include a lower dependency on scarce, imported fossil fuels, improved security of supply, and decreased emissions, in particular carbon emissions. While the benefits of renewable energy technologies are clear, the economic implications of their deployment and of the related supportive policies are less clear. The renewable energy transition will trigger dynamic effects through which not only growth and employment will be affected, but also the relative importance of the various sectors of the economy. The deployment of renewables can stimulate growth and create new employment opportunities ("green jobs"), but such policies do not come without economic costs as, for instance, displacing investment in conventional energy industries. Therefore a critical and analytically challenging aspect within this context is to assess the net effects of such policies and how these policies translate into structural adjustment (see e.g., Lehr et al. 2008, Frondel et al. 2010, or Wei et al. 2010). This paper fills an important research gap by presenting a model-based analysis of the net effects triggered by the deployment of renewables in Germany. Over the last decade, Germany has become an early leader in policies aimed at promoting renewables and a frontrunner of renewable energy deployment. Thus, the country provides an important study case which is relevant for many other countries. Our analysis relies on a new modeling tool. Based on a comparison of scenario runs, the model results clearly show that the net effect of the renewable energy transition is positive for Germany.