Economics at your fingertips  

The impact of the German feed-in tariff scheme on innovation: Evidence based on patent filings in renewable energy technologies

Christoph Böhringer, Alexander Cuntz, Dietmar Harhoff () and Emmanuel Asane-Otoo

Energy Economics, 2017, vol. 67, issue C, 545-553

Abstract: Over the last two decades, feed-in tariffs have pushed the massive expansion of electricity from renewable energy sources in Germany. Between 1991 and 1999, feed-in tariffs were prescribed through the Electricity Feed-in Law – the so-called Stromeinspeisungsgesetz (SEG) – at relatively moderate rates. From 2000 onwards, the SEG was replaced by the Renewable Energy Sources Act – the so-called Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG) – with much higher subsidy rates. The rise in subsidies to renewable power generation under the EEG came along with a substantial increase in electricity prices provoking an intense public debate on the benefits of renewable energy promotion. In our regression analysis, we assess one popular justification for feed-in tariffs: the demand-side effect of induced innovation. We find that the innovation impact of the German feed-in tariff scheme over the last two decades supports the positive innovation hypothesis. However, the inducement effect of the feed-in tariff scheme under the EEG is not significantly different from that of the SEG. Given the drastic cost of the EEG, we caution against the appraisal of the EEG feed-in tariff scheme solely on the grounds of its impact on technological innovation.

Keywords: Renewable energy promotion; Feed-in tariffs; Innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 H23 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (49) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2017.09.001

Access Statistics for this article

Energy Economics is currently edited by R. S. J. Tol, Beng Ang, Lance Bachmeier, Perry Sadorsky, Ugur Soytas and J. P. Weyant

More articles in Energy Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2023-09-20
Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:545-553