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The merit-order effect: a detailed analysis of the price effect of renewable electricity generation on spot market prices in Germany

Frank Sensfuß, Mario Ragwitz and Massimo Genoese

No S7/2007, Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" from Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI)

Abstract: The German feed-in support of electricity generation from renewable energy sources has led to high growth rates of the supported technologies. Critics state that the costs for consumers are too high. An important aspect to be considered in the discussion is the price effect created by renewable electricity generation. This paper seeks to analyse the impact of privileged renewable electricity generation on the electricity market in Germany. The central aspect to be analysed is the impact of renewable electricity generation on spot market prices. The results generated by an agent-based simulation platform indicate that the financial volume of the price reduction is considerable. In the short run, this gives rise to a distributional effect which creates savings for the demand side by reducing generator profits. In the case of the year 2006, the volume of the merit-order effect exceeds the volume of the net support payments for renewable electricity generation which have to be paid by consumers.

Date: 2007
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