The ongoing economic criticism of the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) recently started focusing on distributional effects, too. A team of authors at the Cologne Institute for Economic Research is worried about high costs for electricity consumers. They argue since electric power consumption is only slightly correlated with income, the fi nancial burden of the EEG is substantially higher for low-income households than for high-income households. This regressive effect is even increased since particularly high-income households have installed photovoltaic systems and thereby gain from green power subsidies. In contrast, other authors argue that this debate on distributional effects, while desirable, often scandalizes rather common issues of everyday economic events while ignoring the real EEG-induced redistribution effects, that is to say the EEG reallocation charge privilege for energy-intensive industries. These authors advise against drawing on partial analysis when discussing distribution-related issues of the EEG. A team of authors at the ZEW are concerned about the cost-effi ciency of the EEG which is the underlying reason for the recent discussions on distributional effects. The energy transition will entail large additional cost which will have to be carried. Increasing the effi ciency of governmental energy and climate policies will increase acceptance and attenuate distributional effects.
Löschel, Andreas, Florens Flues and Peter Heindl (2012), Zeitgespräch: Verteilungswirkungen des Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetzes - Das Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz in der Diskussion, Wirtschaftsdienst 92. Jahrgang, Heft 8, August, 515-519. Download