European power markets are in the midst of unprecedented changes, with a record-breaking surge in energy prices.This paper investigates the impact of green power resources on the level and volatility of wholesale electricity prices at a granular level, using monthly observations for a panel of 24 European countries over the period 2014–2021 and alternative estimation methods including a panel quantile regression approach. We find that renewable energy is associated with a significant reduction in wholesale electricity prices in Europe, with an average impact of 0.6 percent for each 1 percentage points increase in renewable share. We also find evidence for a nonlinear effect—that is, higher the share of renewables, the greater its effect on electricity prices. On the other hand, while quantile estimation results are mixed with regards to the impact of renewables on the volatility of electricity prices, we obtain evidence that renewable energy has a negative effect on volatility at the highest quantiles. Overall, our analysis indicates that policy reforms can help accelerate the green transition while minimizing the volatility in electricity prices.
This paper discusses structure, impact, costs, and efficiency of renewable energy supply in the eight largest advanced economies (the G-7 plus Spain), with focus on Germany. Renewables production costs are compared to benefits, defined as reductions in net carbon emissions; technological innovation, and increased energy security. The latter part of the paper centers on Germany, the main European producer of non-traditional renewables. We question whether the level of subsidies can be justified, relative to other means to increase energy security and reduce carbon emissions. We also find an excessive emphasis on current productive activity, relative to development of new technologies.