Environmental Economics and Policy Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 157–175 | Cite as

Economic functioning and politically pragmatic justification of tradable green certificates in Poland

  • Christoph Heinzel
  • Thomas Winkler
Research Article


Quota obligation schemes based on tradable green certificates (TGC) have become a popular policy instrument to expand power generation from renewable energy sources. We analyze the scheme recently introduced in Poland with regard to its economic functioning, and its justification with reference to overcoming typical barriers for renewable-technology deployment. Overcoming such barriers may justify the application of a TGC scheme, beyond a first- or second-best reasoning, on politically pragmatic grounds. High quota requirements make the TGC price track its buy-out level. With high investment incentives, especially for wind power, the scheme helps to alleviate deployment barriers related to infrastructure, funding, and technology availability. However, the scheme is not necessary to overcome barriers on the legal or institutional level. Social acceptance may rather decrease when, after their liberalization, power prices for consumers start to rise.


Tradable green certificates Poland Environmental policy Renewable energy sources Barriers 

JEL Classification

Q28 H23 Q42 



We are grateful to Regina Betz, Normann Lorenz, and Paul Twomey as well as two anonymous reviewers of this journal for their detailed comments and suggestions. We thank for further discussion and assistance Oliwia Kurtyka, Iain MacGill, and participants of the Environmental Economics Research Hub 2009 meeting in Cairns. Sussanne Nottage is owed thanks for her comments on the language. The usual disclaimer applies. This research was supported financially through the Environmental Economics Research Hub, which is funded by the Australian Commonwealth Environmental Research Facilities (CERF) programme and Australian Research Council (ARC) project DP0878580. T.W. acknowledges financial support by WSB Neue Energien GmbH, whose views or opinions are not necessarily reflected.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Toulouse School of Economics (LERNA)ToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets, Australian School of BusinessUniversity of New South Wales, UNSWSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.WSB Neue Energien GmbHDresdenGermany

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