Empirical Economics

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 1339–1383 | Cite as

On the redistributive effects of Germany’s feed-in tariff



This article assesses the redistributive effects of a key element of German climate policy, the promotion of renewables in the electricity generation mix through the provision of a feed-in tariff. The tariff shapes the distribution of households’ disposable incomes by charging a levy that is proportional to household electricity consumption and by transferring financial resources to households who are feeding green electricity into the public grid. Our study builds on representative household survey data, providing information on various socio-demographics, household electricity consumption, and ownership of photovoltaic facilities. The redistributive effects of the feed-in tariff are evaluated by means of inequality indices. All the indices indicate that Germany’s feed-in tariff is regressive.


Income distribution Redistribution Tax incidence   Renewable resources Energy policy Feed-in tariff Germany 

JEL Classification

D12 D31 H22 H23 Q21 Q48 



We are indebted to Christoph Schmidt and the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Essen, for valuable research support. We would like to thank participants of the research seminar of the Institute for Energy Economics (EWI) in Cologne for their most helpful comments and Jan Krause for research assistance. Most importantly, we would like to thank two anonymous Reviewers for their most constructive comments, and the Editor for his editorial guidance


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anhalt University of Applied SciencesBernburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of KielKielGermany

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