Environment and Resources
Secure access to energy and mineral resources, as well as the impact of their extraction and consumption on the environment and the climate, are among the most relevant issues of contemporary social and economic policy. This is particularly reflected in the increasing number of interventions and instruments designed to address environmental and energy objectives. Among the most prominent of such interventions in the past decade was the passage of the Renewable Energy Act in Germany in 2000 and the establishment of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2005, which aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Europe.
Against this background, the research division “Environment and Resources” focuses on the evaluation of environmental and energy policy instruments. Using modern methods of evaluation research as well as microeconometric analyses, the research division empirically analyzes issues ranging from the energy consumption of private households to the implications of measures to improve energy access in developing countries. This work can be divided into two main areas: (1) environmental, energy, and resource economics and (2) the evaluation of environmental and energy policy. The first area deals with the efficient allocation of resources, such as water, metallic resources, and fossil fuels, and with potential changes of the electricity mix, i.e. the shares of different fuels in electricity generation. The second area is currently dominated by the discussion around public subsidization of renewable energies in Germany.