Dr. Michael Pahle

Working Group Leader


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2465
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


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Dr Michael Pahle is head of the working group “Climate and Energy Policy” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). He holds a PhD in economics from TU Berlin. His research focusses on emission trading systems, public support for carbon pricing, and regulatory frameworks to achieve net-zero. He is Principle Investigator on “European Climate and Energy Policy” in the BMBF Ariadne Project, Germany’s largest social science Energiewende research project.  Based on his research, Michael advises the German government and parliament, the EU Commission and the EU Parliament on the development, reform and extension of emission trading. In that capacity he collaborates with leading think tanks in the EU, including the European University Institute based in Florenz and Bruegel based in Brussels. Furthermore, he is a member of the Global Climate Policy Partnership, a US-based global network of research institutions to help major economies and businesses achieve ambitious climate goals. Michael’s work and views on climate policy have been covered in leading national and international media outlets, including FAZ, Spiegel, Süddeutsche, El País, Politiken, Financial Times, Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Sommer, S., Mattauch, L., Pahle, M., submitted: Supporting Carbon Taxes: The Role of Fairness. SSRN Working Paper, SPIEGEL Artikel
  • Osorio, S., Tietjen, O., Pahle, M., Pietzcker, R.C., Edenhofer, O., resubmitted: Reviewing the Market Stability Reserve in Light of More Ambitious EU ETS Emission Targets. EconStor Working Paper
  • Mauer, E., Okullo, S., Pahle, M., submitted: Postponing Auctioning Versus Cancellation of Allowances in the EU ETS. SSRN Working Paper
  • Pahle, M., Tietjen, O., Osorio, S., Egli, F., Steffen, B., Schmidt, T.S., Edenhofer, O., submitted: Safeguarding the energy transition against political backlash to carbon markets.
  • Friedrich, M., Fries, S., Pahle, M., Edenhoer, O., submitted: Rules vs. Discretion in Cap-and-Trade Programs: Evidence from the EU Emission Trading System CESifo Working Paper
  • Friedrich, M., Mauer, E., Tietjen, O., Pahle, M., submitted: From fundamentals to financial assets: the evolution of understanding price formation in the EU ETS. EconStor Working Paper
  • Pahle, M., Schaeffer, R. Pachauri, S., Eom, J., Awasthye, A., Chen, W., Di Maria, C., Jiang, K., Hei, C., Portugal-Pereirabj, J., Safonov, G., Verdolinil, E., submitted: The crucial role of complementarity, transparency and adaptability for designing energy policies for sustainable development.
  • Tietjen, O., Pahle, M., Lessmann, K., resubmitted: Hedging and the Temporal Permit Issuance in Cap-and-Trade Programs: The Market Stability Reserve Under Risk Aversion. Resource and Energy Economics 63, 101214. DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2020.101214
  • Leipprand, A., Flachsland, C., Pahle, M., 2020: Starting low, reaching high? Sequencing in EU climate and energy policies. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 37 (December): 140–55. DOI: 10.1016/j.eist.2020.08.006
  • Steffen, B., Egli, F., Pahle, M., & Schmidt, T. S., 2020: Navigating the Clean Energy Transition in the COVID-19 Crisis. Joule, 1–5. DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.04.011
  • Osorio, S., Pietzcker, R. C., Pahle, M., & Edenhofer, O. 2020: How to deal with the risks of phasing out coal in Germany. Energy Economics, 87, DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2020.104730 CESifo Working Paper
  • Flachsland, C., Pahle, M., Burtraw, D., Edenhofer, O., Elkerbout, M., Fischer, C., Zetterberg, L., 2020: How to avoid history repeating itself: the case for an EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) price floor revisited. Climate Policy, 20(1), 1–10. DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2019.1682494
  • Gambardella, C., Pahle, M., & Schill, W.-P., 2020: Do Benefits from Dynamic Tariffing Rise? Welfare Effects of Real-Time Retail Pricing Under Carbon Taxation and Variable Renewable Electricity Supply. Environmental and Resource Economics, 75(1), 183–213. DOI: 10.1007/s10640-019-00393-0
  • Schmidt, T.S., Steffen, B., Egli, F., Pahle, M., Tietjen, O., 2019: Adverse effects of rising interest rates on sustainable energy transitions. Nature Sustainability, 2(9), 879–885. DOI: 10.1038/s41893-019-0375-2
  • Pahle, M., Burtraw, D., Flachsland, C., Kelsey, N., Biber, E., Edenhofer, O., Zysman, J., 2018: Sequencing to ratchet up climate policy stringency. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0287-6
  • Gambardella, C.,Pahle, M., 2018: Time-Varying Electricity Pricing and Consumer Heterogeneity: Welfare and Distributional Effects with Variable Renewable Supply. Energy Economics. DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2018.08.020
  • Schwerhoff, G., Kornek, U., Lessmann, K., Pahle, M., 2017: Leadership in Climate Change Mitigation: Consequences and Incentives. The Journal of Economic Surveys. DOI: 10.1111/joes.12203
  • Schill, W., Pahle, M., Gambardella, C., 2017: On the Relevance of Start-up Costs for Markets with Increasing Shares of Renewables. Nature Energy 2, Article number: 17050. DOI: 10.1038/nenergy.2017.50
  • Leipprand, A., Flachsland, C., Pahle, M., 2016: Advocates or cartographers? Scientific advisors and the narratives of German energy transition. Energy Policy 102, pp. 222–236. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.12.021
  • Pahle, M., Schill, W., Gambardella, C., Tietjen, O., 2016: Renewable energy support, negative prices, and real-time pricing. The Energy Journal. Volume 37. SI3. DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.SI3.mpah → Code available for the sole purpose of reading here
  • Nahmmacher, P., Schmid, E., Pahle, M., Knopf, B., 2016: Strategies against shocks in power systems - an analysis for the case of Europe. Energy Economics 59, pp. 455-465. DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2016.09.002
  • Steinbacher, K., Pahle, M., 2016: Leadership and the Energiewende: Current Actions and Available Options for German Leadership by Diffusion. Global Environmental Politicis. DOI: 10.1162/GLEP_a_00377Link from Harvard Belfer Center
  • Leiprand, A., Flachsland, C., Pahle, M.: Energy Transition on the Rise: an Analysis of Policy Narratives in German Parliamentary Debates. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, pp. 1-23. DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2016.1215241
  • Tietjen, O., Pahle, M., Fuss, S., 2016: Investment risks in power generation: a comparison of fossil fuel and renewable-energy-dominated markets. Energy Economics 58, pp. 174–185. DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2016.07.005
  • Pahle, M., Pachauri, S., Steinbacher, K., 2016: Can the Green Economy deliver it all? Experiences of renewable energy policies with socio-economic objectives. Journal of Applied Energy 179, pp. 1331–1341. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.06.073
  • Pahle, M., Schweizerhof, H., 2016: Time for tough love: towards gradual risk transfer to renewables in Germany. EEEP 5(2). DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.5.2.mpahFeatured as research highlight in Nature Energy
  • Joas, F., Pahle, M., Flachsland, C., Joas, A., 2016: Which goals are driving the Energiewende? Making sense of the German Energy Transformation. Energy Policy. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.04.003
  • Knopf, B., Pahle, M., Kondziella, H., Joas, F., Edenhofer, O., Bruckner, T., 2014. Germany's nuclear phase-out: sensitivities and impacts on electricity prices and CO2 emissions. Economics of Energy and Environment Policy EEEP 3(1). DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.3.1.bkno
  • Edenhofer, O., Hirth, L., Knopf, B., Pahle, M., Schloemer, S., Schmid, E., Ueckerdt, F., 2013. On the Economics of Renewable Energy Sources, Energy Economics 40, pp. S12–S23. DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2013.09.015
  • Schmid, E., Pahle, M., Knopf, B., 2013: Renewable electricity generation in Germany: A meta-analysis of mitigation scenarios. Energy Policy 61, pp. 1151–1163. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.06.105
  • Pahle, M., Lessmann, K., Edenhofer, O., Bauer, N., 2013: Investments in Imperfect Power Markets under Carbon Pricing: A Case Study Based Analysis. The Energy Journal.
  • Pahle, M., Fan, L., Schill, W.-P., 2011: How emission certificate allocations distort fossil investments: The German example. Energy Policy 39(4), pp. 1975–1987. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.01.027
  • Pahle, M., 2010: Germany’s dash for coal: Exploring drivers and factors. Energy Policy 38(7), pp. 3431-3442. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.02.017

Media coverage (selection)