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Dr. Michael Pahle
Head of working group "Energy Strategies Europe & Germany" (ESED)
Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung
Telegrafenberg A31 Room 0.18/0.19
14473 Potsdam
Tel.: +49-331-288 2465

Research interests:

  • Energy Strategies
  • Electricity markets: Policies, Instruments, Modeling
  • Low-carbon Transition Gouvernance


  • AHEAD: Unilateral Action to Make a Global Difference: Towards Horizontal Leadership and Vertical Latitude for Germany & California, Stiftung Mercator (2016-)
  • CD-LINKS: Linking Climate and Development Policies - Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing, European Commission (2015-2019)
  • Wissenschaftliche Unterstützung zu Fragen der Entwicklung eines Governance-Systems für den 2030 Klima- und Energierahmen, BMWi (2015-2018)
  • Hintergrundberichte zu aktuellen Entwicklungen in der Klimapolitik auf nationaler und subnationaler Ebene in den USA und Kanada mit Schwerpunkt Emissionshandel, BMUB (2015-2017)
  • A Renewable Energy Dominated Power Market: Challenges & Solutions for Market Design and Policy Instruments, Stiftung Mercator & Agora Energiewende (2013-2015)
  • Strommarktdesign der Energiewende, TMWAT (2012-2013)
  • Kosten des Ausbaus Erneuerbarer Energien, UBA (2012)
  • ALICE: Akteurshandeln und langfristige Investitionsentscheidungen im Klimaschutz, BMBF (2007-2010)
  • ADAM: Adaption & Mitigation Strategies, European Commission (2006-2009)

Publications (peer-review):

  • Schwerhoff, G., Kornek, U., Lessmann, K., Pahle, M.: Leadership in Climate Change Mitigation: Consequences and Incentives. Under review at The Journal of Economic Surveys.
  • Schill, W., Pahle, M., Gambardella, C.: On the Relevance of Start-up Costs for Markets with Increasing Shares of Renewables. Under review at Nature Energy.
  • Pahle, M., Schill, W., Gambardella, C., Tietjen, O.: Renewable energy support, negative prices, and real-time pricing. Under review at The Energy Journal.
  • Nahmmacher, P., Schmid, E., Pahle, M., Knopf, B.: Strategies against shocks in power systems - an analysis for the case of Europe. Under review at Energy Economics.
  • Steinbacher, K., Pahle, M., in press: Leadership and the Energiewende: Current Actions and Available Options for German Leadership by Diffusion. Global Environmental Politicis.
  • 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.mpah
  • 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., Knopf, B., Edenhofer, O., 2012: Die deutsche Energiewende: gesellschaftliches Experiment und sozialer Lernprozess. GAIA 21(4), S.278-283. PDF
  • 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
    → Dear Mr. Pahle, I would like to thank you for your insightful article 'Germany's dash for coal: Exploring drivers and factors' that I read in the Energy Policy magazine. I am working as electrical engineer on one of the power plant projects you are talking about (800 MW in Wilhelmshaven for GDF Suez) and very often people around me ask 'how come we are still building coal-fired power plants in the 21st century ?'. Your article gives in-depth answers to this large question and I was very interested in reading it. (François Bultynck, Engineer GDF/SUEZ, 11.01.2011)
    → I enjoyed reading your paper, which is all the more relevant since you wrote it - I think German coal consumption increased in 2011 because of US shale gas pushing coal out of the US market and into the European market at prices which were lower than the price of Russian (and other) gas to Germany. Interesting and worrying! (David Buchan, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, 05.09.12)

Publications (no peer-review):

  • Joas, F., Pahle, M., Flachsland, C., 2014. Die Ziele der Energiewende: Eine Kartierung der Prioritäten. ifo Schnelldienst 9/2014. PDF.
  • Pahle, M., Knopf, B., Tietjen, O., Schmid, E., 2012. Kosten des Ausbaus erneuerbarer Energien: Eine Metaanalyse von Szenarien. CLIMATE CHANGE | 23/2012, Umweltbundesamt. Available at:
  • Knopf, B., Pahle, M. & Edenhofer, O., 2012. Der Erfolg der Energiewende hängt vom Strompreis ab – aber eine robuste Energiestrategie ist noch nicht in Sicht. Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, 62(6), S.37–40.
  • Sathaye, J., Lucon, O., Rahman, A., et al, 2011: Renewable Energy in the Context of Sustainable Development. In: IPCC, 2011: IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. Prepared by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, K. Seyboth, P. Matschoss, S. Kadner, T. Zwickel, P. Eickemeier, G. Hansen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow (eds)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1075 pp.
  • Knopf. B., Pahle, M., Edenhofer, O., 2011: Die Kosten des Atomausstiegs und die Herausforderungen der Energiewende, Frankfurter Hefte 12|2011, S.31-33.
  • Knopf, B., Kondziella, H., Pahle, M., et al., 2011: Scenarios for Phasing Out Nuclear Energy in Germany, Berlin: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Available at:
  • Pahle, M., 2011: Investments in Liberalized Electricity Markets and the Low-Carbon Energy Transition: A Mixed-method Analysis of the German Case. Dissertation. TU Berlin. Available at:
  • Bürger, C., Pahle, M., Wordelman, P., 2009: Die deutsche Gesetzesfolgenabschätzung im angelsächsischen Kontext. Verwaltung und Management, S. 83-89.

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