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Dr. Michael Pahle
Head of working group "Energy Strategies Europe & Germany" (ESED)
Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung
Telegrafenberg A56 Room 051
14473 Potsdam
Tel.: +49-331-288 2465

Research interests:

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


  • FFF: Future of Fossil Fuels in the wake of greenhouse gas neutrality, BMBF (2018-2020)
  • BeSmart: Smart-metering and dynamic electricity tariffing: Energy consumption choices, regulatory policies and welfare effects, BMBF (2018-2020)
  • START: Strategic Scenario Analysis (START) - Ein erstes Deutsch-Australisches Fokusprojekt, BMBF (2017-2019)
  • ENavi: Kopernikus-Projekte für die Energiewende – Themenfeld 4: Systemintegration und Vernetzung der Energieversorgung, BMBF (2016-2019)
  • INNOPATHS : Innovation Pathways, Strategies and Policies for the Low-Carbon Transition in Europe, European Commission (2016-2020)
  • AHEAD: Unilateral Action to Make a Global Difference: Towards Horizontal Leadership and Vertical Latitude for Germany & California, Stiftung Mercator (2016-2018)
  • 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)

Publications (peer-review):

  • Pahle, M., Burtraw, D., Flachsland, C., Kelsey, N., Biber, E., Edenhofer, O., Zysman, J., in press: Sequencing to ratchet up climate policy stringency. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0287-6
  • Gambardella, C.,Pahle, M., in press: 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_00377
  • 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)

Work in progress:

  • Gambardella, C.,Pahle, M., Schill, W., revise & resubmit: Do Benefits from Dynamic Tariffing Rise? Welfare Effects of Real-Time Electricity Pricing under Carbon-Tax-Induced Variable Renewable Energy Supply. Environmental and Resource Economics.
  • Osorio, S., Pietzcker, R., Pahle, M., submitted to Energy Economics: Embedding Germany’s coal phase out in European climate action: Analysing the interplay of national and regional emission reduction policies.
  • 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., to be submitted to Nature Sustainability: The crucial role of complementarity, transparency and adaptability for designing energy policies for sustainable development.
  • Friedrich, M., Mauer, E., Tietjen, O., Pahle, M., to be submitted to Energy Economics: Price formation in the EU ETS - a literature review.
  • Tietjen, O., Pahle, M., Lessmann, K., to be submitted to Journal of Environmental Economics and Management: Carbon Pricing in Electricity Markets Under Uncertainty – The Impact of Risk Aversion and Futures Markets.
  • Schmidt, T.S., Steffen, B., Egli, F., Pahle, M., Tietjen, O., to be submitted to Science: Renewables’ cost might rise, jeopardizing climate targets.
  • Flachsland, C., Pahle, M., Burtraw, D., Zetterberg, L., Elkerbout, M., Tietjen, O., Fischer, C., to be submitted to Nature Climate Change: Five myths about an EU ETS carbon floor price.
  • Pahle, M., Burtraw, D., Tietjen, O., Flachsland, C., Edenhofer, O.: Preserving the integrity of the EU ETS under unilateral action. Paper presented at the WCERE 2018 in Gothenburg. Accepted for presentation at the AEA meeting 2019 in Atlanta. Link
  • Schill, W., Zerrahn, A., Pahle, M.: Prosumage of solar electricity: batteries, heating and mobility. Accepted for presentation at the BIEE 2018 conference in London.
  • Mauer, E., Pahle, M., Leipprand, A.: Are we ratcheting up? Measuring the transformative impact of climate policies. Paper presented at the IST 2018 in Manchester. More information.
  • Mauer, E., Okullo, S., Pahle, M., forthcoming: Performance of the Market Stability Reserve under consideration of capacity accumulation.
  • Friedrich, M., Okullo, S., Pahle, M., forthcoming: CO2 emission allowance prices in the EU ETS - price drivers and the recent upward trend.
  • Okullo, S., Pahle, M., Edenhofer, O., forthcoming: Regulatory intervention in an ailing emission trading system.
  • Pahle, M., Tietjen, O., Schmidt, T.S., Steffen, B., Egli, F., Osorio, S., forthcoming: Making climate policy ready for high interest rates.
  • Pahle, M., Tietjen, O., Quirion, P., forthcoming: An analysis of the allocation of risk under different renewable support schemes.
  • Gambardella, C., Novan, K., Pahle, M., Bushnell, J., forthcoming: The impacts of renewable energy on wholesale power markets.

Publications (no peer-review) & reports:

  • 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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