© 1988

Social Costs of Energy Consumption

External Effects of Electricity Generation in the Federal Republic of Germany


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Olav Hohmeyer
    Pages 1-2
  3. Olav Hohmeyer
    Pages 3-14
  4. Olav Hohmeyer
    Pages 22-104
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 120-126

About this book


It has become apparent that the market diffusion of systems using new and renewable sources of energy such as solar systems, wind energy converters etc. is taking place more slowly than expected (see e.g. Jochem et al. 1986, p. 338). This indicates that various barriers to the market introduction of such technologies have been underestimated. This hypothesis is supported by the accelerating effect of strong financial incentives on market diffusion rates of wind energy systems in such countries as Denmark and the USA (see Jochem et al. 1986, p. 340f). It is often pointed out that the macroeconomic and social advantages of new energy technologies such as environmental attractiveness, reduction of dependence on energy imports, or resource preservation and the hidden costs of conventional energy systems are not adequately represented in microeconomic evaluations (see Wicke 1986, p. 12 or Solow 1982, p. 32). The general market pricing mechanism does not seem to work adequately in such cases. In any seriously distorted market, government has to compensate by internalizing the external effects of economic processes (see e.g. Solow 1982, p. 31 or Osterkamp/Schneider 1982, p. 27). Therefore, research efforts to estimate the full costs of energy systems to society are necessary. The knowledge of these full social costs of energy could enable government to take corrective action to help the market mechanism achieve an optimal allocation of resources.


Nuclear Energy energy energy consumption environment nuclear solar energy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Fraunhofer-Institut für Systemtechnik und InnovationsforschungKarlsruhe 1Germany

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