Governmental support policies for renewable energy
For decades, national, state and local governments have led a sustained push to support renewable energy technologies through a wide mix of policy instruments aimed at development and commercialization. Laws and policies aim to increase the share of energy from renewable energy resources in electricity generation, transportation and other sectors of national and sub-national economies. These laws and policies include mandatory targets for renewable energy deployment, feed-in tariffs (FITs) with fixed, long-term guaranteed payments, tax incentives, and support for contracts offering certainty for purchase of the output of renewable energy facilities. Governments have also supported renewable energy with direct financial support, including loans, loan guarantees, grants, and research and development (R&D) programs.
Many programs have been extremely successful in securing market access for renewable generators and promoting technology improvements and the diffusion of new technologies. Global renewable energy deployment has increased greatly, costs have dropped and renewable energy industries have become more mature. There has been a robust discussion virtually since the inception of support programs about which policy or combination of policies provides the optimal support strategy overall or in a specific nation. This chapter briefly touches upon these debates.
Each nation will have different criteria and policy goals for adopting renewable energy support policies. Typical goals include:
This chapter categorizes the different support policies and their implementation. Rather than describing any one form of support mechanism in depth, the chapter provides a brief description of each one and its features....
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