Promoting electricity from renewable energy sources - lessons learned from the EU, United States, and Japan
This chapter examines the experience gained from various regulatory and support strategies for the promotion of electricity generation from renewables. Its objective is to provide evidence to improve future policies. It focuses on countries with considerable experience including Europe, the United States, and Japan. It covers historical development and the future potential of renewables. It classifies different types of promotional strategies and summarizes the experience up to 2005. It evaluates the most important promotional programs in different countries and discusses the relative merits of different strategies. A wide range of policy instruments has been tried and is in place in different parts of the world to promote renewable energy technologies. The design and performance of these schemes varies from place to place, requiring further research to determine their effectiveness in delivering the desired results. The promotion of electricity generated from renewable energy sources has recently gained high priority in the energy policy strategies of many countries in response to concerns about global climate change, energy security, and other reasons. Promotional schemes that are properly designed within a stable framework and offer long-term investment continuity produce better results. Credibility and continuity reduce risks, thus leading to lower profit requirements by investors.