Exploring perceptions of the credibility of policy mixes: The case of German manufacturers of renewable power generation technologies
The credibility of climate policy has been identified as paramount factor for low-carbon investment and innovation and is thus key for the cost-effective achievement of the decarbonization objectives set out in the Paris Agreement. Yet, despite its importance we have only limited insights into how such policy credibility is formed. To address this gap we explore whether and to what extent corporate perceptions of policy credibility depend on the current policy mix with its national targets, concrete policy instruments and their consistency as well as policy making and implementation. For this, we use the case of the German Energiewende and rely on data collected in 2014 through a survey of German manufacturers of renewable power generation technologies. We analyze the answers of 390 companies through a linear regression to identify policy mix related determinants of perceived policy credibility - measured by a novel indicator based on four survey items. We find that corporate perceptions of policy credibility are mainly shaped by two characteristics of the policy mix, namely the coherence of policy making and implementation, followed by the consistency of the policy mix. Elements of the policy mix matter as well, in particular changes in the design of the core demand pull instrument (the Renewable Energy Sources Act, EEG) and the nuclear phase-out policy, but also the German targets for the expansion of renewable energies play a role. These insights enable us to derive more general implications for policy makers around the world interested in promoting the innovation-led decarbonization of the economy by safeguarding and increasing policy credibility.