September 2, 2013

Renewable Energy Polices Spreading Globally – Worldwatch Institute

A total of 127 countries have enacted policies to encourage the development of renewable energy projects this year found the Worldwatch Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online report.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, support policies for renewable energy technologies have increased dramatically over the last decade. Starting the mid-200’s policies focused on deployment of renewable energy technologies have been enacted at a rapid pace, growing from 48 countries in mid-2005 to the afore mentioned 127 as of early 2013.

The majority of renewable energy support polices worldwide support power generation. Regulatory policies such as feed-in tariffs, net metering/billing, and renewable portfolio standards or quotas specifically seek to encourage the use of renewable energy technologies for power.

F.I.T.’s are the most widely adopted renewable energy policy with 99 in place worldwide at the national or state/provincial level. Municipal governments were also seen as becoming more active in introducing F.I.T.’s in cities.

R.P.S.’s are basically quotas for a specific required minimum share of renewable energy. These now exist in 76 countries, states, or provinces.

In 66 countries, tax incentives are also being used to spur developments in the renewable energy sector. Tax incentives can take many forms such as production tax credits, or investment tax credits. Many countries have also enacted measures to reduce or exempt specific taxes on renewable energy technologies to decrease costs of project development. These include value added tax, sales tax, or import duties.

“As the renewable energy sector continues to mature, policymakers face a host of new challenges,” said Evan Musolino, trend author. “While the pace of countries adopting new renewable energy support policies has slowed somewhat in recent years, the sector has experienced a flurry of activity centered on revising existing policy mechanisms. Policy changes have been driven by a variety of factors, both positive and negative.”

Worldwatch is an independent research organization that focuses on energy, resource, and environmental issues. Their Vital Signs Online report are a subscription-based tool to provide business leaders, policymakers and engaged citizens with data and analysis they need to understand critical global trends. 

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