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IRENA - Setting Renewable Energy Targets


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This session is part of the Clean Energy Regulators Initiative Webinar Programme.

Theme 7 - Promotion of renewable energy technologies

Module 1: Setting renewable energy targets

Renewable energy (RE) targets are now found in over 160 countries around the world, making them a defining feature of the global energy landscape.

However, the function, design, and overall impacts of RE targets remain poorly understood. While RE targets are undoubtedly important in providing a clear signal to investors, and in mobilizing investment, the majority of RE targets around the world remain voluntary, with little monitoring or enforcement to ensure that countries remain on track.

This webinar will attempt to shed light on these and other aspects of renewable energy targets, while outlining how policymakers can ensure that their targets are met on time, and on budget.

Published in: Technology

IRENA - Setting Renewable Energy Targets

  1. 1. Renewable Energy Target Setting Leonardo Energy Webinar September 29 2015
  2. 2. About the Authors Ghislaine Kieffer Toby D. Couture Founder and Director of E3 Analytics, an independent renewable energy consultancy based in Berlin, Germany. He works on a wide range of topics in renewable energy, including policy, strategy, new business models, as well as economic and financial analysis. He has advised government policymakers and senior decision makers in over forty countries around the world. Joined IRENA in November 2011, where she is currently working in the Policy Unit on a range of policy and regional analyses. Prior to this, she was managing the Latin America Programme at the International Energy Agency (IEA), and previously worked as an operations analyst at the World Bank. Her work focuses on the interplay between energy and sustainability, both from the perspective of global agenda- setting and country-specific policy- making.
  3. 3. The foundations of targets • Means or end? • Management by Objectives • New Public Management • Global economic/development policy • SMART and motivating Targets can represent and/or support overall goals and a hierarchy of objectives by providing a sense of purpose and direction for a particular sector. 3
  4. 4. Targets in the global renewable energy landscape – 2005 In 2005, 43 countries had renewable energy targets – mostly OECD countries 4
  5. 5. Targets in the global renewable energy landscape – 2015 Today, 164 countries have at least one type of renewable energy target – including 131 targets in emerging and developing countries 5
  6. 6. Evolution of global RE targets by sector – 2005-2015 While renewable electricity targets are the most widespread type, heating/cooling and transport sector targets have increased significantly over the last decade 6
  7. 7. What are “renewable energy targets”? The great diversity of renewable energy targets calls for definition and context Renewable energy targets are numerical goals established by governments to achieve a specific amount of renewable energy production or consumption. 7
  8. 8. In Focus: Renewable electricity targets 8
  9. 9. In Focus: Progress toward RE targets 9
  10. 10. Key functions of RE targets throughout the policy-making cycle 1. RE targets in the policy formulation stage • Develop the information base by gathering key data • Complement/validate information through consultation • Reveal gaps in knowledge • Increase the transparency of policy making • Stimulate debate, raises awareness and acceptance 10
  11. 11. Consultation enhances transparency& feasibility of targets: South Africa’s IRP 11 Source: Modise, 2013. Before consultation process After consultation process
  12. 12. Key functions of RE targets throughout the policy-making cycle 2. RE targets in the policy implementation stage • Improve planning • Provide clear direction of policy to stakeholders • Signal political commitment • Encourage alignment of public policies • Motivate stakeholders to take action • Anchor strategic priorities and scenarios • Foster accountability 12
  13. 13. Targets indicate policy direction and potential market size: India 13 Source: CEEW, 2014 Note: CAGR - Compound annual growth rate India scales up its solar targets from 22 GW to 100 GW
  14. 14. Key functions of RE targets throughout the policy-making cycle 3. RE targets in the policy evaluation stage • Supply concrete milestones for evaluation and adjustments • Show deficiencies in current operations • Provide opportunities to take action to correct deviations • Expose data needs and discrepancies 14
  15. 15. Monitoring renewable energy targets in EU Member States 15 Share of renewables in gross final energy consumption in 2005, 2012 and 2020 target Source: IEA, 2014
  16. 16. 16 Monitoring renewable energy targets at the EU level Source: Fraunhofer ISI based on Eurostat and NREAPs.
  17. 17. Designing RE targets The design of RE targets varies widely:  Technology-neutral vs. technology-specific  Total final energy consumption (TFEC) vs. Total primary energy supply (TPES)  Share of energy demand (%) or a fixed amount (e.g. ‘x’ GWh, PJs)  By Sector: Electricity, Heating, Transport 17
  18. 18. Designing RE targets 18
  19. 19. Designing RE targets Targets also differ widely in their overall structure:  Long-term vs. Short-term  Mandatory vs. Aspirational In order to translate into measurable change, RE targets need to be backed by specific policies and measures 19
  20. 20. Key findings  Governments increasingly recognise the benefits of a portfolio approach to renewable energy deployment – technology-specific targets are now predominant  When determining the metrics for RE targets, simple distinctions such as TPES vs. TFEC, or output (GWh) vs. percentages (%) matter and can have important implications for monitoring, reporting, and enforcement  The time horizon of targets increasingly combines a long-term vision (e.g. 2030, 2050) anchored in short-term milestones to track progress (2017, 2018, etc.)  Making targets mandatory matters – the track record of binding RE targets is quite strong, while that of aspirational targets is comparatively weak. The majority of targets to date are non-binding 20
  21. 21.  Effective targets are connected to high-level national priorities, are backed by strong political commitment, and are binding in character  Stakeholder engagement strengthens the credibility and feasibility of targets  Making targets mandatory matters  Who is obligated and how also matter  Striking the right balance between ambition and realism is key  Targets alone are not enough: to be effective, they need to be backed by specific policies and measures Key lessons for setting effective RE targets 21
  22. 22.  Aspirational targets are unlikely to trigger meaningful change  To be effective, targets have to be credible, and binding  Who is obligated, and the legal basis of that obligation, matters (e.g. is it utilities, large final emitters, resource industries, and is the obligation legally enforceable?)  Targets are fundamentally about shaping investor/stakeholder expectations  Targets need to be backed by specific policies and measures Potential insights for climate targets 22
  23. 23. Questions? Download the full report here: s/IRENA_RE_Target_Setting_2015.pdf