Strategies to Finance Large-scale Deployment of Renewable Energy Projects: An Economic Development and Infrastructure Approach

December 5, 2011

Lew Milford, Jessica Morey, Ross Tyler | Clean Energy Group

This document provides the context and describes some of the challenges that currently face the financing of large‐scale renewable energy deployments. The report highlights the menu of options for policy and decision makers, focusing on the years up to 2015. Some major recommendations are:

  • Build local markets for a country’s renewable energy products.
  • Fill identified gaps in industry value chains such as manufacturing support or workforce development.
  • Institutionalize – e.g. with an investment bank – the functions to manage the economic development, finance mechanisms, and technology innovation.
  • Create investment incentives that will attract investments from new pools, e.g. corporations.
  • Consider creation of ‘green bonds’.
  • Increase private and public research and development in renewable energy technologies.
  • Combine feed-in tariffs (FITs), national tax credit schemes, and mandatory renewable procurement for utilities into successful instruments.
  • Public procurement of renewable energy and mandatory use of renewable technologies in new buildings are possible ‘quick wins’ in policies.
  • Establish the ‘emerging technology renewable auction mechanism’ (ET-RAM) that requires local utilities to procure renewable energy project outputs from specific technology classes. This would be a driver for innovative renewable energy technologies to enter the market.

This report was prepared by Clean Energy Group under a commission by the IEA-RETD.