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Title:Assessing the effectiveness of renewable-specific policies on global renewable capacities
Author(s):Reiswig, Kegan
Advisor(s):Baylis, Kathy
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
feed-in tariff
renewable portfolio standard
Abstract:Many countries have enacted recent laws and regulations designed to stimulate production of electricity capacity from renewables within their borders. While early policy adopters were mostly developed countries, the number of developing countries adopting renewable-specific policies has expanded dramatically in the past decade. Given that the increase in future energy demand will be driven by the developing world, knowing what predicts policy adoption and whether these policies actually increase renewable capacity is crucial to understanding the future global energy mix and its emissions. Literature investigating the effectiveness of policies on renewable energy production primarily focuses on the United States and Europe. Little empirical analysis exists on the effect of policies on renewable energies in a global context. The goals of this thesis are twofold: first, to determine the characteristics of countries that predict the decision to adopt renewable-specific policies; second, to estimate the impact of feed-in tariffs and renewable portfolio standards on global renewable energy capacities. The renewables studied include biomass, geothermal, hydro (>10 MW), small hydro (<10 MW), solar photovoltaic, and wind energies. A majority of the projected increase in energy demand comes from countries outside Europe and North America; thus, it is important to determine the impacts of renewable-specific policies on renewable capacities in developing countries. My thesis utilizes data from 1990-2013 in 163 countries worldwide to evaluate the impacts of policies not only in a global context, but to also specifically analyze the effects of policies in developing countries. The results indicate that a country’s choice to adopt a renewable policy is largely dependent on the stock of its renewable resource potential. Lower cost energy expansion as measured by income, worse air pollution, and a higher population density also the likelihood of policy adoption. Last, I find less corrupt and more environmentally friendly governments are more likely to adopt green energy policies. In terms of the effect of renewable policies, I find that the results vary by policy and renewable energy type. Feed-in tariffs successfully stimulate development of all renewables except geothermal, and renewable portfolio standards incentivize the development of biomass, solar, and wind capacities. The effects of policies on capacities hold true for both developed and developing countries, with the relative success of policies in developed countries being more intense.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Kegan Reiswig
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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