On 8 March 2012, almost one year after the tragic Fukushima nuclear accident marked a change in energy priorities in a number of countries, the IEA-implementing agreement on Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (IEA-RETD) has presented the ACTION star in Tokyo Japan. The ACTION star is a graphic representation of six policy categories that are essential for the acceleration of renewable energy deployment. “It is based on global best practices,” says Hans-Jørgen Koch, chairman of the IEA-RETD, in which nine countries cooperate. “Applying the ACTION star guides policy makers in choosing the right ingredients for successful policies.”
This weekend, some meetings in Tokyo mark the first anniversary of ‘Fukushima’ on 11 March 2011. At one of these meetings, Dialogue on the Future of Renewables Globally organised by REN21, IEA-RETD chair Hans Jørgen Koch (Deputy State Secretary, Danish Energy Agency) announced the publication of the READy book in autumn 2012. This book (Renewable Energy Action on Deployment) presents a kaleidoscope of policy options that have proven to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies, based on experiences around the world at the local and national levels. The ACTION star is launched in a pre-publication of the READy book.
The IEA-RETD advocates a further acceleration of renewable energy deployment, starting with the existing promising developments in several countries in the world. “We are well aware that the transformation of the energy system needs to speed up, for several reasons,” Koch says. “Lately, the IEA calculated that any dollar of investment that we don’t invest now in low-carbon solutions will in fact cost us $ 4.30 later to compensate for the increased emissions. This is only one of a number of reasons why we need to take immediate action!”
Policy makers play a key role by influencing short- and long-term planning and investment decisions. In some countries, policies have successfully attracted substantial financing to renewable energy, encouraging significant technological advancement alongside massive and rapid deployment. “But other countries are still struggling with inertia or have not even begun down this path,” Koch says. “In our picture, a much faster and more global deployment of renewables will advance economic development, create domestic jobs, improve energy security, assist in providing energy access to all, reduce local health and environmental impacts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically in order to ensure a stable climate.”
The ACTION star consists of six policy types:
Alliance building: Build alliances and reach agreements among policy makers and with relevant stakeholders including industry members, consumers, investors, and others
Communicating: Communicate knowledge about renewable energy resources, technologies and issues to create awareness on all levels, address concerns of stakeholders, and build up the needed work force
Target setting: Clarify the goals, set ambitious targets on all levels of government, and enact policies to achieve goals.
Integrating: Integrate renewables into policymaking and take advantage of synergies with energy efficiency
Optimizing: Optimize policy frameworks by building on own policies or other proven policy mechanisms and adapting them to specific circumstances.
Neutralizing: Neutralize disadvantages in the marketplace, such as misconceptions of costs and the lack of a level playing field.