Transitioning to policy frameworks for cost-competitive renewables (RE-TRANSITION)

As rapidly scalable renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind energy, are increasingly becoming the least-cost options for new electricity supply, we are entering a new phase of RE policy.

The cost-competitiveness of RET with conventional technologies, however, does not indicate that policymakers can withdraw all forms of policy that support investment in these technologies and still achieve sustained growth. This report presents a novel, overarching framework to help policymakers understand the evolution of RE policy, one that attempts to outline a number of potential pathways forward to adapt to the rise of renewables.

The new phase is called “Policy Framework Phase”. It follows the Early Commercialization Phase and the current Policy Support Phase and is based on three key pillars that are critical to ensure the continued scale-up of RE projects: projects will need to remain bankable; the power system as a whole will need to become more flexible; and policymakers will need to provide long-term signals to investors and other stakeholders by establishing a clear long-term vision for the development of the power system.

The report provides an extensive set of new policy solutions and examples for each of those pillars for different types of jurisdictions, allowing policy makers to choose the most appropriate ones for their current and future energy system.

The comprehensive, future-oriented approach and the clear definition of terms and concepts make this report an important cornerstone of the ongoing policy debate on transitioning towards energy systems based on high shares of renewables.