With the urgency of climate change, and billions spent globally on renewable energy (RE) support policies, it is crucial to understand which policies are effective. Substantial scholarly research on RE deployment policies has been carried out over the last two decades, resulting in inconclusive findings regarding the effectiveness of mobilizing private finance. Here, we take a novel perspective and review 96 empirical studies concerning the impact of policies on two key investor decision metrics: investment risk and investment return. Only if both metrics correspond to the investors’ expectations are they willing to engage in RE projects. First, our rigorous literature review shows that effective policies address risk and return simultaneously. Second, we find that generic instrument design features, such as credibility and predictability (continuous evaluation and monitoring), considerably impact investment risk. A more focused analysis of the specific design elements of feed-in tariffs, auctions and renewable portfolio standards reveals that these instruments are most effective when they are designed in such a way that they reduce RE project risk while increasing return. We distil important implications for policymakers who aim to foster renewable energy and clean technologies more broadly.
Posted onJuly 10, 2017|Comments Off on A diverse and resilient financial system for investments in the energy transition
Recently, joint work with Mark Sanders and Florian Täube has been accepted for publication in the renowned journal ‘Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability’!
Diversity makes the financial system more resilient. In addition, there is a diverse investment demand to make the transition to a more sustainable energy system. We need, among others, investment in energy transition, circular resource use, better water management and reducing air pollution. The two are linked. Making the financial system more diverse implies more equity, less debt, more non-bank intermediation and more specialized niche banks giving more relation-based credit. This will arguably also increase the flow of funds and resources to innovative, small-scale, or experimental firms that will drive the sustainability transition. Higher diversity and resilience in financial markets is thus complementary and perhaps even instrumental to engineer the transition to clean energy in the real economy.
Posted onJuly 15, 2015|Comments Off on Addressing barriers to low-carbon innovation: Essays on structures and policies to mobilise private finance
My dissertation project published as a book:
The author analyses how finance flows can be guided towards low-carbon value generation and growth. He investigates the arrangements between actors in the innovation system and policy measures such as technology push, demand-pull and regulation with regard to their influence on private investments. The case studies include innovation intermediaries, energy service contracting for LED lighting and renewable energy project finance. The results show that barriers to low-carbon innovation inhibit the financing for companies, projects and infrastructure. Also, transparent structures which focus on risk and return facilitate private investments and, finally, both science, technology and innovation policies and regulation are needed to spur private finance.