PV Policy Frameworks: Lessons from Canadian and International Policy Engagement Around Solar Photovoltaics
36 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2013 Last revised: 9 Mar 2013
Date Written: November 30, 2012
Over the past decade, solar photovoltaics (PV) have attracted increasing attention as promising low-carbon innovations worthy of government investment. Numerous incentive frameworks have been developed to encourage the deployment of PV, with the electricity sector surfacing as the focal point for this policy engagement (through the feed-in tariff and other instruments). A variety of justifications have been advanced to support these policy interventions, spanning from GHG reductions to industrial development. However, PV and the policy frameworks that have been developed to support this technology face serious and growing challenges, including technical issues (e.g., the integration of intermittent sources into conventional electricity networks), social and political concerns (e.g., opposition to renewable energy support due to electricity rate impacts), and economic turbulence (e.g., consolidations within the PV industry). Innovative policy solutions will be needed to overcome these challenges and unlock the potential of PV in future energy systems. This paper explores the policy frameworks surrounding PV in three jurisdictions – Ontario, California and Germany – and draws lessons from these experiences in order to provide policy advice.
Keywords: sustainable energy policy, electricity policy, emerging low-carbon energy sources, low-carbon innovation, solar PV, renewable energy sources, feed-in tariff
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