Convergence in renewable energy sources diffusion worldwide: First results
32 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 24, 2021
The diffusion of renewable energy sources (RES) is a fundamental objective of the worldwide policy actions for sustainable development, at the UN level with the sustainable development goals (SDG) recommendations, to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (SDG 7). Also, primary attention to RES has been given at the EU level with the new Green Deal and the new objectives of the Next Generation EU after the Covid pandemic, and at the level of national Governments worldwide. So far, there has not been an analysis of the RES convergence process across countries worldwide, given that the issue of climate change is a global externality. Previous analyses have focused on specific regions, such as EU, OECD, provinces of China. This paper fills this gap providing new evidence on the convergence process of RES for 176 countries that account for more than 98% of the world population, from 1990 to 2015. A common panel data set has been used taking into account countries’ specific effects. Several socio-economics and political variables are introduced to test conditional convergence such as openness to trade, developments of financial markets, income distribution, level of education. The results of this new contribution reveal that there is evidence of sigma- absolute and conditional beta-convergence process for several groups of countries. Moreover, the conditional convergence analysis shows that spatial spillover effects exert rich and complex impact on convergence speed. Finally, to provide policy recommendations, we simulate alternative scenarios to assess when the target levels of RES can be reached worldwide.
Keywords: renewable energy sources, conditional convergence, worldwide countries data set
JEL Classification: C33, Q20, O11, O13, R11
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