Grounding Green Power: Bottom-Up Perspectives on Smart Renewable Energy Policy in Developing Countries

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This new working paper from the World Resources Institute (WRI) in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, outlines the key components of smart renewable energy policy in developing countries. The paper proposes priorities for international donors looking to make the most efficient investments in clean energy.

The paper also identifies the key components of smart energy policies and draws conclusions from on-the-ground experiences in 12 developing countries: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Tanzania and Thailand.

According to the authors, a smart renewable energy policy should be: 

· Comprehensive. This means creating an enabling environment including power sector regulations, investment and financing conditions, suitable electric grid infrastructure, and technical capacity.

· Based on clearly defined objectives. These include technology deployment, energy access and economic development goals, in addition to added power generation.

· Welcoming to private investment. Policy should leverage private investment by promoting attractive and predictable market conditions.

· Cost-effective. This entails careful policy decisions that avoid over subsidization of renewables, while also removing incentives for fossil fuels.

· Supportive of innovation. The focus should be on improving the performance, reliability, safety and cost of renewable technologies, to take innovation beyond the lab.

· Transparent, accountable and participatory. Policy needs to take into account the principles of good electricity sector governance including transparency, accountability, and stakeholder participation.

The report is available to download from the WRI website.