30 Years of Policies for Wind Energy: Lessons from 12 Wind Energy Markets

The report 30 Years of Policies for Wind Energy: Lessons from 12 Wind Energy Markets was jointly produced by GWEC and IRENA. This report identifies and reviews significant policy and regulatory measures that have contributed to the successful development of wind energy across major markets in Asia, Europe, North and South America over the last three decades.

It provides an insight into the strengths of diverse policy design decisions across 12 of the important existing markets. These markets are Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the case of India and the United States, particular state legislations complement federal legislation and these were studied in more detail.The twelve markets studied here are of various sizes, display a wide range of policy options and diverse market dynamics. All have shown high market dynamism and represent interesting case studies.

Every country has a different set of natural resources, a different power system, a different set of economic, regulatory and planning norms, and different development requirements; and it is clear that there is no ‘one size fits all’ method for maximizing wind’s contribution in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. However, from the industry’s perspective, there are a set of conditions that must be fulfilled in order to attract investment, although they can be met in a variety of ways.

The two most important of these are a clear signal from government of the intention to develop wind power; and clarity and stability of the policy and regulatory framework within which manufacturers, project developers, system operators, utilities and investors must operate. It is important that these conditions are addressed preemptively. This report will be useful to a broad range of actors including IRENA member governments and energy system planners in developing their own plans for wind power for attracting domestic and international investment, creating employment and economic opportunities as well as moving towards the clean and sustainable energy future. The expectation is that this report will help shorten the learning curves across nascent and potential wind energy markets.

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