What drives renewable energy development?

L. Alagappan*, R. Orans, Chi-Keung WOO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


This viewpoint reviews renewable energy development in 14 markets that differ in market structure (restructured vs. not restructured), use of feed-in-tariff (FIT) (yes vs. no), transmission planning (anticipatory vs. reactive), and transmission interconnection cost allocated to a renewable generator (high vs. low). We find that market restructuring is not a primary driver of renewable energy development. Renewable generation has the highest percent of total installed capacity in markets that use a FIT, employ anticipatory transmission planning, and have loads or end-users paying for most, if not all, of the transmission interconnection costs. In contrast, renewable developers have been less successful in markets that do not use a FIT, employ reactive transmission planning, and have generators paying for most, if not all, of the transmission interconnection costs. While these policies can lead to higher penetration of renewable energy in the short run, their high cost to ratepayers can threaten the economic sustainability of renewable energy in the long-run.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5099-5104
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • Interconnection cost
  • Renewable energy development
  • Transmission planning


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