Author: Steven Griffiths
Journal: Energy Transitions
Policies to support the deployment of renewable energy technologies have been widely established for power generation, heating, cooling, and transportation. However, as renewable energy technologies have become increasingly cost-competitive and more widely deployed, policymakers have begun to focus their attention on the adaption of existing policies to reflect the rapidly changing economics of these technologies and the impacts they have may have on the energy systems in which they are deployed. Optimal renewable energy policies moving forward must, therefore, be context specific and tailored to the unique political, economic and social circumstances of the regional, national or sub-national energy systems in which they are to be applied.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a region where each member country has stated ambitions and targets for renewable energy but deployment to date has been minimal. Therefore, GCC ambitions must be translated into actions via defined policies and regulations that reflect regional context, and thus have the highest likelihood of achieving success. This paper investigates current trends in renewable energy policy with the aim of identifying those that will be the most effective and feasible to catalyze renewable energy in GCC countries. The findings show that utility-scale renewable energy auctions are a primary mode of stimulating renewable energy deployment internationally and this mechanism is optimally aligned with catalyzing renewable energy deployment in the GCC countries. However, further evolution of regionally tailored renewable energy policy will be required as auction mechanisms gain traction and renewable energy becomes increasingly prominent.
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Illustration Photo: Manufacturing of solar panel in Qatar (credits: Qatar Solar Energy / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0))