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Vested interests as driver of the clean energy transition: Evidence from Russia's solar energy policy


  • Boute, Anatole
  • Zhikharev, Alexey


By contrast to the common objective of decarbonization of electricity production, the main driver of Russia's renewable energy policy is to achieve the economic benefits related to the manufacturing of green equipment. The focus on industrial development rather than the decarbonization of the power sector clearly appears from the decision of the Russian government to tie renewable energy subsidies to stringent local content requirements. In particular, solar energy benefits from a subsidy regime that is favourable to local manufacturers. Based on a detailed analysis of Russian renewable energy regulation, this paper studies the benefits for solar generation and explains this favourable treatment based on the vested interests of influential industrial groups in the solar PV manufacturing sector. These vested interests helped to overcome the resistance to renewable energy in an economy heavily dependent on oil and gas. More fundamentally, the influence of the local solar energy industry enabled the development of a support scheme that eventually stimulated the deployment of renewable energy technologies in general.

Suggested Citation

  • Boute, Anatole & Zhikharev, Alexey, 2019. "Vested interests as driver of the clean energy transition: Evidence from Russia's solar energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:133:y:2019:i:c:s0301421519304884
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.110910

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    References listed on IDEAS

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