Performance evaluation of renewable energy support policies, applied on Flanders' tradable certificates system
The article is composed as a diptych. First, a general framework of criteria to evaluate the performance of renewable energy support systems is elaborated. It is built around the main criteria effectiveness, efficiency and equity. All three are multi-layered and specifying the contents of the various layers is case dependent. Second, the framework is applied on detailed data about the Flemish tradable certificates support system. Several salient conclusions confirm observations from research in other countries causing growing awareness. First, most crucial is a careful and detailed qualification of renewable energy sources and technologies. Without, even effectiveness is not reliably measurable. Second, nearby targets of renewable energy output must follow from a clearly designed transition trajectory towards a sustainable electricity sector. Such transition is intertwined with an industrial technological policy for bringing the necessary technologies to development and maturity. Third, if the above two prerequisites are overridden certificates systems abound of excess profits, predominantly reaped by incumbent power companies being not the best agents of real change to a sustainable energy future.
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