What drives renewable energy development?
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.
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