IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Financing investments in renewable energy : the impacts of policy design


  • Wiser, Ryan H.
  • Pickle, Steven J.


The costs of electric power projects utilizing renewable energy technologies (RETs) are highly sensitive to financing terms. Consequently, as the electricity industry is restructured and new renewables policies are created, it is important for policymakers to consider the impacts of renewables policy design on RET financing. This paper reviews the power plant financing process for renewable energy projects, estimates the impact of financing terms on levelized energy costs, and provides insights to policymakers on the important nexus between renewables policy design and financing. We review five case studies of renewable energy policies, and find that one of the key reasons that RET policies are not more effective is that project development and financing processes are frequently ignored or misunderstood when designing and implementing renewable energy policies. The case studies specifically show that policies that do not provide long-term stability or that have negative secondary impacts on investment decisions will increase financing costs, sometimes dramatically reducing the effectiveness of the program. Within U.S. electricity restructuring proceedings, new renewable energy policies are being created, and restructuring itself is changing the way RETs are financed. As these new policies are created and implemented, it is essential that policymakers acknowledge the financing difficulties faced by renewables developers and pay special attention to the impacts of renewables policy design on financing. As shown in this paper, a renewables policy that is carefully designed can reduce renewable energy costs dramatically by providing revenue certainty that will, in turn, reduce financing risk premiums.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiser, Ryan H. & Pickle, Steven J., 1998. "Financing investments in renewable energy : the impacts of policy design," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 361-386, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:2:y:1998:i:4:p:361-386

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:2:y:1998:i:4:p:361-386. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.