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Are Green Electricity Certificates the Way Forward for Renewable Energy? An Evaluation of the United Kingdom's Renewables Obligation in the Context of International Comparisons

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  • Dave Toke

    (Department of Sociology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, England)

Abstract

The author analyses the performance of the United Kingdom's ‘Renewables Obligation’ (RO) in the context of other renewable energy procurement regimes. Prevailing wisdom suggests that market-based procurement regimes for renewable energy are more cost-effective than fixed-price (‘feed-in tariff’) arrangements. In addition, market-based regimes are thought to favour corporate, rather than locally owned, schemes. However, the analysis in this paper disputes these strands of conventional wisdom. An analysis of the returns to wind-power developers under the British market-based RO and the German ‘renewable energy feed-tariff’ (REFIT) reveals that financial returns per MW of installed capacity are much higher in the case of the market-based British RO than in the German REFIT. On the other hand, there is evidence that cultural factors are a bigger influence on the patterns of ownership of wind-power schemes than whether procurement systems are market based or fixed price.

Suggested Citation

  • Dave Toke, 2005. "Are Green Electricity Certificates the Way Forward for Renewable Energy? An Evaluation of the United Kingdom's Renewables Obligation in the Context of International Comparisons," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 23(3), pages 361-374, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirc:v:23:y:2005:i:3:p:361-374
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    Cited by:

    1. Lehmann, Paul & Gawel, Erik, 2013. "Why should support schemes for renewable electricity complement the EU emissions trading scheme?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 597-607.
    2. Nolden, Colin, 2013. "Governing community energy—Feed-in tariffs and the development of community wind energy schemes in the United Kingdom and Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 543-552.
    3. Darmani, Anna & Rickne, Annika & Hidalgo, Antonio & Arvidsson, Niklas, 2016. "When outcomes are the reflection of the analysis criteria: A review of the tradable green certificate assessments," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 372-381.
    4. Wolsink, Maarten, 2007. "Planning of renewables schemes: Deliberative and fair decision-making on landscape issues instead of reproachful accusations of non-cooperation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2692-2704, May.
    5. Darmani, Anna, 2015. "Renewable energy investors in Sweden: A cross-subsector analysis of dynamic capabilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 46-57.
    6. Euan Phimister & Deborah Roberts, 2012. "The Role of Ownership in Determining the Rural Economic Benefits of On-shore Wind Farms," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 331-360, June.
    7. Agnolucci, Paolo, 2007. "The effect of financial constraints, technological progress and long-term contracts on tradable green certificates," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3347-3359, June.
    8. Toke, David, 2008. "The EU Renewables Directive--What is the fuss about trading?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2991-2998, August.
    9. Geels, Frank W. & Kern, Florian & Fuchs, Gerhard & Hinderer, Nele & Kungl, Gregor & Mylan, Josephine & Neukirch, Mario & Wassermann, Sandra, 2016. "The enactment of socio-technical transition pathways: A reformulated typology and a comparative multi-level analysis of the German and UK low-carbon electricity transitions (1990–2014)," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 896-913.
    10. O’Keeffe, Aoife & Haggett, Claire, 2012. "An investigation into the potential barriers facing the development of offshore wind energy in Scotland: Case study – Firth of Forth offshore wind farm," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 3711-3721.
    11. Schaefer, Manuel S. & Lloyd, Bob & Stephenson, Janet R., 2012. "The suitability of a feed-in tariff for wind energy in New Zealand—A study based on stakeholders' perspectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 80-91.
    12. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2013. "Energy policymaking in Denmark: Implications for global energy security and sustainability," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 829-839.
    13. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2011. "An international comparison of four polycentric approaches to climate and energy governance," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3832-3844, June.
    14. Fragaki, Aikaterini & Andersen, Anders N. & Toke, David, 2008. "Exploration of economical sizing of gas engine and thermal store for combined heat and power plants in the UK," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1659-1670.
    15. Toke, David & Breukers, Sylvia & Wolsink, Maarten, 2008. "Wind power deployment outcomes: How can we account for the differences?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 1129-1147, May.
    16. Erik Gawel & Alexandra Purkus & Klaas Korte & Paul Lehmann, 2013. "Förderung der Markt- und Systemintegration erneuerbarer Energien: Perspektiven einer instrumentellen Weiterentwicklung," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 82(3), pages 123-136.
    17. Shen, Neng & Deng, Rumeng & Liao, Haolan & Shevchuk, Oleksandr, 2020. "Mapping renewable energy subsidy policy research published from 1997 to 2018: A scientometric review," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    18. Buckman, Greg, 2011. "The effectiveness of Renewable Portfolio Standard banding and carve-outs in supporting high-cost types of renewable electricity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4105-4114, July.
    19. Toke, David & Fragaki, Aikaterini, 2008. "Do liberalised electricity markets help or hinder CHP and district heating? The case of the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1448-1456, April.

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