Measuring Efficiency and Effectiveness of Policies to Support Wind and Solar PV Deployment

  • Maria Polo Alvez

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


During the first decade of the current century, global renewable energy (RE) demand has experienced a significant and sustained growth as a consequence of several factors such as the price increment of fossil-based energies, the depletion of fossil resources and the climate change challenge due to carbon emissions. The increase in renewable energy capacity in many countries was driven by regulatory policies and market based incentives to make RE economically more competitive compared to conventional energy sources. For example, many countries that adopted Feed-in Tariff (FIT) policy had to commit to generous amount of subsidies in their fiscal budget to cover the policy cost. These subsidies have proven to be very costly and their financial impacts were especially felt when the economic crisis started in 2008. Therefore, many government agencies had to rethink their RE polices, particularly FIT. This study analyzes the renewable energy policies in leading countries such as Germany and Denmark and then focuses on the case of Spain and its RE policy history and evolution. Spain has traditionally been a pioneer in the adoption of renewable energy technologies, and in creating and promoting different market-based instruments since 1980. However, Spanish RE development and adoption started facing new challenges with its FIT policy, which led to a huge financial burden on the country. A case study is presented to tell the RE FIT policy story of Spain. A comparison of different mechanisms to measure efficiency and effectiveness of RE policies is made and then applied to analyze the Spanish case. Finally a system dynamics model is built to help in determining the impact of different energy policy alternatives in Spain for the next 20 years.
Date of Award2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorToufic Mezher (Supervisor)


  • Renewable Energy; Energy Policies
  • Environmental Science.

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