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Addressing Barriers to Low-Carbon Innovation

Essays on Structures and Policies to Mobilise Private Finance

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Friedemann Polzin

The author analyses how finance flows can be guided towards low-carbon value generation and growth. He investigates the arrangements between actors in the innovation system and policy measures such as technology push, demand-pull and regulation with regard to their influence on private investments. The case studies include innovation intermediaries, energy service contracting for LED lighting and renewable energy project finance. The results show that barriers to low-carbon innovation inhibit the financing for companies, projects and infrastructure. Also, transparent structures which focus on risk and return facilitate private investments and, finally, both science, technology and innovation policies and regulation are needed to spur private finance.
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5 Public policy influence on renewable energy investments – a panel data study across OECD countries

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Friedemann Polzin, Michael Migendt, Florian A. Täube & Paschen von Flotow

Abstract: This paper examines the impact of public policy measures on renewable energy (RE) investments in electricity-generating capacity made by institutional investors. Using a novel combination of datasets and a longitudinal research design, we investigate the influence of different policy measures in a sample of OECD countries to suggest an effective policy mix which could tackle failures in the market for clean energy. The results call for technology-specific policies which take into account actual market conditions and technology maturity. To improve the conditions for institutional investments, advisable policy instruments include economic and fiscal incentives such as feed-in tariffs (FIT), especially for less mature technologies. Additionally, market-based instruments such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trading systems for mature technologies should be included. These policy measures directly impact the risk and return structure of RE projects. Supplementing these with regulatory measures such as codes and standards (e.g. RPS) and long-term strategic planning could further strengthen the context for RE investments.

5.1 Introduction

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