In the last decade hundreds of policies promoting renewable energies have been created worldwide. One of the greatest RE success stories is the worldwide deployment of feed-in-tariffs (FiTs) for electricity from renewable sources. Only ten years ago not more than 13 countries had enacted FiTs (see REN21 Global Status Report 2007) while today at least 57 countries imposed some kind of subsidized pricing for electricity generation from renewables. This already represents almost one third (30 percent) of all countries worldwide. With the support of the FiT, Germany became the largest solar PV installer with a total installed capacity of 5.351 GW by the end of 2008. Spain, Italy and France also claimed major accomplishments in their domestic power generation from renewables. FiT is just one category of the current policy mechanisms, other policy supports focusing on financial assistance, risk sharing, stimulating R&D also exist, with statistics showing more than 80 countries already having some types of policies in place to support its renewable energy industry.
Such large scale of renewable energy policy deployments in the meanwhile created an unprecedented challenge to researchers, policy makers and other interested stakeholders to keep track of the latest information globally. Earlier this year our partner REN21 launched a new tool to map and channel this diffuse and scattered development, and to provide comprehensive and at the same time precise information on RE policies and technologies worldwide to policy-makers as well as to interested actors in science, industry and civil-society. Beside the rich policy section, also installed capacities, current shares and expansion targets of RE in primary energy, final energy or electricity can be displayed for all countries worldwide.
However, not only the amount of RE policies in place had changed. Also the regional distribution of installed capacities of RE and RE policies has modified within the last decade as a quick look on the REN21 interactive map clearly indicates. While in the year 2000 mostly OECD-countries had introduced RE policies, today more and more developing countries as well as countries in transition introduced RE FiTs like India, Indonesia and South-Africa. Especially developing countries and emerging economies can highly benefit from a strong deployment of RE regarding overall economic development, poverty alleviation, electrification rates, job creation and capacity building for RE market actors – once their mostly high, but still untapped market potentials are further harnessed and mobilized also by effective RE policies.
To get an user-friendly and visual overview of these success stories in a data-related way, the REN21 interactive map provides a geographical grounded rich collection of information about RE and, maybe even more important, always cites the different sources for verification or further research.