The Static and Dynamic Efficiency of Instruments of Promotion of Renewables

  • Dominique Finon
  • Philippe Menanteau


This paper deals with a comparative analysis of the economic and social efficiency of the instruments used to promote renewable energy sources (RES), first from a static standpoint and then using dynamic criteria to assess their ability to stimulate technological progress and cost reduction. First, the instruments are analysed in relation to the classical discussion of environmental policy that opposes price-based instruments versus quantity-based instruments in an uncertain environment (feed-in tariffs as price based system on one hand, quotas + green certificates, competitive bidding as quantity-based instruments on the other hand). Next, the incentives to invest and innovate in the context of each framework are analysed in relation to the sharing of the surplus associated with each of them between producers/constructors and consumers or the public budget. Finally, the paper looks at the overall cost-efficiency of the policies on the basis of each instrument, by referring to factual evidence in European experiences. It concludes that if social preference is attached to climate change prevention and reflected in a high quantitative objective for renewables, sliding scale feed-in tariffs are a good compromise in order to promote technical progress and national RES industry also. The quota/certificate system also presents a number of advantages in terms of static efficiency, but its ability to stimulate innovation still has to be confirmed by experience.