In accordance with the 20-20-20 targets set by the European Union in the climate and energy package (2009/28/EC), national policies aiming at increasing renewable electricity production have emerged among European countries. The tradable green certificate (TGC) is one of the policy instruments being used in e.g. Italy, the UK, Sweden and Norway, where the scheme was recently implemented. Previous literature has discussed the advantages and disadvantages of TGC systems, primarily from an economic efficiency point of view (del Rı́o, 2005; Fristrup, 2003; Lemming, 2003; Morthorst, 2000). However, very little has been said about their effect on investors’ decision to invest.
Purpose: In this paper, we focus on the triggers of different type of investors’ decisions to invest in renewable electricity production.
Theoretical framework: In a recent working paper, we have demonstrated that investors in renewable electricity production are a heterogeneous group and argued that policy makers’ misconception of who actually invests in renewable electricity production may have important implications for the design of effective policies. Based on a multidimensional framework that includes entrepreneurship, innovation adoption and institutional aspects, we identify a number of investor-related variables, which should be considered by policy makers when designing future policies to promote investments in renewable electricity production.
Results: Based on interviews with different types of investors in renewable electricity production, i.e. farmers, IPPs, diversified companies, project developers, sole traders, economic associations and public non-energy organizations, we show that for many types of investors, profit maximization is not the primary motive of the investment, and that financial incentives, such as TGC, have a limited effect on investment decisions. We therefore argue that different investor categories require different kind of incentives.
Conclusions: Different investor categories require different kind of incentives.