Renewable Energy Sources: Comparison of Their Use and Respective Policies on a Global Scale

Renewable Energy Sources: Comparison of Their Use and Respective Policies on a Global Scale

Mahmure Övül Arıoğlu Akan (Marmara University, Turkey), Ayşe Ayçim Selam (Marmara University, Turkey) and Seniye Ümit Oktay Fırat (Marmara University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3817-2.ch025
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Abstract

Sustainability concerns resulting from the consumption of natural resources, life-threatening levels of pollution, global warming, climate change and the ever-increasing worldwide energy use have brought renewable energy sources to forefront. Given the possibility of depletion of fossil fuels in the near future, the utilization of clean and renewable energy sources have become inevitable. Consequently, governments and global organizations adopted respective regulations to ensure the production and use of renewable energy and promote the respective new investments. In the light of these developments, the aim of this study is to conduct a detailed review and evaluation on the current literature and global energy statistics. The respective projects, binding regulations, incentives, and pricing mechanisms have also been studied to analyze and compare the renewable energy policies adopted worldwide. Ultimately, the goal is to make certain suggestions and lay out possible solutions regarding global energy problems.
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Introduction

Renewables excluding large hydro accounted for 9.1% of world electricity generation in 2014, up from 8.5% in 2013 with a corresponding increase of 17% in global investment ($270.2 billion invested in 2014 in renewable power and fuels excluding large hydro-electric projects) (Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre/BNEF, 2015). The reason behind this is the concern for sustainability resulting from factors including but not limited to the depletion of natural resources, life-threatening levels of pollution, global warming, climate change and the ever-increasing worldwide energy consumption (Komor & Bazilian, 2005; Apergis & Payne, 2010). The effective utilization of renewable energy is critical across the world, where 1.3 billion people still do not have access to modern sources of energy (WEF, 2013). Societies have much to gain from the effective use of renewable energy with certain issues to consider while making this happen (see Table 1).

In order to make use of these advantages stated in Table 1 and to address the critical issues, countries have developed government policies and adopted respective regulations to ensure the production and use of renewable energy and promote the respective new investments. This has been realized both individually and also as a part of global organizations and networks such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and International Energy Agency (IEA) (Arioglu Akan et al., 2014).

Table 1.
Advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy
AdvantagesDisadvantages
Provides low operating and maintaining costsHigh up-front investment
Provides long life periodEntails long-term planning
Service cost is lowEntails long-term agreements
Reliable sourceEntails multidisciplinary involvement
Induces technology developmentCould involve resettlement
Fosters regional developmentEntails new legal codes
Provides efficient energy production and safetyExcessive competition
Generates revenue and tax
Creates new employment opportunities
Protects environment and saves environmental protection costs
Enhances living conditions
It is waste-free
Improves air quality
Preserves ecosystems
Helps slow down climate change

Gökmen & Temiz, 2015.

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