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Ten Principles for Policymaking in the Energy Transition: Lessons from Experience

21 September 2022

Summary

Governments around the world stand to benefit from proactively intervening in their economies to drive the transition to net zero emissions, as evidence from recent history shows that clear policy, investment, and regulatory frameworks can slash energy costs, accelerate innovation, and create jobs. That is the conclusion of this report which assesses how policies have interacted with the growth and innovation of clean energy technologies since the 1990s. Having undertaken a comprehensive analysis of the last three decades of global energy policy, the report concludes that the successes of the onshore wind, offshore wind, solar PV, and electric vehicle (EV) sectors have been driven by governments directly identifying and supporting the technologies that needed to succeed to drive down emissions and bolster energy security. As such, the report urges governments to "proactively" use three main policy levers - investment, tax and regulation - to accelerate clean technology innovation and cost reduction. It also recommends governments go beyond creating a "level playing field" where technologies are left to compete with each other, and instead target the development of specific technologies and the delivery of "tipping points" - where clean energy technologies gain a cost advantage over fossil fuels - which it argues would then lead to a rapid reallocation of investment.

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energy transition