This chapter will give an overview on the present policies for the promotion of renewable energies for different regions in our world. The spectrum of available political instruments and measures which can be used for the introduction and promotion of any technology are principally identical. However, practically policies always depend on the stage of technology development, the availability of resources and their economic competitiveness. Generally, we can distinguish two main policy pathways. The first set of measures is often described as "technology push policies," the other guiding principle is known as "market pull" or "demand pull" measures. Technology push policies have to be considered as the support of fundamental research and development which aims to improve the technologies by means of reliability, performance, and cost reduction. The intention of market pull policies is to create new markets or support market expansion in order to increase the demand. Market pull measures policies can also lead to further cost reductions by increasing the demand which effects the market situation by stimulating the competition between manufacturers and also by economy of scale effects. Additionally, "other measures" and incentives have to be mentioned which are often initiated by local or state governments. They can be allocated to either technology push or market pull measures. These can also contribute to stimulate the demand, cost reduction, and employment on a regional scale according to the targets and possibilities of these regional and local players.
Typical technology push policies are programs in research and development, the support of research centers, and facilities for testing, etc. Policies to stimulate the market pull and the demand for the initially more expensive new technologies than traditional and conventional methods, are often investment subsidies, taxation driven incentives, loans, regulations for special feed-in tariffs, grid access, information campaigns, etc .
In 2002, the share of renewable energies to the global total electricity generation of 16,054 TWh was estimated to be 305 TWh or less than 2% of the total generation. The official declaration of these fuel types is "other fuels" which includes geothermal, solar, wind, combustible, renewable and waste energy. In comparison to data from three decades ago the generation of these "other fuels" has increased eightfold (1973, 36 TWh), while the total electricity generation has increased "only" by the factor 1.6 (1973, 6,011 TWh). Looking at world regions, countries, and technologies, we can observe different shares of application of renewable energy sources on a regional and a technological point of view. Hydro power and wind energy have the biggest share of penetration; especially wind power has shown two digit growing rates in the last decades. As a matter of fact, wind energy meanwhile is the most competitive alternative source to the traditional energy supply in many regions of the world. According to the paradigm, to "pick the low-hanging fruits first" policies for the promotion of renewable energies have to be seen in the context with the deployment of wind energy, at least in many European countries, especially in Denmark, Germany, and Spain. Many legal instruments presented here originate from the target to promote wind energy. However, the practical application of these policy tools is also used with other sources of renewable energies. Due to this reason, many policies measures and their effectiveness can be observed and evaluated quite well when looking at these technologies. The following analysis will focus on the development of renewable energies especially wind power in a European context.
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