Energy Finance

Energizing Finance: Understanding the Landscape 2018

November, 2018

The Energizing Finance series is the first and only in-depth attempt to capture multiple years of data on investment for the two key areas of energy access: electrification and clean cooking. It focuses on public and private finance commitments in 20 developing countries – known as the high-impact countries – that together account for nearly 80% of those living without access to sustainable energy.
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Energizing Finance 2018 (Full Report)(4.8 MB)
Energizing Finance 2018 (Executive Summary)(1.6 MB)

Geração fotovoltaica distribuída: um mercado em desenvolvimento

October, 2017

O Brasil possui potencial para estimular o uso de energia solar através da geração distribuída, que consiste na geração de energia na própria unidade de consumo. Neste novo estudo, pesquisadores do CPI analisam mais de cinco mil municípios do Brasil e mostram que fatores da demanda estimulam a penetração de geração fotovoltaica distribuída.
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Resumo – Geração fotovoltaica distribuída(4.5 MB)
Policy Brief – Developing Brazil’s Market for Distributed Solar Generation(4.5 MB)
Working Paper – Distributed Solar Photovoltaic Generation in Brazil(421.2 kb)
Valor_Economico_Geracao_solar_ficara_mais_competitiva_com_mudanças_no_marco_regulatório(628.1 kb)

Developing Brazil’s Market for Distributed Solar Generation

October, 2017

Renewable resources are at the center of the discussion on how to move towards a clean and reliable energy system around the world and are seen as a key instrument in combatting greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Brazil especially holds potential for advancing its level of solar energy through distributed generation, which generates power on-site at the point of consumption. In this new study, CPI researchers analyzed more than 5.000 municipalities in Brazil and show that demandside factors drive consumer uptake of PV distributed energy generation.
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Policy Brief – Developing Brazil’s Market for Distributed Solar Generation(4.5 MB)
Resumo – Geração fotovoltaica distribuída(4.5 MB)
Working Paper – Distributed Solar Photovoltaic Generation in Brazil(421.2 kb)
Valor_Economico_Geracao_solar_ficara_mais_competitiva_com_mudanças_no_marco_regulatório(628.1 kb)

Markets for low carbon, low cost electricity systems (working paper)

October, 2017



Today we are publishing a working paper on the future design of the energy market as part of a program ...
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CPI Markets for low carbon low cost electricity systems October 2017(477.9 kb)

Financing clean power: a risk-based approach to choosing ownership models and policy & finance instruments

September, 2017

This week we publish a working paper setting out a framework for: (i) determining how risks for power investments should ...
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Financing clean power a risk-based approach Sept 2017(1.1 MB)

Clean Energy Investment Trust: financial innovation for pension funds & insurers

August, 2017

This week we launch our design for an investment-grade financing vehicle targeted at institutional investors that reduces the cost of ...
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August 2017 CPI Energy Finance CEIT Structuring report final(637.4 kb)

Overcoming barriers to institutional investments in renewables

August, 2017

Since the financial crisis in 2008, interest in matching the predictable long-term liabilities of institutional investors with the low-risk cashflows ...
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August 2017 CPI Energy Finance CEIT Barriers report final(319.5 kb)

Flexibility: the path to low-carbon, low-cost electricity grids

April, 2017

Wind and solar have become established resources for low-carbon electricity around the world. Cost declines for those technologies now allow ...
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CPI Energy Finance – Flexibility: the path to low carbon low cost grids April 2017(1.0 MB)

European Renewable Energy Policy and Investment

December, 2016

Europe’s policy and finance environment has enabled some of the fastest deployments of renewable assets globally. In 2016, it ...
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European Renewable Energy Policy and Investment 2016(4.5 MB)

Decarbonization of Indian Railways

March, 2017

One key sector of the Indian economy that could set a strategic example for decarbonization and meeting India’s 2030 targets under the Paris Agreement is the rail transport system, and specifically Indian Railways (IR), India’s national railway service. In this report, we have identified different potential pathways to decarbonization of IR by 2030 and examined their cost-effectiveness and feasibility.
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Decarbonization of Indian Railways_full report(789.0 kb)

Beyond YieldCos

June, 2016

US-based YieldCos, such as Terraform Power and NRG Yield, raised equity worth $23 billion dollars by mid-2015, only to see their share prices fall by as much as 60% just a few months later. The rise and fall of new investment ideas nearly always provides valuable lessons, and the US YieldCos are no exception.
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Beyond YieldCos – Full Report(672.5 kb)

Policy and investment in German renewable energy

April, 2016

This report examines the availability of capital for renewable energy, the cost-effectiveness of different mixes of capital and investors used in meeting Germany’s medium and long-term deployment goals, and the potential impact of policies on this mix of investment.
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Policy and investment in German renewable energy(3.8 MB)
Policy and investment in German renewable energy – Summary(645.7 kb)
Overview of most important policy issues(33.6 kb)

Regulierungen und Investitionen für die Energiewende

April, 2016

Die Climate Policy Initiative hat das Investitionspotenzial für erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, die Kosteneffizienz verschiedener Zusammensetzungen von Investoren sowie den potenziellen Einfluss von Regulierungen auf den Investorenmix untersucht.
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Regulierungen und Investitionen für die Energiewende – Zusammenfassung(635.7 kb)
Übersicht der wichtigsten Regulierungsbereiche(38.0 kb)

Government Assets: Risks and Opportunities in a Changing Climate Policy Landscape

March, 2016

This paper helps policymakers and stakeholders better understand how issues around climate related policies affect national budgets. It also offers suggestions about how policymakers and stakeholders can develop appropriate strategies.
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Government Assets Risks and Opportunities in a Changing Climate Policy Landscape(15.6 MB)

Slowing the Growth of Coal Power in China: the Role of Finance in State-Owned Enterprises

December, 2015

In the past few decades, China has experienced rapid growth in coal power, leading to the country’s increased CO2 emissions, which reached 8.25 billion tons in 2012 (IEA). Climate Policy Initiative examines the financing of Chinese coal power plants, beginning with an overview of the current state of the coal power sector, with the aim of exploring financing levers which could optimize electric power growth while also greening the system.
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Slowing the Growth of Coal Power in China – the Role of Finance in State-Owned Enterprises(481.1 kb)

Charting a path for finance policy in clean infrastructure

December, 2015

Rapidly developing nations face particular challenges in meeting their infrastructure investment needs. This project, which supports the upcoming report by the New Climate Economy, the Brookings Institution, and the London School of Economics, “Delivering on Sustainable Infrastructure for Better Development and Better Climate,” explores the infrastructure investment models that India and Brazil have used to address this challenge.
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Model for Financing Clean Infrastructure in Middle Income Countries – Working Paper(979.9 kb)

Getting the most from your green: An approach to using public money effectively through green banks and other low-carbon financing

December, 2015

This document addresses the effective uses of public financial interventions for low carbon projects. It provides an overview of Climate Policy Initiative’s (CPI’s) approach
to determining the most efficient ways in which green banking and other public financial interventions could support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
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Getting the Most from Your Green- An Approach to Using Public Money Effectively Through Green Banks and Other Low-Carbon Financing(834.6 kb)

Slowing the Growth of Coal Power Outside China: The Role of Chinese Finance

November, 2015

In recent years, China has grown into a major provider of coal power finance in overseas markets, replacing financing by...
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Slowing the Growth of Coal Power Outside China(724.0 kb)

Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets Cost-Effectively: A Foreign Exchange Hedging Facility

June, 2015

India has ambitious renewable energy targets for 2022, but because of the government’s limited budget, a cost-effective policy path is crucial to achieving those targets. Achieving India’s renewable energy targets cost-effectively faces two key barriers – a shortage of debt and inferior terms of debt.
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Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets: A Foreign Exchange Hedging Facility _ Executive Summary(163.2 kb)
Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets: A Foreign Exchange Hedging Facility_Technical Paper(653.2 kb)
Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets Cost-Effectively – A Foreign Exchange Hedging Facility_slide deck(869.2 kb)

Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets: Effective Project Allocation Mechanisms

May, 2015

The Government of India has set ambitious renewable energy targets for 2022, in order to achieve its climate goals and enhance energy security. Given India’s budget constraints, a cost-effective policy path will be crucial to achieving these targets. One way to reduce the cost of government support needed to achieve its renewable energy targets is through the tariffs it uses to procure renewable energy.
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Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets: Effective Project Allocation Mechanisms_full report(1.0 MB)

Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets Cost-Effectively

April, 2015

The Government of India has ambitious renewable energy targets, but limited financial resources to meet those targets. CPI examines how much it would cost the government to reach its renewable energy targets, by comparing the levelized cost of electricity from renewable energy to a baseline fossil fuel in absence of any subsidies – whether explicit or implicit; estimating the total cost of support for renewable energy under accelerated depreciation, which is the most cost-effective of existing policies; and investigating federal policy options to make this support even more cost-effective.
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Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets Cost-Effectively(1.3 MB)
Reaching India’s Renewable Energy Targets Cost-Effectively _ Slide Deck(540.6 kb)

Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy

October, 2014

With the right policies, the transition to a low-carbon energy system consistent with avoiding the most damaging effects of climate change could free up trillions of dollars over the next 20 years to invest in better economic growth.
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Regional Fact Sheets: Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy(87.0 kb)
Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy: The Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon Transition(715.1 kb)
Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy: The Impacts of Policy Pathways on Fossil Fuel Asset Values(2.3 MB)

Cap and Trade in Practice: Barriers and Opportunities for Industrial Emissions Reductions in California

July, 2014

California is both one of the largest economies and one of the largest emitters globally, making its climate change policies some of the most important in the world. They are also some of the most ambitious. In particular, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) set a series of policies and programs across all major business sectors to return California emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. A key component of this set of policies is the Cap and Trade Program...
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Cap and Trade in Practice – Full Report(901.0 kb)
Cap and Trade in Practice – Slide Deck(2.0 MB)

Getting the most from your green: A case study for using public money effectively for large-scale renewable energy in California

July, 2014

This brief illustrates CPI’s approach to identifying effective uses of public financial interventions for low-carbon projects. It presents our analysis of the financial barriers affecting large-scale renewable energy in California.
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Getting the Most from Your Green- A Case Study for Using Public Money Effectively for Large-Scale Renewable Energy in California(1.2 MB)

Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System in the U.S. and Europe

June, 2014

Electricity systems across the U.S. and Europe face significant challenges in the transition to low-carbon energy. While the transition provides plenty of opportunities for investors, businesses, and consumers alike, the current business and regulatory models of investor owned utilities (IOUs) and independent power producers (IPPs), which have mainly developed around competitive markets for fossil fuel generation, are particularly ill-suited to take advantage of these new opportunities.
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Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System – Executive Summary(154.3 kb)
Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System – Parts 1 and 2(691.8 kb)
Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System – Fact Sheets(105.5 kb)

Solving India’s Renewable Energy Financing Challenge: Instruments to Provide Low-cost, Long-term Debt

April, 2014

In this paper, we explore financing instruments, used in other regions as well as those that were recently introduced in India in other contexts that have the potential to provide and/or facilitate low-cost, long-term debt for renewable energy in India.
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Instruments to Provide Low-Cost Long-Term Debt – Slides(719.3 kb)
Instruments to Provide Low-cost, Long-term Debt(1.2 MB)

Solving India’s Renewable Energy Financing Challenge: Which Federal Policies can be Most Effective?

March, 2014

The Government of India has set ambitious targets for renewable energy — a doubling of existing renewable energy capacity to 55,000 MW by 2017. However, unsubsidized renewable energy is still 52-129% more expensive than conventional power, and requires policy support.
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Which Federal Policies can be Most Effective – Full Study(1.2 MB)
Which Federal Policies can be Most Effective – Slide Deck(1.5 MB)

Finance Mechanisms for Lowering the Cost of Renewable Energy in Rapidly Developing Countries

January, 2014

Renewable energy financing in emerging economies faces particularly daunting challenges, but there are creative policy solutions that could potentially reduce the cost of renewable energy support by as much as 30%.
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Finance Mechanisms for Lowering the Cost of Clean Energy in Rapidly Developing Countries(795.6 kb)
Finance Mechanisms for Renewable Energy in Emerging Economies – Slide Deck(964.5 kb)

Raising the Stakes for Energy Efficiency: California’s Risk/Reward Incentive Mechanism

January, 2014

California has long been a leader in energy efficiency policy among U.S. states, and the Risk-Reward Incentive Mechanism (RRIM) represents a large-scale policy experiment that holds lessons for other jurisdictions dealing with energy efficiency policy design, especially those considering shareholder incentives. Our evaluation of the RRIM contributes to the debate on the effectiveness of shareholder incentives, providing insights on how program design choices and institutional dynamics contribute to policy outcomes.
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Raising the Stakes for Energy Efficiency – California's Risk-Reward Incentive Mechanism(1.0 MB)

California Carbon Dashboard

October, 2013

California Carbon Dashboard is a new, beta website that offers an overview of AB32 and California climate policies, including carbon price tracking, news aggregation, and interactive graphics.
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Improving Solar Policy: Lessons from the solar leasing boom in California

July, 2013

Most homeowners in California are no longer purchasing the panels on their rooftops, they are leasing them. Over 75% of California’s new residential solar systems in 2012 were leased as compared to less than 10% in 2007. As policymakers across the country and elsewhere look to spur further growth of solar PV in a constrained budget environment, the California experience — and in particular, the rise of leasing — may hold lessons for improving the effectiveness of solar policy generally.
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Improving Solar Policy – Lessons from the solar leasing boom in California(1.3 MB)

Targeting Proposition 39 to Help California’s Schools Save Energy and Money

May, 2013

California policymakers are considering how to allocate Proposition 39 funds — an estimated $2.75 billion over five years — to support energy efficiency and clean energy projects in K-12 schools and other public buildings. Proposition 39 presents a substantial opportunity to help school districts save energy and money. In order to inform the ongoing discussion, Climate Policy Initiative analyzed existing resources and gaps in financing for energy-saving projects in K-12 school districts.
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Targeting Proposition 39 to Help California’s Schools Save Energy and Money(953.4 kb)

The Policy Climate

April, 2013

In The Policy Climate, we offer an overview of policy issues relevant to climate change across the world. We find that the implementation of policy relevant to climate change, and its impact, accelerated markedly over the last decade, despite the slow pace of international climate negotiations.
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The Policy Climate(5.2 MB)

The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy

March, 2013

Institutional investors, which together manage assets of over $70 trillion, often have investment objectives that are aligned with the investment profile of infrastructure. At first glance, access to this large pool of capital and the alignment of objectives should help lower the costs of financing renewable energy. In this study, CPI finds that while these investors could supply a significant share of the total required investment, various factors limit the extent to which they can invest in a way that could lower the cost of financing renewable energy. Furthermore, financial regulation of institutional investors, regulation of energy markets, and renewable energy policy, often create additional obstacles to renewable energy investment.
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The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy(2.0 MB)
The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy – Executive Summary(874.5 kb)
The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy – Factsheet(469.4 kb)

Meeting India’s Renewable Energy Targets: The Financing Challenge

December, 2012

The cost and terms of the debt available in India to finance wind and solar projects is a major problem, increasing the cost of renewable energy by up to a third compared to similar projects in the U.S. and Europe.
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Meeting India's Renewable Targets – The Financing Challenge(884.0 kb)

Falling Short: An Evaluation of the Indian Renewable Certificate Market

December, 2012

We evaluate the effectiveness of Indian REC markets against eight government objectives and find that this program is not likely to achieve government objectives.
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Falling Short- An Evaluation of the Indian Renewable Certificate Market(565.7 kb)

Clearing the Air: Carbon Pricing and Local Air Pollution in California

September, 2012

This report examines how industrial facilities respond to cap and trade, and shows that the most likely responses will reduce air pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions. This is supported by evidence that Europe’s cap and trade system has reduced local air pollution from oil refineries and other industrial facilities.
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Clearing the Air: Carbon Pricing and Local Air Pollution in California(549.5 kb)

Supporting Renewables While Saving Taxpayers Money

September, 2012

Renewable energy deployment in the United States is booming. Though this growth was financed largely through private investment, state and federal policies have played a key role. This report shows the federal government could sustain support for wind and solar at much lower cost to taxpayers by replacing current tax credits with cash incentives.
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Supporting Renewables while Saving Taxpayers Money(842.4 kb)

Limiting the Cost of Renewables – Lessons for California

June, 2012

To support CPUC in the development of a cost limitation for California’s RPS, Climate Policy Initiative reviewed experience in a number of states with costs limits in renewable energy policies. Our qualitative analysis reveals several general lessons about cost limits and their role in renewable energy policy, and points to recom­mendations for California.
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Limiting the Cost of Renewables-Lessons for California(564.2 kb)

Energy, the U.S. Budget, and Climate Change

March, 2012

This paper puts these programs in the broader context of energy-related activities in the federal budget and provides a starting point for further discussion and analysis of the federal government’s role in energy and climate change. We outline the landscape of federal spending and revenue collection activities that substantially influence energy supply or use in 2010, organized by the type of policy tool or mechanism supported.
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Energy US Budget and Climate Change(588.5 kb)

European Electricity Infrastructure: Planning, Regulation, and Financing

January, 2012

Investment in European electricity transmission requires facilitation at the European level. The rate at which renewable energy is integrated into ...
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EU Grid Workshop Summary 2012.01.25(356.6 kb)

Annual Review of Low-Carbon Development in China (2011-2012)

November, 2011

This review explores China’s low-carbon development efforts under the 11th FYP period. What drove the decline in energy intensity? How did government actions contribute to this decline? What are the implications of China’s experience for the 12th FYP?
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Annual Review of Low Carbon Development Executive Summary(415.1 kb)
Annual Review of Low-Carbon Development Chapter Summaries(441.2 kb)

The Impacts of Policy on the Financing of Renewable Projects: A Case Study Analysis

October, 2011

CPI studied six large-scale renewable electricity generation projects in the United States and Europe to evaluate how policy affects project economics, as well as the cost and availability of financing.
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Policy Impacts on Financing of Renewables(752.0 kb)

Smart Power Market Project

September, 2011

Decarbonizing the EU power system involves more than investment in generation and grid – it requires a smart power market as well. A new study led by CPI shows that the current EU power market design does not effectively support European member states’ plan to connect 200GW of wind and solar power to the transmission system by 2020.
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Smart Power Market Project Overview(699.5 kb)
Smart Power Market Executive Summary(691.5 kb)
Neuhoff_Smart power markets for Europe(626.3 kb)
Congestion Management Paper(451.7 kb)
Quantitative Simulation Paper(1.6 MB)
Nodal Pricing Implementation Q&A Paper(830.1 kb)
Technical Aspects of Nodal Pricing Workshop Report(211.6 kb)

Codes to Cleaner Buildings: Effectiveness of U.S. Building Energy Codes

September, 2011

In this paper, Climate Policy Initiative San Francisco assesses the impact of state energy codes using residential energy use data at the state level. By conducting a regression analysis comparing states with building energy codes to those without, CPI SF measures the realized energy savings of energy codes and compares them to existing estimates based on building simulation models.
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Codes to Cleaner Buildings, Effectiveness of US Building Energy Codes(1.2 MB)

Renewable Energy Financing and Climate Policy Effectiveness

July, 2011

CPI's Renewable Energy Finance project assesses the impact of policy on the availability and mix of investment in renewable energy.
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Renewable Energy Financing and Climate Policy Effectiveness Working Paper(241.7 kb)

Impact of Reductions and Exemptions in Energy Taxes and Levies

June, 2011

In this report, CPI studied the impact of four German energy policies and their related exemptions for industry, differentiated by the size of the firm and the industrial sub-sector.
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Reductions and Exemptions on Energy Taxes (German)(443.4 kb)
Reductions and Exemptions on Energy Taxes(1.3 MB)

An Assessment of the Impact of Policy on the Financing of Clean Energy: Project Overview

May, 2011

CPI's assessment of the impact of policy on the financing of clean energy aims to investigate the effectiveness of policy in promoting efficient investment.
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Impact of Policy on Financing Clean Energy(87.2 kb)

The Role of Government Policy in the Development of Solar Photovoltaic Power: Project Overview

May, 2011

CPI's focus in this project has been on the effectiveness of policy in helping PV reach its technical potential. In this project overview, we address several of the major questions that policymakers face in their effort to make PV more cost competitive.
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Role of Government in PV Power Development(185.8 kb)

PV Industry and Policy in Germany and China

March, 2011

In this paper, CPI provides an overview of the PV industry and policies in Germany and China, including deployment support, investment support for manufacturing plants, and R&D support measures.
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PV Industry Germany and China(1.0 MB)

Review of Low-Carbon Development in China 2010

February, 2011

China's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) set a target to reduce energy intensity by 20% from 2005 levels. Climate Policy Initiative's "Review of Low-Carbon Development in China 2010" discusses China's energy performance in key sectors, describes the policies and instruments implemented to meet this target, and provides initial insights that may be valuable as China enters its 12th FYP period.
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Review of LCD in China 2010(842.2 kb)