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Enabling environment needed to upscale world’s renewable energy projects

25 June 2013 - WWF

Gland, Switzerland: Challenges in scaling up implementation of renewable energy must be addressed if the target of 100% sustainable renewables by 2050¹ is to be achieved, according to a new WWF report.

In the report, Meeting Renewable Energy Targets: Global Lessons From The Road To Implementation, challenges inhibiting scaling up implementation in seven countries - China, India, Germany, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa and Spain - are identified.

The report highlights key findings and understanding of what factors are required in order to reach renewable energy targets at the national level based on lessons learned from experience in renewable energy policy from the seven countries.

WWF Global Climate & Energy Initiative leader Samantha Smith says while setting targets represents a clear commitment to renewable energy, simply setting these targets is not enough. “The real job is to create an enabling environment, including money, ensuring access for the poor, infrastructure and capacity building. This is what will ensure these targets are achieved,” she says.

The report shows the challenges to be:

• Balancing policy flexibility and stability
• Implementing policies that promote cost competitiveness.
• Identifying appropriate funding and investment security frameworks
• Transparency and accountability of decisions
• Achieving wide-scale political and social acceptance
• Mapping institutional and stakeholders discrepancies and diverging interests
• Overcoming infrastructural lock-in to conventional energy sources
• Policy reliability with long-term planning
• Sufficient human capacity building

“Financing is a particularly significant challenge and the WWF’s global campaign Seize Your Power! launched earlier this month urges governments and financial institutions worldwide to increase investment in renewable energy,” says Smith.

WWF Director for Global Energy Policy Dr Stephan Singer says scaling up the implementation of renewable energy is possible “if countries avoid the mistakes and learn from successes” of countries which have pioneered implementation.

“Today, 138 countries worldwide have introduced renewable energy targets, mostly to be met by 2020. But renewable energy targets, important as they are, function only as icing on the cake," Dr Singer said. 

"Local and national participation by stakeholders, sound national technology assessments, schemes to provide affordable and clean energy to the poor, financing the needed cost of capital and infrastructure, grid integration, monitoring success and bottlenecks as well as a good compliance system are all crucial parts of a sound implementation plan to make renewables the key energy supply source in the few decades ahead,” he added.

"Case studies in the report show that in order for renewable energy targets to be implemented successfully, it is not only a question of financing and technology but of good governance. It's about ensuring transparency and public participation in energy planning, effective policy design and investments in human know-how and capacity,” says Athena Ballesteros, Project Manager of International Financial Flows and Environment Project of the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The WRI collaborated with the WWF to compile the report.

The report provides clear evidence of what factors are required in order to reach renewable energy targets at the national level. “If addressed appropriately and consistently, these barriers can become opportunities for creating fundamental and solid conditions for successful RE implementation,” says Dr Singer.

Notes to editors: 
1. A previous WWF report, The Energy Report, calls for 100% renewable energy by 2050 as the only viable energy option to meet the plethora of challenges from combating climate change effectively, hedging against risks of volatile and costly fossil fuel imports particularly for poor nations, addressing air pollution health and contributing to sustainable energy services for the poor.

2. Read the report online here:

For more information please contact:
Mandy Jean Woods, Head Communications and Campaigns, WWF International GCEI, / +27 82 553 4211 @MandyJeanWoods
Samantha Smith, Leader GCEI, / @pandaclimate
Dr Stephan Singer, WWF Director for Global Energy Policy,

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.

See for latest news and media resources and Seize Your Power! campaign news
Read The Energy Report at

Seize Your Power! Read and sign the global renewable energy campaign pledge here:


Updated: 2016/06/30

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