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GSR 2015

92 04 POLICY LANDSCAPE of 2013) was re-enacted temporarily for a period of two weeks in December 2014, to provide retroactive support to projects that started construction prior to 1 January 2015.52 At the state level, California revised its rebate system to encourage more solar PV power generation to match late-day demand. The revised incentive provides rebates that are 15% higher for the installation of west-facing systems instead of the typically installed south- facing panels.53 In addition to traditional support mechanisms, green banks— such as those in place in the United Kingdom, as well as the New York Green Bank inaugurated in 2014—and green bonds represent innovative options that are gaining support from policymakers. While several national and state governments extended financial support to the renewable power sector, some rolled back incentives in 2014. For example, Ukraine removed its income tax exemption for companies that sell renewable electricity.54 In the United States, Florida regulators acted to allow the state’s solar PV rebate programme to close at the end of 2015.55 Charges or fees on renewable electricity are being levied in an increasing number of countries. These charges come in varying forms and are used to recover a range of costs (including utilities’ fixed costs). In recent years, several European countries (such as the Czech Republic, Greece, and Spain) established fees for grid connection and/or taxes on renewable energy output, including generation for self-consumption and for sales back to the grid. Bulgaria enacted a 20% tax on income derived from solar PV and wind power generation; subsequently, the country’s top court deemed the tax unconstitutional and overturned it.56 Germany extended the FIT surcharge to apply to electricity from solar PV installations larger than 10 kW that is consumed on-site, and Italy imposed a 5% charge on self-consumed electricity from solar PV.57 In the Americas, Costa Rica imposed a fee for grid interconnection of renewable energy systems. By early 2015, 8 US states had enacted charges on new and existing solar PV systems, and an additional 11 states were discussing doing the same.58 Several countries have instituted fees on imported renewable energy components in an effort to protect domestic manufacturers. The US-China dispute over solar PV components continued, and, in January 2015, the United States instituted 91% duties on solar modules or cells imported from China and Taiwan.59 Meanwhile, China imposed 42% anti-dumping duties on EU polysilicon.60 In 2014, the United States launched an official challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to India’s domestic content requirements, and, in early 2015, Canada imposed duties on imported Chinese solar equipment.61 Despite these contentious international trade issues, some agreements were reached in 2014. For example, the United States and India agreed on bilateral commitments to scale up renewable energy development, with the former pledging USD 2 billion to support India’s renewable energy and climate goals.62 In addition, the United States and China reached agreement on mutual commitments to combat climate change, which include a number of clean energy promotion provisions.63 As renewable energy has achieved substantial shares in the electricity mix, efforts to find technical solutions to mitigate integration challenges, while simultaneously simplifying project development and reducing the associated soft costs (non- hardware), are being integrated into policy schemes. The United Kingdom revised requirements on rooftop solar PV and solar thermal heating systems on commercial properties to exempt projects up to 1 MW in size from permitting requirements.64 At the state level, California simplified permitting and review processes for solar PV projects.65 Traditional mechanisms also are being used to increase energy storage capacity and to modernise grid infrastructure. Examples include Kenya’s VAT revisions, which eliminated the VAT on certain batteries used exclusively to store solar power, and Japan’s pledge of USD 700 million (JPY 81 billion) in incentives Figure 32. Developing and Emerging Countries with Renewable Energy Policies, 2004, 2009, and Early 2015Figure 32. Developing and Emerging Countries with Renewable Energy Policies, 2004, 2009, Early 2015 Policies in place in 2004 Policies enacted 2005–2009 Policies enacted 2010–early 2015 No policy or no data Developing and emerging countries with Source: REN21 Policy Database Countries are considered to have policies when at least one national or state/provincial-level policy is in place.

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