Empirical determinants of renewable energy deployment: A systematic literature review

Article published in Energy Economics. Vol 85. January 2020 (printed edition)

A large share of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the energy sector. Renewable energy (RE) appears to be a mean to decarbonize economies. To fight global warming, which might have substantial impacts on ecosystems and economies, it is essential to understand the empirical determinants of RE deployment for public policy guidance and to foster future research. This paper aims to review the growing, though limited, body of literature that has emerged in the late 2000s to study the quantitative determinants of RE development at a country level. Results show that there is little consensus on the influence of the economic, environmental, and energy-related determinants predominantly studied. The other main determinants considered are regulatory, political, and demographic. Results are often tempered by the fact that authors use diverse measures of RE deployment and have a variety of frameworks. This paper ends with several recommendations to improve the comparability of future papers to enhance their potential to make credible public policy recommendations. More specifically, the recommendations concern the choice of a RE deployment indicator, the determinants considered for further exploration, and the methodologies adopted.

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