Photovoltaic energy diffusion through net-metering and feed-in-tariff policies: learning from Germany, California, Japan and Brazil

M. Ramalho, Lorrane Camara, Guillermo Ivan Pereira, Patricia Pereira da Silva, Guilherme Dantas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Mitigating climate changes and guaranteeing the security of electricity supply are two of the most important drivers behind the adoption of renewable sources support policies. In the last few years, photovoltaic generation has proven growing dynamism and potential through its decreasing costs and accelerated adoption across many countries. Studies indicate that 96.3% of the gloval PV market depends on support schemes. In this context, the most widespread policies supporting photovoltaic generation are net metering and feed-in tariffs. Regarding net metering, California is an outstanding case, which over the past 20 years has played a leading role in photovoltaic energy policies nationally and internationally. Germany, in turn, has also been an early adopter of feed-in tariffs, and has often been signalled for its success in catapulting the country to the forefront of global photovoltaic installed capacity. Additionally, and following this characterization, the study looks at two “later comers”: of Japan and Brazil. Although dissimilar countries both chose to adopt one of the two policy instruments during the same time period. While Japan, in 2011, chose to implement a feed- in tariff scheme, Brazil in 2012 introduced a net-metering solution. Consequently, we evaluate the policies implemented in these two countries, identifying how they differ, and, consequently, if and how they have incorporated the lessons learned from the pioneering regions. Finally, taking into consideration the different trajectories of photovoltaic energy diffusion in the different cases, this study makes an exploratory assessment of the success of the two incentive schemes and their advantages and disadvantages. There exists an indisputable challenge in comparing the performance of policies across different countries, due their heterogeneity, particularly in regards to their socio-economic configuration. Thus, these limitations are taken into consideration when appraising the success of these incentive policies in the different countries. This demonstrates the importance of having a suitable support structure, which goes beyond individual policy tools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th Latin American Energy Economics Meeting, New Energy Landscape: Impacts for Latin America
Place of PublicationRio de Janeiro
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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