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The Question of Sustainability of Green Electricity Policy Intervention

Bigerna, Simona, Bollino, Carlo Andrea, Polinori, Paolo
Sustainability 2014 v.6 no.8 pp. 5378-5400
development policy, economic sustainability, energy policy, funding, governmental programs and projects, meta-analysis, renewable energy sources, willingness to pay
In this paper, we analyse the financial viability and economic sustainability implications of government programs for the development of renewable energy sources, explicitly considering that consumers take environmental issues into account. We envisage a broad policy strategy for the future, which we label the “World Sustainable Scenario”, and we quantify the inter-temporal resource requirement in terms of investment necessary to achieve it. We perform an empirical meta-analysis to quantify the willingness to pay for green electricity worldwide. Subsequently, we compare the amount of resources required according to policy programs and the populations’ willingness to sacrifice current resources for future benefits (i.e., willingness to finance future investments) to assess the plausibility of current policies. The main empirical findings show that the population’s attitude toward green electricity will support, on average, 50% of the total investment required. We conclude that this is a positive result, which will make possible the success of the renewable energy sources development policy.