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Subsidizing Global Solar Power: A contemporary legal study of existing and potential international incentives for solar PV investments in developing countries
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

With national cuts on solar PV subsidies and the current “oversupply” of panels, the global solar market is clearly threatened by a contraction. Yet, the need for more solar power is apparent, particularly for the world’s poor and vulnerable population. Instead of securing modern energy access for these people, trade interests have triggered a counterproductive solar trade war. This contemporary legal study addresses these issues by examining existent and potential instruments for stimulating a North-to-South solar capital flow.

The research finds that recent reforms of the CDM will do little difference from previous deficiencies, as local investment barriers are not reflected in the monetary support of the clean development mechanism. Competing technologies are successfully keeping solar out of the game while baseline requirements are undermining the poor.

Inspired by national renewable energy law and policy, international alternatives could address these shortcomings. While feed-in tariffs have been commonly advocated, the REC model seems far more appropriate in an international context. Its ability to be traded separately from the electricity makes it a perfect candidate as a substitute for the CDM. Entrusted with certain features it could address the geographical unbalance and provide with greater investor certainty. But the scheme(s) are under current WTO regulations required to be non-discriminatory, making it highly questionable to believe that developed countries would ever fund such incentive. It is not likely that solar capital exporters want Chinese solar PV manufacturers, who are already receiving significant production subsidies, to receive the same benefits as other producers. However, if countries adversely effected by subsidies where allowed to offset the injury by discriminating Chinese producers in international REC schemes, the Author believes that it would be easier to sell such a concept and implement it, for the benefits of climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as the world’s vulnerable and poor nations. However, this would require extensive reforms under WTO which the Author calls for. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 39 p.
Örebro Studies in Law
Keyword [en]
Solar PV, renewable energy, trade, prohibited subsidies, actionable subsidies, countervailing duties, climate change, mitigation, adaptation, developing countries, investment barriers, clean development mechanism, feed-in tariffs, renewable energy certificates, law and policy
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-28555ISRN: ORU-JPS/RÄ-AG-2013/0008--SEOAI: diva2:614242
Subject / course
, Örebro
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-04-24 Created: 2013-04-03 Last updated: 2013-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Arnesson, Daniel
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School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden

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