Policy Brief
Renewable Energy: A Strategic Policy for Sustainable Development
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Renewable Energy: A Strategic Policy for Sustainable Development

Number 10 Series: 2010-04

There is ample evidence of underproduction of renewable energy across the world, in spite of there being the necessary resources to produce RE, including technology and finance. It seems politicians and law-makers have yet to be persuaded about the importance of renewable energy to solve the problem of energy security and sustainable development and to act on it seriously. As a matter of fact, renewable energy sectoral investment is highly correlated to the international oil price movement. This further proves the continued myopic views of the law-makers about the spectrum of benefits that renewable energy brings. Hence, a lack of steady policy support for renewable energy is not only jeopardising the matured development of this promising market but also stopping the world from taking advantage of using it for multipurpose benefits including its use as a risk hedging instrument in the increasingly uncertain conventional energy market. Renewable energy policy has fallen into the trap of a boom-bust cycle of world economy and the corresponding international energy price fluctuation. Such policy is therefore unable to deliver its full benefit to society, including creation of green collar jobs and even reducing the electricity tariff for consumers. To overcome this bottleneck, the author has suggested a two-tier solution. First, mainstreaming risk-explicit cost benefit analysis of renewable energy policy at a country-specific level and second, improving regional cooperation to harness the maximum benefits of available resources scattered across countries with geographical proximity. It is indeed a strategic choice for the policy-makers to decouple renewable energy development activities from the boom-bust cycle of economy for seamless progress towards sustainable development.

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