The Future is Renewable: Targets and Policies by Country
The Phillip Riley research series is an investigation into the renewable energy policies of Australia, the United States and various Asia Pacific nations. The reports look into the countries’ renewable energy potential, climate change targets and the success of their policy to date. Each report focuses on the current and future use of renewable energy and takes into account the political, geographical and economic challenges unique to each nation.
This Phillip Riley research series is an investigation into the renewable energy policies of Australia, the United States and various Asia Pacific nations. The reports look into the countries’ renewable energy potential, climate change targets and the success of their policy to date. This report focuses on the current and future use of renewable energy of all countries within the research series and takes into account the political, geographical and economic challenges unique to each nation. To read the full Research Series summary report, please download the PDF below.
South Korea Report
Located in East Asia, South Korea has had difficulties increasing their renewable energy production and generation. Stemming from a lack of resources, South Korea is a major importer of natural gas, oil and coal. Of the energy that is produced domestically, nuclear power plays a key role, with future plans to expand in this area. Despite a history of implementing reduction measures, greenhouse gas emissions in South Korea have been steadily rising. This rise in emissions has been complemented by a delay in the installation of renewable energy technologies, which currently only account for 2% of energy generation. To read the full South Korea report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
Singapore is different to all the other countries we have reported about so far and the measures it is taking to combat climate change are subsequently also very different. The combination of extremely limited resource availability and a dense island population mean that cleaning up the energy mix and reducing carbon emissions is a real challenge for Singapore. It has no fossil fuel resources and very little opportunity to use renewables. Singapore is making the best of its situation by focusing on energy efficiency and becoming a hub for technology and research in alternative energy solutions. Many policies and programs have been introduced so that Singapore still contributes to the global effort to mitigate global warming. To read the full Singapore report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
Taiwan has limited fossil fuel reserves and as a result imports almost all of their energy supply. This imported energy supply makes up 98% Taiwan’s total energy and is highly dependent on fossil fuels. As a result, there have been a number of challenges when attempting to increase the proportion of renewable energy within their energy mix. Taiwan’s energy supply, including imports, consists mainly of oil (48%), coal (29%) and natural gas (13%). Of the energy that is produced domestically, biomass contributes the largest amount, accounting for 1.38% of the total energy supply. To read the full Taiwan report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
As one of the largest countries in the world with the biggest population, China faces unique challenges in its energy sector. Changing to a cleaner energy supply is a key part of China’s plans to tackle climate change and the Chinese government is actively promoting renewables as an important part of transitioning to a low carbon economy. China is the world’s largest energy consumer and as its economy continues to grow, demand for energy is also increasing. China has immense reserves of coal, so it follows that coal has long been the most-used source of energy, but it has recently become a world leader in renewable energy as well. The government of China has put in place several policies and targets in an effort to reduce emissions and air pollution as well as increase renewable energy use. To read the full China report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
Thailand’s approach to increasing the proportion of renewable energy within their energy mix has been slow and gradual. However, a transformation within the Thai energy sector is expected to change this. Thailand currently has a short-term target, which aims to increase renewable energy to 20.3% by 2022. As of 2015, the majority of the energy produced within the country was natural gas (64%), followed by coal (20%) and renewable energy (8%). Thailand’s rapid growth coupled with a depletion in their supplies of natural gas has meant that a diversification of the Thai energy sector must inevitably occur. To read the full Thailand report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
Indonesia’s energy sector is making a tremendous transformation to complete energy independence, despite unique challenges of having the world’s fourth largest population spread over thousands of islands. In order to secure its energy supply, Indonesia is aiming to significantly reduce its oil consumption and replace it with local energy resources including coal, gas and renewables. It has set ambitious targets for this transformation and although renewables are not the only focus in these energy targets, the renewable energy sector is likely to experience a period of growth as a result of it.
To read the full Indonesia report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales Report
South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales all differ in their approaches to increase their renewable energy production. The three states currently have very different energy mixes, with both Victoria and New South Wales having a strong dependency on coal. Through early investment South Australia has positioned itself as a renewable energy leader with a particular focus on wind power. In contrast to this Victoria and New South Wales have only recently begun their shift to a more sustainable energy supply. However, despite their differences, the three states all share the same long-term target: net zero emissions by 2050. It will be interesting to observe how each state’s energy sector evolves into the future. Hopefully with the support of each other, and the federal government, the long-term targets are able to be achieved. To read the full South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
Australia, Federal Level Report
The renewable energy industry in Australia has been experiencing rapid growth recently and has been driving change in an energy system that has long been reliant on fossil fuels. However, in a nation where mining and fossil fuel production are some of the biggest and most influential industries, the renewable energy sector is faced with many challenges. To read the full Australia, Federal Level Report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
USA, Washington, Hawaii, and Iowa Report
Washington, Hawaii and Iowa are three states that have very different landscapes, natural resources and economies. As a consequence, they all have very different energy and climate change policies and electricity generation portfolios.
The unique combination of resources and economic priorities in each state has led to varying outcomes in the renewable energy sector and it will be interesting to observe how the industry changes and grows in these states. For further detail about the renewable energy targets and policies in these three states please download the full report.
To read the full Washington, Hawaii, and Iowa report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
USA, California and Texas Report
California and Texas are both leaders in the renewable energy field, however they differ in their approaches to achieving sustainability. Through legislation, California has clear long-term targets, however Texas currently does not have a state target set. California and Texas use a variety of techniques and incentives in order to reduce emissions. California reduced a significant proportion of their emissions through the Cap-and-Trade program. Texas’ main scheme to reduce emissions is their Renewable Portfolio Standard, which California has now also implemented. Although California and Texas are leaders in the renewable energy field, further developments can be made in order to further reduce their reliance upon natural gas. To read the full California and Texas report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
USA, Federal Level Report
With vast natural resources and access to advanced energy technology the United States is in prime position to take a leading role in the renewable energy industry and in climate change mitigation. As a nation, the United States has acknowledged that they may experience many negative effects if world temperatures continue to rise, including higher risk of natural disasters and flooding as well as having to manage the relocation of possibly millions of affected people. In the past few years the United States has taken their role as a global leaders in combatting climate change seriously. To read the full USA, Federal Level report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
Located in Eastern Asia, Japan’s large population in proportion to its small land-mass has resulted in the delayed implementation of renewable energy techniques. The current renewable energy target for Japan states that by 2030, renewable energy will account for 22% to 24% of the country’s power mix. When this target was set in June 2014, renewable energy accounted for approximately 15%, and imported fossil fuels accounted for a large majority of Japan’s power generation. To read the full Japan report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.
The Philippines is a tropical country made up of thousands of islands in the Pacific ocean. Its location makes it susceptible to natural disasters but it also bestows it with vast natural resources. The nation has acknowledged that it is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly rising sea levels and increasing disaster risks, and in light of this the Philippines has made commitments to limit increasing temperatures and switch to a cleaner energy supply. To read the full Philippines report as part of our Research Series, please download the PDF below.