Twelve OECD country studies were compiled to investigate national strategies in place to promote REHC, in particular heating (Annex B). Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom were selected due mainly to their current policies and interests in deploying REHC. The following sections summarize the current policies of these countries in order to present lessons learned from experiences. A brief overview of effectiveness indicators is then presented followed by a matrix of good policy practice examples.
Summary of current policies
Historically, most policies in support of renewable energy has been focused on renewable electricity and biofuels for transport. Renewable heating has gained support in recent years as awareness of its potential has been increasingly recognized. Of the supporting policies identified within the 12 countries analysed, only 5 were in place in 1990 whereas by May 2007, more than 55 policies had been introduced to support renewable heat either directly or indirectly. Renewable cooling was rarely featured.
Two thirds of policy instruments identified to date directly supporting renewable heat have been technology specific, carrot-based, incentive schemes (Figure 31). All policies have been markedly variable with no obvious pattern relating to their time-spans, total budget per capita, annual budget per capita, applicable technologies or eligible parties.
The success of carrot schemes is difficult to measure but appears to have been mixed, often depending upon the specific design features of the policy and the existence of accompanying stick and/or guidance policies. (Effectiveness indicators are discussed below).
Between 2000 and 2005, the average annual investment of the carrot based incentive schemes ranged between €0.07 and €2.50 per capita (Figure 32). In many cases guidance policies were employed in conjunction with carrot incentives by allocating a portion of the budget towards information distribution and public awareness. Budget information for stick policies in association with guidance policies was generally unavailable.
Many policies target multiple renewable heating technologies. In several circumstances an over-arching policy was implemented covering renewable technologies as a whole, with individual specifications made for renewable heating technologies such as solar thermal panels or geothermal heat pumps. For example, in 2006 Ireland deployed a €65 million budget for multi-annual investments in renewable
energy as a whole with individual schemes, (the Greener Homes Scheme and Bioheat Boiler Deployment Programme), implemented specifically for renewable heating by using an allocated portion of the total budget (Annex B5).
Most policies to support renewable heat targeted solar thermal and biomass with geothermal receiving much less political attention. Indirect incentives to promote CHP, energy efficiency of heating, and renewable contributions to district heating systems were evident in less than 13% of policies surveyed. Policies targeting individual heating technologies are summarized below.