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Recommendations for Developing a Successful Renewable Energy Policy - Sarper Göksal

Many countries have increased the share of renewable energy sources in energy production. The most reliable way to solve the climate crisis is possible by ending fossil fuel consumption and developing and integrating alternative energy sources. In addition, it is undeniable that the success of countries in the diffusion of renewable energy sources depends on a comprehensive renewable energy policy developed in a stable and planned manner. In this sense, governments must develop more comprehensive and efficient energy policies and implement the policies they have devotedly produced and put into practice.

First, tax reductions for those who produce and consume modern and reliable energy systems as part of the fiscal resource policy tool are indispensable since they accelerate the integration of renewable energy. Additionally, phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources can be one of the processes that will facilitate and accelerate the integration of renewable energy. Regulatory policies that will facilitate the renewable energy generation of incentive mechanisms and the widespread use of clean and modern energy systems are crucial. The fact that electric vehicle sales have reached 54 percent in Norway and that the gasoline-powered vehicle era is now easily predicted to end by 2025 proves that Norway's wide range of incentives since 2011 has successfully passed the integration process of renewable energy. To clarify, the exemption of Norwegian citizens from value-added tax when purchasing electric cars and the special purchase tax provided make middle-class electric vehicles cheaper than petrol vehicles. Even though Norway is one of the largest oil producers in Europe and produces 1.82 million barrels of crude oil daily, 54 percent of the cars sold in Norway are related to electric vehicles.

Moreover, the tax exemption and premium support provided to businesspeople or companies that invest in solar and wind energy will increase the incentive for investments in renewable energy. With the increase in investment, the orientation towards alternative energy types will increase positively. President of the Republic of Turkey Erdogan announced that value-added tax and customs duty exemption would be applied to wind and solar energy investments and encourage investors to invest in renewable energy.

According to Erdogan, both local and international investments can be made comfortably in the country thanks to the tax exemption and the support of the employer's share in the insurance premium for six years and the customs duty. Thus, domestic and foreign private companies will mobilize resources for investments in this sector. According to the Association of Solar Energy Industrialists and Industry, there would be no investors in Turkey who did not produce their electricity thanks to these incentives. Zeroing taxes and 18 percent cheaper costs would attract more private companies to the renewable energy sector through those incentives.

On the other hand, laws supporting renewable energy sources are both a deterrent and a means of authorization prohibiting the irresponsible use of natural resources. In addition, governments enacting laws to improve the use of renewable energy can play an essential role in the energy transition. At this point, China's Renewable Energy Law in 2005 can be given as an example. By this law, rapid growth was seen in renewable energy sources in China. According to this law, the Chinese Government has increased offshore wind power generation by 37.8% in its 12th and 13th 5-Year Plans. With the renewable energy law, a national renewable energy target and local renewable energy development in China were planned in a multidimensional and detailed way for the first time. Although China has been ranked first in greenhouse gas emissions for years, or second behind the United States, the law, enacted in 2005, has played a significant role in achieving 100 percent access to electricity and 622 Watts per capita for renewable energy. This law added a compulsory purchasing policy to national renewable energy targets, introducing regulations for cost-sharing and financing renewable energy incentives. In short, although China has not achieved great success in renewable energy compared to its population and potential, the extraordinary increase in greenhouse gas emissions has been stopped by this law. The integration process of renewable energy has started thanks to this law.

In line with the Paris Agreement, net-zero greenhouse gas emissions are committed until 2050 in all loan and investment portfolios. KPGM created a Net Zero Readiness Index to achieve this goal. According to this index, although Norway is oil-rich and the world's largest oil exporter, it is the 'closest' and 'most prepared' country to the zero-emission target, thanks to its implemented appropriate incentive mechanisms. Thanks to the tax exemptions it has provided investors in recent years, Turkey has ranked among the top 25 countries in the Net Zero Readiness Index. In addition, according to the 2021 Rule of Law Index, China ranks 98th out of 139 countries. According to this index, although China's commitment to the rule of law is moderate, it has made good progress in the transition to renewable energy. Its renewable energy share in total energy consumption has reached 14.4 percent with the contribution of the improved renewable energy law. Although Turkey ranks 117th out of 139 countries in the 2021 Rule of Law Index, renewable energy share in total energy consumption achieved a success rate of 14.1%. The enactment of laws to control and encourage the use of renewable energy in Turkey can quickly raise this figure to a very high level.

As a result, the transition to renewable energy by minimizing fossil fuel consumption at the first stage and ending it is the most crucial step to reducing or stopping the global climate crisis and global warming. There is no doubt that financial resources are critical to the energy transition, but they are insufficient. Switching to alternative systems is vital to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy intensity. At this point, governments can contribute to the fight against climate change by developing innovative and scientific policies and plans that fit their budgets. Improved and updated subsidies should be channeled into the renewable energy sector for continued and expanded development. States should continue to develop mechanisms to promote the use of renewable energy. While not paying value-added tax and investing in renewable energy, exempting citizens from taxes helps citizens benefit from the same quality at a much lower price and the country's economic development. Besides, developing and protecting laws supporting renewable energy by governments' legislation mechanisms can be critical for deterrent measures to tackle the climate crisis.


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