Renewable Auction Design in Theory and Practice: Lessons from the Experiences of Brazil and Mexico

Competitive tendering has become one of the preferred methods of contracting renewable energy generation capacity internationally. As of early 2015, at least 60 countries had adopted renewable energy tenders, compared to just six countries in 2005. However, there are limited country-specific comparisons which research the subject considering the importance and prominence of the issue. The aim of this study is to fill this research gap by examining the Brazilian and Mexican experiences in developing renewables and how their tendering programmes interact with the market and institutional frameworks in which they exist. Fundamentally, our study seeks to shed light on two simple questions: what auction design issues may serve as barriers to renewable development, and how can auctions be improved further? We provide a historical assessment of renewable and generation capacity development policies in both Brazil and Mexico, review auction design and results in both countries, and offer recommendations for the future design and implementation of renewable energy policy tools, and auctions in particular.

Executive Summary

By: Michael Hochberg , Rahmat Poudineh

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