In order to incentivize renewables, governments often utilize the setting of targets as a clear expression of policy priority. By 2015, 173 countries had adopted at least one type of renewable energy target. While the design of targets may vary, representing various levels of ambition and commitment, they ultimately aim at sending a clear signal with long-term expectations for the renewables market. To be most effective, it has been argued that targets should remain stable over time, resilient to outside forces, and be legally binding. However, the reality is that targets do shift, both up or down, and they do not always survive their full anticipated life cycle. To date, the academic literature examining if, how and why targets shift has been limited. This study is the first attempt to provide a global outlook that maps all renewable energy targets that both did not change and did change over the last 20 years. The study also conceptualizes and measures how change occurs. Based on the dataset analysis, the study provides a global outlook of the targets' trajectory of all countries whose targets change.
Itay Fischhendler is an Associate Professor at the Hebrew University. Itay's research interests focuses on environmental conflict resolution; natural resources governance and decision making under conditions of political and environmental uncertainties. He is a leading scholar on transboundary water institutions and Middle East water issues. He has published numerous articles in public policy, conflict resolution, peace studies, geography, ecological economics, and environmental journals. Nowadays, his research focuses on energy diplomacy and negotiation.