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Report: International Best Practices for Implementing and Designing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Policies


Governments worldwide are getting serious about their renewable energy commitments. As of April 2017, 173 countries had developed some type of renewable energy target, and of those countries, at least 67 set targets for renewable energy capacity or generation.

In their research report, NREL analysts Jenny Heeter and Bethany Speer, along with Mark B. Glick of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), took a closer look at some of these global RPS policies to pinpoint the key elements and best practices for governments implementing an RPS. Researchers reviewed the RPS structures of the United States, Mexico, China, Korea, and Australia. Shaped by local power markets and government priorities, these case studies illustrate the variety of approaches countries have adopted to meet renewable energy worldwide.

The researchers found RPS best practices to consist of:

  • Using analysis to inform RPS design
  • Gathering stakeholder input in developing targets
  • Identifying eligible renewable resource types and vintages
  • Clearly defining the RPS
  • Enforcing compliance, and
  • Providing a cost-containment provision.

This analysis resulted from an international collaboration between the government of Vietnam, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Department of State to provide technical assistance in strengthening Vietnam’s enabling environment for renewable energy development.

Read this article published by NREL for more information on the report. Learn more about NREL’s Energy Analysis research.