Barriers to Renewable Energy Development: A Chilean & Moroccan Cross-country Comparison

Julian Christopher Pueschel

Student thesis: Master thesis


Renewable energy has the potential to become one of the most influential technologies of the present century. Leaps in technology development combined with significant cost reductions have helped to establish renewable energy on a competitive level with traditional sources. Emerging markets may turn out to be one of the main beneficiaries, given that their energy-hungry economies and a growing middle-class demand ever larger amounts of (decentralized) energy. However, several prevailing barriers to renewable energy development hinder some of these countries to utilize their full potential. Chile & Morocco are two countries that have already identified the indisputable benefits of renewable energy diffusion, but yet are hold back by various critical barriers to development. As such, the guiding research questions of this thesis is as follows: How can a cross-country comparison of barriers to renewable energy development help to understand and address those barriers? The goal of the research is to first identify the prevailing barriers in both countries, to connect them with the main considerations of project developers and other stakeholders, to then finally draft a framework that allows for a more effective cross-country comparison method. A comparative case-study approach is chosen and semi-structured interviews with industry insiders in both countries help to obtain the necessary insights. Secondary data is mainly complementing the research by providing a general market overview. The well-used and cited Painuly (2001) framework is utilized for the clustering of interview findings in the specific barrier groups. The contribution to research is twofold. Firstly, an extensive country analysis contributes to the mapping of prevailing barriers in Chile and Morocco. Both countries show a remarkable number of similar barriers despite their different profiles. Secondly, the well-founded interview findings are turned into a method that helps to compare barriers to RE development. The author proposes a framework that builds on the Painuly (2001) framework and extends it by two further dimensions. The findings may not only be of interest for project developers, investors or energy planners. Also academics may utilize the proposed framework in future cross-country comparisons.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages74