With the largest share of global emissions, the energy sector is a highly important arena for mitigation action. Energy sector action is included in the scope of over two-thirds of country NDCs, but gaps for the assessment of energy policies remain.

The Renewable Energy Methodology helps policymakers assess and communicate the impacts of renewable energy policies to ensure that they are effective in mitigating GHG emissions, advancing development objectives, and helping countries meet their sectoral targets and national commitments. The document provides methodological guidance on how to estimate emissions pathways and reductions resulting from the implementation of policies in the energy sector. The methodology focuses on three policy interventions: Feed-in tariff policies, auctions policies and tax incentive policies.

Executive summary

Full Assessment Guide


1 & 2

What is the methodology and why should I use it?

These chapters provide an introduction to the methodology and an overview of objectives users may have in assessing the GHG impacts of renewable energy (RE) policies. This section should be read to understand whether to use the methodology and to determine what objectives it will be used for.


3 & 4

Overview of the methodology

This section provides an overview of renewable energy (RE) policies and identifies the policies to which this guide can be applied. It also lays out an overview of the steps involved in assessing the GHG impacts of renewable energy policies, and provides guidance on planning the assessment.



How to describe the policy or action being assessed

In this chapter, users will get guidance on the first step of the assessment process, describing the policy that will be assessed. Guidance is also provided on deciding whether to assess an individual policy or a package of related policies and choosing whether to carry out an ex-ante (forward-looking) or ex-post (backward-looking) assessment.



How to identify the GHG impacts of RE policies to assess

This chapter provides guidance for identifying the most common GHG impacts of RE policies. This section also guides users in developing a causal chain by considering how the policy will be implemented, who will be affected by the policy, what the potential intermediate effects of the policy will be, and how these effects cause GHG impacts.


7 & 8

How to quantify the GHG impacts ex-ante

Chapter 7 provides guidance for the first step of ex-ante impact assessment – estimating the RE addition that the policy is expected to achieve. RE addition refers to the additional installation of renewable energy capacity or electricity generation from renewable sources realized through the policy. Chapter 8 provides guidance for the second step of ex-ante impact assessment – translating estimated RE addition in the policy scenario into GHG impacts. Users can follow one of two approaches for estimating GHG impacts – using an emission trajectory or a grid emission factor.



How to quantify the GHG impacts ex-post

Chapter 9 provides guidance for a backward-looking assessment of GHG impacts achieved by a policy to date. Ex-post assessment involves estimating achieved RE addition and estimating the consequential GHG impacts. Ex-post estimates of emissions are based on observed (monitored) data collected during the policy implementation period.


10 & 11

How to monitor indicators over time and report the results

This section is relevant for all users. Chapter 10 identifies data and parameters to monitor over time and provides guidance on how to develop a monitoring plan. Chapter 11 provides a recommended list of information to be reported, which ensures the impact assessment is transparent and gives decision-makers and stakeholders the information they need to properly interpret the results.


A, B, C, D, E & F

Additional Guidance

These appendices provide additional guidance or information on calculating LCOE for RE technologies and the WACC for RE sources, country examples for each of the three types of policies covered by the methodology, using the CDM tool for calculating the emission factor for an electricity system, and how to involve stakeholders in an impact assessment. The final section explains how the scope of this methodology was selected.


Glossary, abbreviations and acronyms, references, and contributors

Glossary, abbreviations and acronyms, references, and contributors

There is a strong need to build capacity on measurement and reporting of climate actions in developing countries. Being involved in the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency gives me the opportunity to work with worldwide first class experts in a participatory process for the development of tools to build this capacity and increase the confidence of impact assessment of climate policies worldwide.

– Jorge Rodrigues de Almeida, RdA Climate Solutions