At least 138 countries had renewable energy targets by the end of 2012. As of early 2013, renewable energy support policies were identified in 127 countries, more than two-thirds of which are developing countries or emerging economies. The rate of adoption of new policies and targets has remained slow relative to the early to mid-2000s. As the sector has matured, revisions to existing policies have become increasingly common.
In response to rapidly changing market conditions for renewable technologies, tight national budgets, and the broader impacts of the global economic crisis in 2012 and early 2013, some countries undertook extensive revisions to existing laws, some of which were imposed retroactively. Others increased support for renewables, and several countries around the world adopted ambitious new targets.
Most policies to support renewable energy target the power sector, with feed-in tariffs (FITs) and renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) used most frequently. During 2012, FIT policies were enacted in five countries, all in Africa and the Middle East; the majority of FIT-related changes involved reduced support. New RPS policies were enacted in two countries. An increasing number of countries turned to public competitive bidding, or tendering, to deploy renewables. In the heating and cooling sector, promotion policies and targets continued to be enacted at a slower rate than in the power sector, although their adoption is increasing steadily.
Despite increasing pressure in major markets such as Europe and the United States, due to growing