Renewable energy auctions help countries procure clean power at competitive prices. With auctions, countries can also increase private investment, create local jobs, reduce energy costs, and meet their international climate commitments.
In an auction, a government sets the rules and the process for buyers and sellers. Buyers can be local governments, businesses, or power utilities—state-owned or private. Renewable energy providers (or sellers) bid against each other for contracts to generate energy for the buyers, who can select the seller offering energy at the lowest price. Through a tailored process, auctions can meet each country’s unique needs and goals. These might include cost reductions, economic development and job creation, grid resiliency, emissions reductions, or other goals.
Through its SURE program, USAID helps partner countries design and conduct successful renewable energy auctions. Between 2013 and 2021, USAID-supported auctions facilitated $24.6 billion of investment in large-scale wind and solar plants. These new, clean power generators will prevent 30.9 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. That’s like taking six million cars off the road.