Auction Design Process

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The auction design process allows policymakers to align policy objectives early and tailor the auction to policy objectives, level of market readiness, and institutional capabilities.

Policymakers have many objectives for auctions such as promoting private sector investment and socioeconomic progress. Adapting the auction design to local framework conditions and priorities is one of the key steps to ensure success in achieving auction policy objectives. Good auction design can enable policymakers to advance many objectives, including reaching renewable energy targets, lowering generation costs, supporting the integration of renewable energy, and creating local jobs. Good auction design also mitigates risks to all parties and reduces the chance of project construction delays, non-completion, and underperformance during the operation phase.

Auctions can be implemented in countries with different degrees of electricity sector maturity and power sector size. At the beginning of the auction process, a government defines its policy objectives and considers institutional capacities at its disposal to meet future auction requirements. Countries pursue different, sometimes conflicting, objectives when scaling up renewable energy. Clearly defined policy objectives early in the auction design process create a transparent environment that leads to greater success. Next, a government assesses the level of market readiness in terms of market size, project development cycles, and the available project pipeline, and then analyzes the existing regulatory framework. A government may consider introducing a pilot auction to gain experience and kick-start a project pipeline.

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Auctions are best practice for procuring least-cost energy. This competitive, transparent process helps countries meet their energy and climate goals and attract investment into their clean energy futures.
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TOOLKIT – Auctions are best practice for procuring least-cost energy. This competitive, transparent process helps countries meet their energy and climate goals and attract investment into their clean energy futures.

In today’s rapidly evolving renewable energy marketplace, it can be challenging to keep track of current best practices in renewable energy policy, innovations, and market trends. USAID developed the Renewable Energy Auction Toolkit to help international development professionals, energy ministries, utilities, policymakers, and regulators to design and successfully implement energy auctions that expand access to affordable and sustainable clean energy.

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Through the Scaling Up Renewable Energy program, USAID helps partner countries power economies with renewable energy, meet international climate commitments, and open markets to private investment and competition.
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2017–ONGOING, GLOBAL – USAID’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program helps partner countries meet bold climate commitments by accelerating their transition to more affordable, reliable, and accessible energy that spurs growth, powers health systems, and reduces emissions.

Through SURE, USAID provides a variety of services to help policymakers, utilities, and regulators plan, procure, and integrate renewable energy, modernize energy sectors, and create policies that enable sustainable energy markets to flourish. As more countries aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and reduce hazardous waste, SURE’s Innovation Fund supports clean energy technology, energy efficiency innovation, and a circular economy for renewable energy equipment.

Date 
Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - 1:00am

Last updated: June 15, 2022