Financing for renewable energy projects: A decision guide by developmental stages with case studies

Tsun Ip Lam, Angel O.K. Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


In terms of development cycle, renewable energy (RE) projects entail funding supports from the technological innovation stage onwards. Due to uncertainties in resource availability and technical risk, only a limited variety of funding sources are available for startups. As the RE development project passes through this early stage into technical maturity, more funding sources may be attracted to bring it to commercial fruition. When the technology is eventually deployable to mass applications, even more funding venues exist, sometimes enabling exit of the original innovators via transfer of ownership, or fostering asset growth with investor participation in built facilities. Due to the environmental benefits to be harvested, governments have a pivotal role to play in relation to funding, either directly or indirectly at all stages. This research is aimed at identifying the developmental stages of RE projects and studying the inter-relationships with stakeholders, under the influence of technology push and market pull. Discussions are focused on different types of RE projects and modes of financing, culminating in a diagrammatic model depicting the various decision factors to assist funding-raising activities at different RE developmental stages. Illustrations are provided through a series of carefully selected case studies in western countries. This is followed by a discussion on RE development financing in the Asian context, with conclusions drawn in the light of recent emergence of new business models and a smart era. Decision makers in RE projects may regard this article as a guide for their fund raising activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-944
Number of pages8
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Case studies
  • Developmental stages
  • Financing sources
  • Renewable projects
  • Stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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