Country level analysis

National and regional analysis

National and regional analysis of the current renewables policy landscape identifies barriers to and policy recommendations for an inclusive energy transition.


At the request of countries and regions, IRENA conducts analyses at the country and regional level covering various topics including socio-economics, policy and finance, and specific policies such as auctions.


IRENA analyses the socio-economic footprints of the energy transition and the policies needed to maximise the benefits.

Policy and finance

IRENA analyses the current policy and finance landscape of countries/regions and provides recommendations for the way forward.

    De-Risking Investments in North Macedonia

    Consistent with the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Republic of North Macedonia adopted the National Strategy for Energy Development (NSED) up to 2040 in December 2019, highlighting three possible scenarios for reducing carbon emissions. In April 2021, the government submitted the enhanced NDC to the UNFCCC Secretariat and and the draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) to the Energy Community Secretariat.

    These national strategies and plans placed energy-related policies and actions at the centre of decarbonisation efforts, including commitments to specific targets for renewable energy in power and heating and cooling, and for the electrification of heating and cooling.

    This report, developed by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Climate Promise cooperation framework sets out to identify barriers and provide recommendations for de-risking of renewable energy investments, to support North Macedonia accelerate the implementation of its enhanced NDC. The report presents an overview of the renewable energy finance and policy landscape in North Macedonia; identifies barriers and associated risks which can hold back private-sector investment in renewable energy, focusing on power and heating and cooling; and presents recommendations on policy frameworks and financial de-risking instruments to scale up renewable energy investments, taking into account the need for a post-Covid recovery agenda that aims to achieve resilience, development, and equality.

    The opportunity lies with the speedy implementation of specific actions to address project start-up barriers, as well as development and investment risks. In parallel, preparations need to commence for medium- to long-term actions that will target scaling up investments as the renewable energy market in North Macedonia matures.

    The analysis suggests that combined action by the government of North Macedonia and development finance institutions (DFIs) would contribute to reducing risks related to renewable energy investment. This collaboration would be conducive to attracting first institutional investors in the medium to long term, followed by other private finance players to the market.


IRENA analyses the different rounds of auctions conducted in countries/regions focusing on the design elements, enabling environment and outcomes. Based on the findings, IRENA provides recommendations for future rounds.

    Renewable energy auctions in Japan: Context, design and results

    Japan has long been a major energy importer, relying heavily on fossil fuels to meet household and community electricity needs as well as transport and industrial energy demand. Although the country initially opted for nuclear plants to diversify its energy mix, the disaster at Fukushima in 2011 prompted a fundamental shift in Japanese energy policy.

    With nuclear power increasingly excluded from the future energy mix, renewable energy technologies have become a central element in Japanese power and energy planning. Auctions, meanwhile, have emerged as the key policy instrument driving the national transition to renewables.

    This report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) outlines the country's experience with auctions for solar, wind and biomass power generation. Japan's renewable energy auctions are price-centred and tend to prioritise simple design elements.

    Among the findings:

    • By late 2020, Japan had conducted five solar photovoltaic (PV) and two biomass auctions. It also initiated a zone-specific offshore wind auction in June 2020. A feed in premium (FiP) scheme announced in 2020 to promote renewable energy use was set to be introduced in 2022.
    • To date, bidders have been awarded almost one-third of the originally announced volumes from the five solar PV auctions, with 574 megawatts (MW) awarded out of the total 1 663 MW auctioned. No biomass project has yet been contracted through renewable energy auctions.
    • Average awarded prices in the solar PV auctions fell by more than 35% between the first and fifth rounds. Yet solar PV prices in Japan are still higher than the global average.
    • Solar PV prices in Japan are also high compared to those achieved in other countries with similar macro-economic conditions and levels of solar energy development.
    • Relatively high price results do not necessarily tarnish an auction's success. The average awarded prices were close to the existing costs of electricity for solar PV power in Japan, underscoring the price discovery aspect of the auction process.
    • The main factor behind Japan's high solar power prices is its relatively high installation and building costs, as well as the cost of modules and inverters. Risk perceptions as the market explores new energy sources can also increase prices.

    Renewable energy auctions in Japan: Context, design and results

    Renewable energy auctions in Colombia were designed to complement the country’s electricity market mechanisms, which were insufficient to attract non-hydro renewable energy development on a large scale. They now provide Colombia with opportunities to diversify power supply and increase the resilience of the power sector, while also fostering investor confidence.

    The first auction, in February 2019, assigned bids between buyers and sellers, but did not award any contracts. Participation rates were promising, however, leading authorities to accelerate discussions on holding a second auction. Following modifications in the four categories of IRENA’s auction design framework – auction demand; qualification requirements and documentation; winner selection criteria; and risk allocation – in October 2019, the second auction successfully awarded contracts.

    This report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) analyses the changes in design between the two auctions, as well as their price outcomes and the factors affecting those prices.

    Among the findings:

    • The second auction secured around 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of new wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, which is scheduled to become operational by 2022.
    • At USD 28.40/megawatt hour (MWh) for solar PV and USD 27.70/MWh for wind, Colombia's weighted average prices were significantly lower than the global average for auctions in 2018 – solar PV was half the global average of USD 56/MWh, while wind prices were 42% lower than the global average of USD 48/MWh.
    • The low prices may be attributed to Colombia's rich wind and solar resources; the availability of different fiscal incentives for renewables; and growing investor confidence in auctions and their enabling frameworks.
    • The auction's power purchase agreement (PPA) contract price includes the CERE payment, which is paid back to generators to reward them for the reliability or ‘firmness’ of their supply to the national system. Bids in renewable energy auctions can therefore be influenced by parallel participation in ‘firm’ energy auctions, because generators may retain the CERE payment in their renewable auction bid (valued at USD 17.88/MWh in October 2019) and consider it additional PPA revenue. Hence, the lowest wind bids in the auction came from three projects that were also awarded through firm energy auctions.
    • Systematic auctions that involve a commitment to a longer-term schedule may attract a larger number of bidders, leading to increased penetration of non-hydro renewable energy.
    • Beyond price discovery, auctions offer the potential to engage communities, contribute to subnational development, foster the development of local industries and create jobs – in this case, in the historically marginalised and energy-poor La Guajira region of Colombia.