Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Justice in solar energy development.


R. Heffron


Marc Fabian

Nana A. Obeng-Darko

Jonathan Wagner

Martin Weibelzahl


To achieve national energy and climate targets across the world, there is a key focus on solar energy development. It is clear from literature that many countries have enormous, under-utilised potentials for solar energy, which can significantly change their energy mix and contribute to the low-carbon ambitions they signed up to under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Our research highlights that there are benefits to solar energy development from a law and economic perspective that are still underexplored. These benefits centre on justice and on how solar energy increases justice within the energy system. From a legal perspective, we review 72 countries and their introduction of energy law with respect to solar energy development. Our analysis illustrates that in some developing countries (new) legislation was not associated with a significant increase in the share of solar energy in the energy mix. We then highlight how to achieve solar energy development through law that can provide certainty for investment. Furthermore, we stress the importance of flexibility that allows the full potential of solar energy to be realised within the energy system. The corresponding form of flexibility justice, combining law and economics, can contribute to increased economic welfare based on market reforms that centre on new market design and market access, while ensuring that it keeps pace with ongoing developments in technology, cost, and ownership.


HEFFRON, R., HALBRÜGGE, S., KÖRNER, M.-F., OBENG-DARKO, N.A., SUMARNO, T., WAGNER, J. and WEIBELZAHL, M. 2021. Justice in solar energy development. Solar energy [online], 218, pages 68-75. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 27, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 6, 2021
Publication Date Apr 30, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 24, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2022
Journal Solar Energy
Print ISSN 0038-092X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 218
Pages 68-75
Keywords Solar energy justice; Energy justice; Flexibility justice; Just transition; Electricity markets; Flexibility
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations