Continued growth in renewable energy is crucial to meeting net-zero emissions goals. The risks accompanying a shift of this scale and urgency are cause for concern: large flows of financing, rapid scale-up in investment, and expectations of high returns can generate considerable corruption and integrity risks. These concerns bear similarities to the issues observed in the extractive industries over the past decades, and are particularly apparent for large-scale renewable energy investments in regions with weaker governance.
Mismanagement and corruption could present acute barriers to the anticipated growth of the renewable energy sector. Although stakeholders in the renewable energy sector are showing a growing commitment to addressing environmental and social concerns, there is currently little attention given to corruption and integrity risks in the policymaking, development and operation of renewable energy projects.
This report discusses the extent and implications of corruption and integrity risks in the renewable energy sector in high-, middle- and lower-income countries, with a focus on solar, wind, hydropower and green hydrogen. It outlines existing transparency and accountability sector standards, and the degree to which these address areas that are vulnerable to corruption and weak governance. Finally, this report provides recommendations to diverse stakeholders on strengthening accountability and transparency in the renewable energy sector.