Published 24 May 2017
[Minor revisions 22/06/2017] The current discourse surrounding regulation may be based on two fundamental dynamics; its rationale and theoretical approaches. Regulatory rationale addresses the justifications for which regulations are necessary, whereas theories of regulation attempts to explain the development, rise and deterioration of regulation. This article examines the regulatory rationale of the Ghanaian government in regulating the renewable energy (RE) industry of Ghana in achieving both regulatory and policy goals. It seeks to explain the possible theoretical reasons for regulation by the Ghanaian government in regulating its RE sector. This article argues that although most of the reasons for regulation could be based on the market failure rationale, it seems less tenable than social solidarity and rights-based rationales in the context of regulating the Ghanaian RE industry. Considering the regulatory objectives of the Ghanaian government in regulating the RE sector, it appears that the concept of sustainability, which is a key factor underlying the social solidarity rationale, drives the design and application of regulatory measures in regulating the Ghanaian RE sector.