Effective renewable energy support policies in the EU

Published: 09/01/2012

The thesis explores how EU member state governments can improve the effectiveness and cost efficiency of their renewable energy support policies. The analysis shows that some top runner countries apply very successful and fine-tuned support policies, while many others lag behind. By implementing well designed support frameworks across Europe, governments could meet the European Union’s 20% renewables target and save up to 4 billion Euro per year until 2020. Increased cooperation between member states could save another 2-3 billion Euro per year.  

A major recommendation for attracting more investments in renewables while keeping the costs to consumers low is to reflect the market risks for renewables in the policy design. Against the background of the recent financial crisis, it has become even more important for governments to take measures to reduce financing risks for renewables projects, especially risks that cannot be influenced by renewable energy producers. Another crucial element for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of renewable energy support policies across Europe is to ensure long-term commitment and increasing the stability of the regulatory framework for renewables. Furthermore, governments should consider cross-country cooperation on renewables support. Bottom-up cooperation between member states and alignment of regulatory frameworks seems a more promising approach than drastic harmonisation by the European Commission.

Please find the thesis available for download at the University of Utrecht: uu.nl

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Corinna Klessmann
Energy Policies
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