Renewable Energy Policy of the European
Union – How Europe converts to sustainable
energy supply and consumption
Workshop at the oikos Spring Meeting 2009
Nina Hug, oikos PhD Fellow 2008-2011
1 Why a renewable energy policy?
2 History of energy policy and EU targets
3 How to reach the targets?
4 Summary: how far reaches the EU’s arm?
5 International Context: the role of CDM
6 Further reading and tasks
Why a renewable energy policy?
- reducing GHG emissions
- energy security
- knowledge based industry
- rural development
History of Renewable Energy Policy in the EU
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
White RE-Directive progress Evaluation
Paper report of support
21% share of directive
RE in with
Directive RE Road map:
on bio- target of 20%
fuels share of RE in
EU Energy Targets
- 2010: 21% electricity from renewable sources
- 2010: 5,75% biofuels.
- 2020: 20% renewables in total energy consumption
Excursus: What are Directives?
- Setting targets
- means to achieve the result left to member states
- Timetable for implementation
- no compliance EU-Commission can initiate legal action
Progress in reaching the targets
share of total primary energy supply in 2006 (EU 27)
Progress in reaching 2010 targets
EU expects to reach a share of 19%
by 2010, missing the target by 2%
Sector-Objectives to meet the 2020 targets
- Renewable electricity: from 15% to 34%
- Role of wind energy: 12%
- Solar energy cost reduction by 50%
- Sustainable heating and cooling: double the amount
- Applying best practices (Sweden, Germany, Austria)
- Biofuels: share of 14%
Support schemes for renewables
Feed-in tariffs dominate the scene
support schemes for
onshore wind energy
Harmonization of support schemes?
- 27 EU member : 27 different support schemes
- EU favors Quota: market freedom
- But: national schemes now well established
- Security for investors prevails over harmonization
Recommendations to reduce administrative barriers
How far reaches the EU‘s arm?
- Provide framework
- Setting inscentives
- Pressure by competition: lead markets
- Diffusion of policy: structure – agency divide
- The role of pioneers: e.g. ICLEI (local governments for
- Credibility in international negotiations
The international context
• Kyoto targets EU-15: reduction by 8% for the period 2008-2012
• Kyoto-Mechanisms can be applied by member states
• One crucial mechanism is CDM
• What effects does this have on Renewable Energies in Europe and
• How is sustainability addressed with this mechanism?
Clean Development Mechanism and Renewables
- earning carbon credits as a reward to investments in climate-friendly
- Businesses allowed to meet domestic GHG-reduction targets by
- Project proposal includes
- where and how are emissions reduced?
- What would be future emissions in absence of the project
- Validation by Designated Operational Entity (DOE)
- Executive Board of CDM decides on approval
Conditions for sustainable CDM projects
- Invest in projects focussed on renewable energy sources
- Ensure technology-transfer and capacity building
- Move from individual technology unit approach to integrated
- Meet sustainability criteria that go beyond „additionality“
- CDM could reduce costs for reaching GHG emission targets
- But: threatening leadership-role of EU in climate change: less
impetus to improve renewable energy technologies
Group work and further reading
1. Policy: sustainability of CDM. A Development Mechanism that
2. Reaching the 2020 targets: What can offshore wind energy
contribute – what are the main challenges?
• Divide into 4-people groups and read the texts provided!
• Take a worksheet and write down your opinion to the question/
• Exchange the worksheet with your neighbour and write a
commentary to his opinion. Circulate the worksheets until you get
your initial worksheet back.
• Write down your conclusion based on the commentaries you
received from your colleagues.