Evolution of Renewable Energy Policy in the EU :from R&D to Legislative Acts
School of Economics, Business Administration and Legal Studies, LLM in Transnational and European Commercial Law, Mediation, Arbitration and Energy Law
Papadopoulos, Thomas Dr.
Metaxas, Antonis Prof. Dr.
Kaissis, Athanasios Prof. Dr. em.
This dissertation was written as part of the LLM in Transnational and European Commercial Law, Mediation, Arbitration, and Energy Law at the International Hellenic
The dissertation provides an overview of the evolution of renewable energy policy in the EU, by going through the main initiatives, starting from research and demonstration programmes to concrete legislative acts. I focus on providing answers to three main questions: 1) How has the renewable energy policy in the EU evolved
throughout years 2) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the legal acts and 3)
What is to be expected for the period 2021-2030.
Through elaboration on the main initiatives I present that the development of renewable energy policy was challenging especially when it comes to matters like
national support schemes, however RE installations also benefited from a number of legal provisions like binding national targets and priority rules. I argue that despite the lack of binding targets for period 2021-2030, the Commission has proposed a number of measures to safeguard the Union’s binding target by introducing the baseline rule and establishment of a financial platform. I further present that there will be an uptake in the running hours of gas-fired power plants due to the proposal for removal of priority dispatch and due to the thresholds for capacity mechanisms. I also argue that there is much uncertainty regarding the sustainability of bioenergy thus it remains uncertain as how the EU will manage to decarbonize the heating and cooling, and transport sector. Hence I conclude that the EU should focus in the electrification of these sectors by using for instance wind and solar technologies. Overall I view the proposal for a new renewable energy package as satisfying however I recommend that during the legislative process the Union’s binding RES target is increased and sustainability criteria for bioenergy are reconsidered in order to take into account the biogenic emissions of woody-biomass. Optimally, the EU should strengthen the
measures for switching to electrification of heating and cooling, and transport.
Keywords: renewables in the EU, proposal RED II, support schemes, priority rules, governance of the Energy Union, sustainability of bioenergy