Discovery Guides Areas


Renewing the Globe? Europe Leads the Way in Energy Alternatives
(Released April 2012)

  by Ethan Goffman  


Key Citations




Key Citations Short Format Full Format
  1. Renewable energy innovations in Europe: a dynamic panel data approach

    Nadia Ayari, Szabolcs Blazsek and Pedro Mendi.

    Applied Economics, Vol. 44, No. 24, Aug 2012, pp. 3135-3147.

    We investigate the determinants of renewable energy R&D intensity and the impact of renewable energy innovations on firm performance, using several dynamic panel data models. We estimate these models using a large data set of European firms from 19 different countries, with some patenting activity in areas related to renewable energies during the 1987 to 2007 period. Our results confirm our priors on the determinants of the rapid development of renewable energy R&D intensity during the past decades. Additionally, we find evidence that renewable patent intensity has a significant dynamic impact on the stock market value of firms. Reprinted by permission of Routledge, Taylor and Francis Ltd.

  2. A social marketing mix for renewable energy in Europe based on consumer stated preference surveys

    Angeliki N. Menegaki.

    Renewable Energy, Vol. 39, No. 1, Mar 2012, pp. 30-39.

    Regardless their high potential, renewable energy resources are insufficiently exploited in Europe. This paper examines the potential of social marketing for renewable energy sources. It uses acceptability and willingness to pay results from existing surveys on renewable energy sources and generates a marketing mix for the state, organizations, businesses and consumers. These surveys typically claim to produce results that will be useful for policy making or marketing purposes. However, after they distinguish the parameters that affect acceptability or choice and willingness to pay, they do not go deeper to demonstrate the ways for the exploitation of the results. Therefore, this paper gauges the gap between the results from consumer stated preference studies and the insights generated for social marketing.

  3. Solar electricity imports from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe

    Franz Trieb, Christoph Schillings, Thomas Pregger and Marlene O'Sullivan.

    Energy Policy, Vol. 42, No. 03014215, Mar 2012, pp. 341.

    The huge solar resources in the MENA countries (Middle East and North Africa), significant improvements in concentrating solar power (CSP) technology and in power transmission technologies, and the urgent need to remove carbon emissions from the European (EU) energy system lead to an increased interest in an EU-MENA electricity grid interconnection. As contribution to the current discussions about DESERTEC, MedGrid and other initiatives this article describes the approach and results of an analysis of possible solar electricity import corridors from MENA to Europe including Turkey. The study is based on solar energy potentials of the MENA countries identified by remote sensing, reviewed performance and cost data of generation and transmission technologies, and geographic data and information systems (GIS) for the spatial analysis. CSP plants combined with high temperature heat storage and high voltage direct current (HVDC) overhead lines and sea cables represent the key technologies for implementing this promising option for renewable energy import/export. The total technical solar power generation potential from remote sensing analysis in the seven MENA countries considered was calculated to about 538,000 TWh/yr. This huge potential implies that less than 0.2% of the land suitable for CSP plants would be enough to supply 15% of the electricity demand expected in Europe in the year 2050. A GIS analysis of potential future HVDC corridors led to the description and characterization of 33 possible import routes to main European centers of demand. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  4. Analysis of Europe's scientific production on renewable energies

    Luz M. Romo-Fernandez, Cristina Lopez-Pujalte, Vicente P. Guerrero Bote and Felix Moya-Anegon.

    Renewable Energy, Vol. 36, No. 9, Sep 2011, pp. 2529-2537.

    An overview is given of research in the major countries of Europe in the area of renewable energies. The analysis used the Scopus (Elsevier) database of scientific literature, calculating bibliometric indices (primary production, average citations per document, percentage variation, SJR, etc.) for the geographical domain of Europe during the period 2002-2007. The aim of the study is to supplement previous works on the subject which have mostly been limited to a particular type of energy without addressing the area as a whole, as well as to expand their methodological approaches in both the data retrieval strategy and the calculation of indices. The results show Europe to be well positioned globally in this scientific field – in production, in citations, and in impact.

  5. Building the Smart Grid in Europe

    John Blau.

    Research Technology Management, Vol. 54, No. 2, Mar/Apr 2011, pp. 2-3.

    One of the keys to reducing greenhouse emissions and reining in climate change will be the overhaul of the infrastructure that carries energy to consumers. What have become known as smart-grid technologies are absolutely necessary to this effort, both to reduce the need for conventional baseload electricity generation and to allow for the integration of renewable energy sources into the supply stream. Europe is poised to play a key role in the development and deployment of intelligent energy-grid technologies, in a move to power a new era of cleaner and more efficient energy. The EU has responded to the challenge and the competition with an array of initiatives. Key among them is the 2020 Strategic Energies Technology Plan, which supports European energy and climate policies through technology innovation. EU is considering two options that would see smart grids regulated directly under the framework of its third energy-market liberalization package.

  6. Emulating Europe: Setting a Course for Offshore Renewable Energy

    Benjamin Nussdorf.

    Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 25, No. 4, Spring 2011, pp. 29-32.

    In terms of offshore wind specifically, the United States could emulate Europe by giving preferential treatment to renewable energy resources, ensuring preferred access to the electric grid, and by offering to defray some of the interconnection costs from the offshore turbines. By adopting this strategy now, states, and the federal government as well, could analyze potential sites for emerging technologies and prospectively analyze the environmental effects, showing them to be attractive zones of renewable energy investment and work with local and national special interests to develop the sites responsibly.

  7. Growth and renewable energy in Europe: a random effect model with evidence for neutrality hypothesis

    Angeliki N. Menegaki.

    Energy Economics, Vol. 33, No. 2, Mar 2011, pp. 257-263.

    This is an empirical study on the causal relationship between economic growth and renewable energy for 27 European countries in a multivariate panel framework over the period 1997-2007 using a random effect model and including final energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and employment as additional independent variables in the model. Empirical results do not confirm causality between renewable energy consumption and GDP, although panel causality tests unfold short-run relationships between renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions and employment. The estimated cointegration factor refrains from unity, indicating only a weak, if any, relationship between economic growth and renewable energy consumption in Europe, suggesting evidence of the neutrality hypothesis, which can partly be explained by the uneven and insufficient exploitation of renewable energy sources across Europe. All rights reserved, Elsevier

  8. Offshore wind power development in Europe and its comparison with onshore counterpart

    Mehmet Bilgili, Abdulkadir Yasar and Erdogan Simsek.

    Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 15, No. 2, Feb 2011, pp. 905-915.

    Wind power, as a renewable source of energy, produces no emissions and is an excellent alternative in environmental terms to conventional electricity production based on fuels such as oil, coal or natural gas. At present, the vast majority of wind power is generated from onshore wind farms. However, their growth is limited by the lack of inexpensive land near major population centers and the visual pollution caused by large wind turbines. Comparing with onshore wind power, offshore winds tend to flow at higher speeds than onshore winds, thus it allows turbines to produce more electricity. Estimates predict a huge increase in wind energy development over the next 20 years. Much of this development will be offshore wind energy. This implies that great investment will be done in offshore wind farms over the next decades. For this reason, offshore wind farms promise to become an important source of energy in the near future. In this study, history, current status, investment cost, employment, industry and installation of offshore wind energy in Europe are investigated in detail, and also compared to its onshore counterpart.

  9. The Power to Adapt: Building One of the World's Largest Renewables Power Producers

    Michael S. Hopkins and Knut Haanaes.

    MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 53, No. 1, Fall 2011, pp. 1-1.

    Statkraft, Europe's largest renewable power producer, led by Christian Rynning-Tonnesen, made a strategic decision to enlarge its portfolio of renewable technologies long before most other power companies. They first invested in understanding the political economies of target country's energy markets, then built on their established skill base in hydropower to add other technologies to their portfolio of plants. The company developed organizational structures that helped them in creating new profitable projects. Their strategy process depends on accelerated cycles of action and observation. As new strategic plans are implemented, the process of strategic exploration and invention for the next phase is already in motion. Quick feedback on what is working and what isn't ensures the company can innovate for competitive advantage. Encouraging a management style based on mutual trust and respect, rather than fear, ensured they could identify dangers, catch problems early and adapt quickly.


    Tatiana Danescu and Andreea Danescu.

    Economics, Management and Financial Markets, Vol. 6, No. 2, Jun 2011, pp. 157-163.

    Research focusing on previous work experience revealed the current energy crises, and the use of energy resources and energy efficiency. Although researchers have discovered some important findings regarding power generation facilities, the improvement of energy efficiency, and efficient investment conditions to secure generation adequacy, there is still a great deal that is unknown and that requires further empirical inquiry. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  11. The unrecognized contribution of renewable energy to Europe's energy savings target

    Robert Harmsen, Bart Wesselink, Wolfgang Eichhammer and Ernst Worrell.

    Energy Policy, Vol. 39, No. 6, Jun 2011, pp. 3425-3433.

    We show that renewable energy contributes to Europe's 2020 primary energy savings target. This contribution, which is to a large extent still unknown and not recognized by policy makers, results from the way renewable energy is dealt with in Europe's energy statistics. We discuss the policy consequences and argue that the 'energy savings' occurring from the accounting of renewable energy should not distract attention from demand-side energy savings in sectors such as transport, industry and the built environment. The consequence of such a distraction could be that many of the benefits from demand-side energy savings, for example lower energy bills, increase of the renewable energy share in energy consumption without investing in new renewable capacity, and long-term climate targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80%, will be missed. Such distraction is not hypothetical since Europe's 2020 renewable energy target is binding whereas the 2020 primary energy savings target is only indicative. [Copyright Elsevier Ltd.]

  12. Blowing in the wind?

    Margaret Hanson.

    Occupational Health, Vol. 62, No. 5, May 2010, pp. 28-30.

    The move towards a green economy, with increased demands for renewable energy, recycling and organically produced food, brings with it new jobs and rapidly changing ways of working. With these come health and safety and ergonomics challenges, but much can and should be done to design equipment and work areas to allow staff to work comfortably and to reduce risks to their health. As part of the 2007 agreement by EU member states to secure 20% of all Europe's energy from renewable sources by 2020, the UK set a target of 15% of UK energy to be produced from renewables by 2020. Currently, the most commercially viable renewable source for the UK is wind power, although tidal power also appears promising. Masts need to be designed to consider the need to rescue operators if required. The speed of the scaling up of the construction, installation and maintenance of masts and turbines means the rapid need for a skilled workforce.



    DICE Report, Vol. 8, No. 3, Autumn 2010, pp. 79-80.

    Expanding electricity generation from renewable energy sources is one of the top priorities of Europe's energy policy. Directive 2009/28/EG set an ambitious goal in this respect, namely for 20% of the EU's final consumption of energy to be met by energy obtained from renewable sources by 2020. The vast majority of EU countries have feed-in tariff regulations in place to promote electricity generated from renewable sources. All EU member countries that have introduced feed-in tariffs impose a renewable-electricity purchase obligation, whereby the utility in question, usually the grid operator, is legally obligated to purchase the renewable electricity that is fed into its grid. Another model, much closer to a market approach is the so-called premium system, under which renewable energy producers sell their energy in the market and receive a premium in addition to the revenues accruing from the sale.

  14. Politics by heuristics: policy networks with a focus on actor resources, as illustrated by the case of renewable energy policy under New Labour


    Public administration, Vol. 88, No. 3, Sep 2010, pp. 764-781.

    Policy network analysis is criticized for being a 'heuristic' device, yet 'heuristic' methods may be essential to achieve detailed understandings of specific policy outcomes. Rational choice modelling alone cannot perform a similar function. This paper develops a 'heuristic' policy network approach that focuses on the analysis of actor resources. Changing contexts can alter the resource distributions of actors within a policy community. This can lead to new policy outcomes. Policy networks can therefore be rescued from criticisms made by, for example, Dowding, by re-visiting Rhodes's earlier emphasis on analysis of actor resources. This approach is illustrated in the case of UK renewable energy policy under the UK government of New Labour. Changing contexts have strengthened the resources of the main renewable energy interest groups to achieve higher targets and more technology-specific means of financial incentives. The Renewable Energy Association has achieved legislation favouring feed-in tariffs as is the practice elsewhere in Europe for small renewable generators. Adapted from the source document. Reprinted by permission of Blackwell Publishers

  15. The Role of Renewables in the Interaction between Climate Change Policy and Energy Security in Europe

    Arno Behrens.

    Renewable Energy Law and Policy : RELP, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2010, pp. 5-15.

    After decades of hesitation, there is now growing concensus among European Union (EU) member states that European energy policy objectives can best be achieved at the EU-level, with climate change policy already having led to a degree of energy policy harmonisation at the expense of member state autonomy. This paper gives an overview of the EU response to global warming and its predicted impacts on Europe, with a focus on the role of renewable energy sources. The security of supply issues regarding renewables are then discussed in terms of (i) electricity production, (ii) heating and cooling and (iii) transport. This paper analyses these risks and suggests solutions to work around renewables-related security of supply issues. It finishes with some concrete policy recommendations on the required framework for the transition towards a low-carbon energy system. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  16. Seasonal optimal mix of wind and solar power in a future, highly renewable Europe

    Dominik Heide, Lueder Von Bremen, Martin Greiner, Clemens Hoffmann, Markus Speckmann and Stefan Bofinger.

    Renewable Energy, Vol. 35, No. 11, Nov 2010, pp. 2483-2489.

    The renewable power generation aggregated across Europe exhibits strong seasonal behaviors. Wind power generation is much stronger in winter than in summer. The opposite is true for solar power generation. In a future Europe with a very high share of renewable power generation those two opposite behaviors are able to counterbalance each other to a certain extent to follow the seasonal load curve. The best point of counterbalancing represents the seasonal optimal mix between wind and solar power generation. It leads to a pronounced minimum in required stored energy. For a 100% renewable Europe the seasonal optimal mix becomes 55% wind and 45% solar power generation. For less than 100% renewable scenarios the fraction of wind power generation increases and that of solar power generation decreases.

  17. Assessing the advantages and drawbacks of government trading of guarantees of origin for renewable electricity in Europe

    Mario Ragwitz and Gustav Resch.

    Energy Policy, Vol. 37, No. 1, Jan 2009, pp. 300-307.

    The European Commission has proposed a new Renewable Energy Directive, which includes flexibility provisions allowing the cost-effective attainment of the ambitious target for renewable energy of 20% of energy consumption, which has been set for the year 2020. One of the flexibility provisions currently being considered is to allow countries to reach their individual targets by buying their renewable electricity deployment deficit from other countries with a surplus (i.e., with a renewable electricity deployment above their targets). This trade is likely to take the form of an exchange in guarantees of origin (GOs). GOs are currently implemented in Member States to fulfil the Renewable Electricity Directive requirement that each country has a system that allows the tracing of the source of each kWh of renewable electricity and informs on this source. Although the recent and tiny literature on the analysis of GO trading has focused on trade between firms, the exchange of GOs between governments has not received a comparable attention. This paper analyses the advantages and drawbacks of a system of government trading of GOs with respect to company trading.

  18. Renewable energy applications at home and abroad

    Chun-Yu Ran, Ying-Chao Liu and Chun-Qing Wang.

    Dianli Xuqiuce Guanli (Power Demand Side Management), Vol. 11, No. 3, May 2009, pp. 76-78.

    Renewable energy development and utilization in Europe and the United States and other developed countries is widely attended. Various renewable energy applications are analyzed, including the United States, Spain, Europe. According to China' s renewable energy development, specific recommendations are made, such as the objectives of guidance, policy incentives, industry support and funding support. Finally, renewable energy development trend in China was introduced.


    T. J. Hammons.

    International Journal of Power & Energy Systems, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2008, pp. 416-428.

    This paper examines energy potential of the oceans in Europe and North America: tidal, tidal current stream, wave, and offshore wind. It considers ocean wave and tidal power projects in San Francisco, wave power technologies (oscillating water column (owc), overtopping devices, float systems, and hinged contour devices), and cost. Feasibility assessments of offshore wave and tidal current production are described, and wave project results are given. US wave energy resources, feasibility definition study sites, feasibility study for wave energy conversion (WEC) devices, demonstration-scale plant design, commercial-scale plant design, learning curves, economics, and recommendations are discussed. Then, recent progress in offshore energy technology development including offshore wind-power is evaluated. It summarizes research and development in USA and Europe by the world's foremost renewable energy authorities. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  20. Tax Policy for Financing Alternative Energy Equipment

    Gilbert E. Metcalf PhD.

    The Journal of Equipment Lease Financing (Online), Vol. 26, No. 2, Spring 2008, pp. B1-B7.

    Rising energy costs, along with energy security and climate concerns, have increased national interest in and attention to renewable electricity generation. While the US has made great strides in renewable energy investment, it has been far outstripped by many European countries. The purpose of this analysis is to glean lessons from the European experience and make recommendations for future policy in the US. The analysis in this paper provides a number of lessons to guide future renewables policy in the US. First, it is clear that Europe has been extraordinarily successful in spurring renewable electricity capital investment. Second, the European experiment with feed-in tariffs and renewable portfolio standards suggests that feed-in tariffs may dominate BPS systems as effective policy tools to encourage investment. Third, the US preference for tax incentives has clearly not had the same stimulative investment as have feed-in tariffs.

  21. Europe looks to draw power from Africa

    Emiliano Feresin.

    Nature, Vol. 450, No. 7170, Nov 29, 2007, pp. 595-595.

    The power needs of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa could be met by an ambitious idea to network renewable energies across the region. The cornerstone of the plan, developed by a group of scientists, economists and businessmen, involves peppering the Sahara Desert with solar thermal power plants, then transmitting the electricity through massive grids.

  22. Europe-Middle East-North Africa cooperation for sustainable electricity and water

    Franz Trieb and Hans Müller-steinhagen.

    Sustainability Science, Vol. 2, No. 2, Oct 2007, pp. 205-219.

    Issue Title: Policy sciences for sustainable development This report summarizes the results of two studies of electricity supply for Europe (EU), the Middle East (ME) and North Africa (NA) up to the year 2050. It shows that a transition to competitive, secure and sustainable supply of electricity and water is possible using renewable energy sources, efficiency gains and fossil fuel backup for balancing power. A strong cooperation between the EU and MENA for the market introduction of renewable energy and the interconnection of the electricity grids by high-voltage direct-current transmission are keys to the success and survival of the whole region. However, the necessary measures will take at least two decades to become effective. Therefore, adequate policy and economic frameworks for their realization must be introduced immediately. The importance of sustainable energy for the security of freshwater supplies in MENA is also described.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  23. Implications of technological learning on the prospects for renewable energy technologies in Europe

    Martine A. Uyterlinde, Martin Junginger, Hage J. de Vries, Andre P. C. Faaij and Wim C. Turkenburg.

    Energy Policy, Vol. 35, No. 8, Aug 2007, pp. 4072-4087.

    The objective of this article is to examine the consequences of technological developments on the market diffusion of different renewable electricity technologies in the EU-25 until 2020, using a market simulation model (ADMIRE REBUS). It is assumed that from 2012 a harmonized trading system will be implemented, and a target of 24% renewable electricity (RES-E) in 2020 is set and met. By comparing optimistic and pessimistic endogenous technological learning scenarios, it is found that diffusion of onshore wind energy is relatively robust, regardless of technological development, but diffusion rates of offshore wind energy and biomass gasification greatly depend on their technological development. Competition between these two options and (existing) biomass combustion options largely determines the overall costs of electricity from renewables and the choice of technologies for the individual member countries. In the optimistic scenario, in 2020 the market price for RES-E is 1Eurosct/kWh lower than in the pessimistic scenario (about 7 vs. 8Eurosct/kWh). As a result, total RES-E production costs are 19% lower, and total governmental expenditures for RES-market stimulation are 30% lower in the optimistic scenario. [Copyright 2007 Elsevier Ltd.]

  24. Market diffusion of new renewable energy in Europe: explaining front-runner and laggard positions

    PO Eikeland and IA Saeverud.

    Energy & Environment, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2007, pp. 13-13.

    In 1997, the European Union adopted the ambitious target of doubling the share of renewables in total primary energy consumption by 2010. However, by 2003 the EU was still recording low achievement levels, due largely to variation in the generosity and stability of member-state policies to support the diffusion of renewable energy. This article surveys national variation in the diffusion of renewable energy, linking this variation to the degree of ambition in governmental policies. After discussing what drives national policies, we conclude that policy ambitiousness reflects the degree to which salient national energy-related problems converge around renewable energy diffusion as a joint solution. Countries with ambitious renewable energy policies are found to have many unsolved national energy-related problems and an abundant primary renewable energy resource base that could be developed for solving these problems. Countries with less ambitious policies, on the other hand, have fewer salient national energy-related problems or a less abundant renewable energy resource base. Among energy-related problems, the lack of national energy security in combination with policy ambitions to assist new industrial activities emerges as a particularly forceful policy driver. A side-effect of the convergence of many national problems around renewable energy diffusion as solution is that strong advocacy coalitions can more readily be forged to lobby for generous and stable governmental renewable energy policies. Local-level factors will, however, condition the effect of central government policies. Countries that have ensured co-decision power for local communities and benefit-sharing rights in renewable energy development are more likely to see their ambitious national policies result in diffusion, in contrast to countries with policies that ignore demands at the local level. The UK and Spain, representing low- and high-diffusion countries, respectively, are here discussed as major cases, supported by evidence from other EU member countries.

  25. New progress of renewable energy policy in Europe and its reference for China.

    Jun-Feng Li, Jing-Li Shi and Zhong-Ying Wang.

    Kezaisheng Nengyuan (Renewable Energy Resources), Vol. 25, No. 3, 2007, pp. 1-3.

    Europe is the leader for renewable energy development in the world, and is benefited from its effective framework of policies for supporting renewable energy. This article introduces the new targets of European renewable energy development, proposed in January of 2007, as well as its solar, wind power, biomass action plans. Taking the experiences of Europe as reference, the near term actions for promoting renewable energy development in China are suggested.

  26. Photovoltaics and Renewable Energies in Europe

    Arnulf Jager-Waldau.

    Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 11, No. 7, Sep 2007, pp. 1414-1414.

    Various aspects related to photovoltaics (PVs) and renewable energies in Europe are studied. Photovoltaics and renewable energies are growing at a much faster pace than the rest of the economy in Europe and worldwide. The research programmes in Europe, Japan and the US fund new developments with respect to material use and consumption, device design, reliability and production technologies as well as new concepts to increase the overall efficiency. The new initiative of the PV Technology Platform in Europe can make a change to strengthen research and technology transfer, and organize a better coordination of resources, which is needed in Europe in order not to lose the technology race.

  27. Renewable Energy Sources and the Realities of Setting an Energy Agenda

    Janez Potocnik.

    Science, Vol. 315, No. 5813, Feb 9, 2007, pp. 810-811.

    The European Commission has been devoting considerable attention to energy issues. This Perspective describes recent progress in Europe toward achieving goals for renewable energy use, and the role that technology can play, as well as the new Strategic Energy Package. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  28. Bio-energy in Europe: changing technology choices


    Energy Policy, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2006, pp. 322-342.

    Bio-energy is seen as one of the key options to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and substitute fossil fuels. This is certainly evident in Europe, where a kaleidoscope of activities and programs was and is executed for developing and stimulating bio-energy. Over the past 10-15 years in the European Union, heat and electricity production from biomass increased with some 2% and 9% per year, respectively, between 1990 and 2000 and biofuel production increased about eight-fold in the same period. Biomass contributed some two-thirds of the total renewable energy production in the European Union (EU) (2000PJ) or 4% of the total energy supply in 1999. Given the targets for heat, power and biofuels, this contribution may rise to some 10% (6000 PJ) in 2010. Over time, the scale at which bio-energy is being used has increased considerably. This is true for electricity and combined heat and power plants, and how biomass markets are developing from purely regional to international markets, with increasing cross-border trade-flows. So far, national policy programs proved to be of vital importance for the success of the development of bio-energy, which led to very specific technological choices in various countries. For the future, a supra-national approach is desired: comprehensive research development, demonstration & deployment trajectories for key options as biomass integrated gasification/combined cycle and advanced biofuel concepts, develop an international biomass market allowing for international trade and an integral policy approach for bio-energy incorporating energy, agricultural, forestry, waste and industrial policies. The Common Agricultural Policy of the (extended) EU should fully incorporate bio-energy and perennial crops in particular.[Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.]

  29. The European directive on renewable electricity: conflicts and compromises

    Ian H. Rowlands.

    Energy Policy, Vol. 33, No. 8, May 2005, pp. 965-974.

    As part of its efforts to increase the use of renewable energy in Europe, a Directive regarding renewable electricity was agreed by the European Union in 2001. The purpose of this article is to examine this Directive, examining how the discussions surrounding its content unfolded. The investigation focuses upon three contentious issues that were debated during the Directive's development: the definition of renewable, the national targets for renewable electricity (their levels, as well as whether they should be binding or indicative) and the questions associated with harmonisation (whether one Union-wide support scheme for renewable electricity should be in place, and, if so, what it should be). During the 5 years that the Directive was negotiated, many intra-Union conflicts were eventually resolved, at least temporarily, by compromises. Nevertheless, some difficult decisions regarding the promotion of renewable electricity in the European Union still have to be taken. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  30. A European-wide harmonized tradable green certificate scheme for renewable electricity: is it really so beneficial?

    Pablo del Rio.

    Energy Policy, Vol. 33, No. 10, 2005, pp. 1239-1250.

    Winds of change are blowing in the public promotion of renewable electricity (RES-E) in Europe. On the one hand, a move to allegedly more market-conform instruments for the promotion of RES-E has already taken place in some Member States. On the other hand, a Directive on the promotion of RES-E has recently been approved setting indicative targets for RES-E consumption and opening the possibility that a harmonised framework for support schemes will be implemented in Europe. This harmonised framework (in combination with trade in RES-E between Member States) can be compared to a situation in which Member States continue to apply their current support schemes. This paper analyses the pros and cons of harmonisation. The main conclusion is that if priority is given to the local/regional/national benefits of RES-E, then harmonisation in combination with a tradable green certificate scheme is not so advantageous for countries. Only if the policy priority is the achievement of the RES-E Directive targets at the minimum costs should harmonisation be favoured by national energy authorities.

  31. Policies for renewable energy in the European Union and its member states: an overview

    Thomas B. Johansson and Wim Turkenburg.

    Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 8, No. 1, Mar 2004, pp. 5-24.

    There are considerable concerns in Europe over security of energy supply, environmental issues, competitiveness of the European economies, and regional development. Increased use of energy carriers produced from domestic, renewable flows of energy is seen as an instrument to support objectives in these areas. The developments are supported by Europe-wide targets for a renewable share of primary energy, power generation, and renewable fuels, as well as policies, mostly at the national level. These reflect the fact that unguided energy markets cannot be expected to deliver on public goods. Also, such markets result in sub-optimal use of energy sources due to "market" and "system" failures. Renewable energy flows in Europe are large in comparison with commercial energy demand. Technologies exist to tap these flows, at costs that often are competitive if the evaluation includes external costs and benefits, and subsidies to conventional energy are eliminated. If renewable energy is to grow to a much larger fraction of energy supply, there must be a combination of efficient and effective policy instruments to reach the guiding objectives, an appropriate technical and regulatory infrastructure, clear and efficient administrative procedures, public acceptance, RD&D leading to innovation, new technologies entering the marketplace, and a cadre of professionals to design, build and operate renewable energy systems. This article examines these issues and policy options, against a background of renewable energy use varying considerably between countries in Europe, mostly owing to differences in policies for renewable energy.


    Miguel Gual.

    Environmental Policy and Governance, Vol. 14, No. 4, Jul/Aug 2004, pp. 219-234.

    Public support schemes for electricity from renewable energy sources (RES-E) are undergoing a period of change. Two interrelated processes can be discerned at both the EU and member state (MS) levels. On the one hand, the RES-E Directive sets targets for consumption of renewable electricity for the year 2010 and opens the possibility that the European Commission sets a community support framework for RES-E promotion in the future. On the other hand, different types of support scheme have been and are used by countries in order to promote the deployment of renewable electricity. A move from tendering/bidding systems and feed-in tariffs to tradable green certificates can be observed in some MSs. This move may take place in the future in some other MSs while others will certainly continue to rely on their current scheme. This paper provides an overview and assessment of the instruments currently used to promote renewable electricity in Europe and considers some possible trends in the choice of support schemes in the future. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  33. Renewable energy sources. Europe must act with a full realization of the costs and global goals


    Internationale Politik, Vol. 59, No. 8, Aug 2004, pp. 7-15.

    Der weltweite Verbrauch an Energie wird sich zwischen 2000 und 2050 verdoppeln, wobei der größte Zuwachs aus den sich entwickelnden Ländern kommen wird. Wollen Deutschland und Europa angesichts dieser Tatsache wirklich eine – auch im internationalen Maßstab – sinnvolle Klimapolitik betreiben, dann ist vor allem eines gefragt: nüchterne, weltorientierte und nicht eurozentrische Kostenrechnung. Dabei spielt dann auch die Kernenergie eine wichtige Rolle. Reprinted by permission of W. Bertelsmann Verlag

  34. Contribution of renewable energy sources for electricity generation in Europe – an overview.

    U. Beyer.

    VGB Powertech, Vol. 83, No. 6, 2003, pp. 30-33.

    The share of renewable energy sources in supply of primary energy is to be doubled in Europe by 2010. The expansion of renewable energies in Europe will be largely influenced by the European Parliament and Council Directive of October 27, 2001, on the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market. By gradual transfer into national legislation, it will be the basis for the erection of new wind and bio-mass power plants. The indicative targets that the European Commission set for the Member States are ambitious. The installation of generating plants with an energy output of over 300 TWh annually represents an enormous growth. The expected construction of additional plants will influence the conventional power plant portfolio. Biomass power plants can be built anywhere and the fuel can be stored. These power plants will squeeze out other base-load power plants. Wind power plants, however, with their intermittent production, can replace power plant capacity only to a limited extent. New strategies for the changed use of power plants need to be developed. The industry federation VGB PowerTech has set up a new specialist committee to work intensively on these questions.

  35. Offshore Wind Energy in Europe – a Review of the State-of-the-Art

    Andrew R. Henderson, Colin Morgan, Bernie Smith, Hans C. Sorensen, Rebecca J. Barthelmie and Bart Boesmans.

    Wind Energy, Vol. 6, No. 1, Jan 2003, pp. 35-35.

    Researchers conducted theoretical analyses, desk studies, experimental prototyping of wind turbines, and analyses of prototype wind farm designs prior to contemporary efforts aimed at the large-scale commercial development of offshore wind farms. An overview is presented of the Concerted Action on Offshore Wind Energy in Europe" project, which was implemented under the aegis of the European Commission. This project sought to collect, analyze, synthesize, and distribute information on all aspects of offshore wind energy, including offshore technology, electrical integration, economics, environmental impacts, and political issues. The many different stakeholders who contributed to the information developed in the larger project are identified. The final conclusions of the project are considered.

  36. Offshore Windpower: a Major New Source of Energy for Europe

    Andrew R. Henderson, Colin Morgan, Bernie Smith, Hans C. Sorensen, Rebecca Bathelmie and Bart Boesmans.

    International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, Vol. 1, No. 4, 2002, pp. 356-356.

    To support and accelerate offshore wind energy development, the European Commission funded the Concerted Action on Offshore Wind Energy in Europe project to evaluate and distribute data on all facets of offshore wind energy. Project findings are synthesized, covering current trends in offshore wind energy exploitation in Europe, technology developments, and activities and prospects. Ten small and medium sized offshore wind farms have been built to date. The first and largest wind farms are at Vindeby and Middelgrunden, Denmark. Electricity production has generally exceeded expectations and costs have steadily declined to the point where offshore wind energy is competitive in terms of price with many current onshore developments.

  37. Renewable energy lessons: Europe can teach U.S.

    Stuart V. Price.

    Pollution Engineering, Vol. 34, No. 4, Apr 2002, pp. 24-27.

    US Congress was scheduled to consider the national energy policy act in February 2002. In doing so, Congress announced to the world its stance on climate change, greenhouse gases and renewable energy issues. Some members feel that the nation should continue studying renewable energy matters slowly and deliberately while others feel the time is right to set specific renewable energy standards. In framing the nation's position, the question is whether the US will maintain that its interests are unique from those of other lands, or whether this country will take lessons from other nationalities like the European Union that have also considered national energy policies.

  38. Alternatives energize Europe

    Helen Gavaghan.

    Nature, Vol. 411, No. 6837, May 31, 2001, pp. S7-8.

    The commitment to invest in renewable energy sources in Europe may provide jobs as well as power. Although many of the new jobs will be in construction or installation of power plants, there is a need for people to perform a wide range of tasks.

  39. Renewable energy technologies and the European industry

    M. Whiteley and M. Bess.

    International Journal of Global Energy Issues, Vol. 14, No. 1-4, 2000, pp. 331-347.

    The European renewable energy industry has the potential to be a world leader. This has been achieved within the European region for specific technologies, through a set of policy activities at a national and regional level, driven primarily by employment, energy self-sufficiency and industrial competitiveness. Using the experience gained in recent years, European industry has the opportunity to continue to expand its horizons on a worldwide level. Through the use of the SAFIRE rational energy model, an assessment has been made of the future penetration of renewable energy within Europe and the effects on these socio-economic factors. In conjunction with these outputs, assessments of the worldwide markets for wind, photovoltaics, solar thermal plant and biomass have been assessed. A case study of the Danish wind industry is used as a prime example of a success story from which the learning opportunities are replicated to other industries, so that the European renewable energy industry can achieve its potential.

  40. Renewable Energy Strategies for Europe (Vol. II): Electricity Systems and Primary Electricity Sources


    The Energy Journal, Vol. 19, No. 1, 1998, pp. 155-156.

    A book review of Renewable Energy Strategies for Europe (Vol. II): Electricity Systems and Primary Electricity Sources by Michael Grubb with Roberto Vigotti is presented.

  41. Small hydro in Europe's renewable energy mix.

    J. Wood.

    International Water Power & Dam Construction, Vol. 50, No. 6, 1998, pp. 32-33.

    Following the Kyoto Convention on Climate Change in 1997, the EU agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% from 1990 levels by 2008-2012. A major factor in the EU's plan to achieve this is to promote the use of renewables, including small hydro, which is expected to increase its contribution from 9.5GW(1995) to 14GW(2010). The article examines in particular Ireland's approach to fulfilling these requirements. A successful method so far has been a series of competitions known as the Alternative Energy Requirement competition (AER), to encourage the development of renewable energy projects. Winners are supported financially and Ireland's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has agreed to buy any power generated. 6 of the 10 hydro projects chosen in 1995 have now been completed and are in operation. The AER scheme continues and its projects will save 150000t per year in CO\+v\2 \-v\ emissions.

  42. Cultivation of Miscanthus under West European conditions: Seasonal changes in dry matter production, nutrient uptake and remobilization

    M. Himken, J. Lammel, D. Neukirchen, U. Czypionka-krause and H-w Olfs.

    Plant and Soil, Vol. 189, No. 1, Feb 1997, pp. 117-126.

    There is increasing interest in cultivation of Miscanthus as a source of renewable energy in Europe, but there is little information on its nutrient requirements. Our aim was to determine the nutrient requirement of an established Miscanthus crop through a detailed study of nutrient uptake and nutrient remobilization between plant parts during growth and senescence. Therefore dry matter of rhizomes and shoots as well as N, P, K and Mg concentration under three N fertilizer rates (0, 90, and 180 kg N ha-1) were measured in field trials in 1992/93 and at one rate of 100 kg N h-1 in 1994/95. Maximum aboveground biomass in an established Miscanthus crop ranged between 25-30 t dry matter ha-1 in the September of both trial years. Due to senescence and leaf fall there was a 30% loss in dry matter between September and harvest in March. N fertilization had no effect on crop yield at harvest. Concentrations of N, P, K and Mg in shoots were at a maximum at the beginning of the growing period in May and decreased thereafter while concentrations in rhizomes stayed fairly constant throughout the year and were not affected by N fertilization. Nutrient mobilization from rhizomes to shoots – defined as the maximum change in nutrient content in rhizomes from the beginning of the growth period measured in 1992/93 was 55 kg N ha-1, 8 kg P ha-1, 39 kg K ha-1 and 11 kg Mg ha-1. This is equivalent to 21 N, 36 P, 14 K and 27 Mg of the maximum nutrient content of the shoots. Nutrient remobilization from shoots to rhizomes - defined as the increase in nutrient content of rhizomes between September and March - measured in 1994/95 was 101 kg N ha-1, 9 kg P ha-1, 81 kg K ha-1 and 8 kg Mg ha-1 equivalent to 46 N, 50 P, 30 K and 27 Mg of nutrient content of shoots in September. Results showed that nutrient remobilization within the plant needs to be considered when calculating nutrient balances and fertilizer recommendations.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

  43. The Potentials, Prospects and Constraints of Renewable Energy Sources in Europe

    Alfred Voss and Andreas Wiese.

    International Journal of Global Energy Issues, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1995, pp. 169-169.

    The penetration of renewable energy technologies in Europe is currently constrained by the intermittent nature and inequitable distribution of such resources, as well as by high technology costs. The potential energy supply contributions of solar thermal heating, solar thermal electricity, photovoltaic, wind energy, biomass-based, geothermal energy, and hydroelectric power systems are summarized. Only about 4% of total primary energy demand in Europe is supplied by renewable energy, and only hydropower is currently commercially feasible.

  44. Low energy, low emissions: SO2, NOx and CO2 in Western Europe

    Joseph Alcamo and Bert De Vries.

    International Environmental Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 1041-4665, 1992, pp. 155-184.

    Proposes cooperative program in Western Europe for reduction of harmful emissions through efficient energy use and use of renewable energy resources.