New Report: EU Governance of Renewable Energy Post-2020 – Risks and Options

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union commissioned the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) to explore the options for the post-2020 EU renewable energy policy and governance system. The report 'EU Governance of Renewable Energy post-2020 – Risks and Options' provides innovative ideas on future EU energy governance and renewables policy in order to secure enhanced deployment of renewable energy across Europe.

The main conclusions of the report are:

  • The need to provide clarity on a forthcoming review of the EU Renewable Energy Directive.
  • The establishment of a solid legal basis for future EU energy governance, building upon (reviewed) existing legislation.
  • A reviewed Renewable Energy Directive should focus on improving the removal of regulatory barriers at the national level.
  • The review should enhance cooperation between Member States (e.g. joint investments and cross-boundary investments).
  • There are good reasons to add a new chapter to the Directive that addresses financing barriers and investor risk.

Background Information

How can the 2030 climate and energy framework set the necessary conditions to further enhance the growth of renewables across the European Union? In 2014 the European Commission and European Council put forward key elements of the climate and energy framework for the next decade. This includes the conclusion that the share of renewable energy sources in the European energy mix should reach at least 27% by 2030.

While nationally binding targets have been a key determinant of the growth of renewables across Europe, the 2030 renewables target will only be binding at EU level and not at Member State level. It remains unclear what this means for compliance and investor certainty.

Together with the 2030 climate and energy targets, the European Commission also proposed the development of a new governance system. This system seeks to establish a middle ground between Member States’ freedom to determine their energy mix and the goals and legislation at EU level. So far, however, it remains largely unclear what this means and to what extent such a governance mechanism can guarantee compliance with the EU-wide binding renewable energy target of at least 27%.

For more information please contact: Tomas Wyns: tomas.wyns@vub.ac.be