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EU renewable energy support policy: Faith or facts?


  • Jacobsson, Staffan
  • Bergek, Anna
  • Finon, Dominique
  • Lauber, Volkmar
  • Mitchell, Catherine
  • Toke, David
  • Verbruggen, Aviel


The recent EU Commission proposal for promoting the supply of power from renewable energy sources was originally based on a pan-European, harmonised tradable green certificate (TGC) scheme. We suggest, on the basis of a multi-disciplinary analysis, that a pan-EU TGC system is not the way forward for Europe. It is vital that the Commission (and the majority of Member States) avoids implementation of such policy designs put forward by a coalition of vested interests. They should instead look at, and act upon, the available evidence from those countries that have experimented with TGCs (e.g. Flanders, UK and Sweden) and design policies that stand a better chance of meeting the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and equity. In particular, the policies must enable EU to meet the immense innovation/industrialisation challenge by inducing the development of a capital goods industry that can, eventually, diffuse a broad range of technologies that use renewable energy sources. Only then we can acquire an ability to implement an industrial revolution in the energy system in a way that broadly meets the criteria of effectiveness and dynamic efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacobsson, Staffan & Bergek, Anna & Finon, Dominique & Lauber, Volkmar & Mitchell, Catherine & Toke, David & Verbruggen, Aviel, 2009. "EU renewable energy support policy: Faith or facts?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2143-2146, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:6:p:2143-2146

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stenzel, Till & Frenzel, Alexander, 2008. "Regulating technological change--The strategic reactions of utility companies towards subsidy policies in the German, Spanish and UK electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2645-2657, July.
    2. Sanden, Bjorn A. & Azar, Christian, 2005. "Near-term technology policies for long-term climate targets--economy wide versus technology specific approaches," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 1557-1576, August.
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