Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Abstract

The European Union is implementing challenging commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% in accord with the Kyoto protocol, and has established ambitious targets for renewable energies and energy end-use efficiency in its White Paper: Energy for the Future: Renewable Sources of Energy. In the past decade, renewable energy technologies have made significant progress in terms of performance, cost and reliability, thanks to vigorous research, development, demonstration and market introduction programmes at European, national and also regional level. Three major drivers are determining today's socio-economic framework for the impressive industrial and market developments of renewable energies. First, successful application of legally binding feed-in tariffs; secondly, liberalisation of the electricity market, and thus new possibilities for decentralisation of power generation. Third, and in the medium term, there is the undisputed need for massive re-powering the larger part of Europe's generation capacity. This will incur generally higher electricity costs, which reflect somewhat better the real costs (incl. externalities) of all the different energy technologies. Thus a more favourable market situation for sustainable technology choices will evolve, e.g. for massive renewable power generation. While technology development has been a key driver in the progress of renewable energies, first examples of significant penetration would have been impossible without appropriate, supporting policies including instruments such as introduction targets, carbon taxes, elimination of non-technical barriers, internalisation of external costs of energy, and harmonisation of market rules.

Additional information

Authors: JÄGER-WALDAU A, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);ATANASIU B, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);BERTOLDI P, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22752 EN (2007), 135 pp. Free of charge
Availability: http://bookshop.europa.eu/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/EU-Bookshop-Site/en_GB/-/EUR/ViewPublication-Start?PublicationKey=LANA22752 (Catalogue Number: LA-NA-22752-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-79-05559-1
Record Number: 200719573 / Last updated on: 2007-10-29
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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