Wanted: Principles for distribution of RE in Europe 

By Maj-Britt Meyer Hansen, 11. October 2007

When the EU Commission submits a proposal on 5 December for how the EU will increase the portion of renewable energy it consumes from 7 to 20 percent leading up to the year 2020, it could be based upon a so-called flat rate model. A purely flat rate model involves all 27 EU member states increasing their RE shares by 13 percentage points, i.e. the deficit that needs to be made up to reach a total of 20 percent. The model is however expected to be modified in relation to GNP, cost-effectiveness, resource basis and prior contributions.

The Danish Energy Association is calling for a discussion of the principles underlying the expansion of the market for renewable energy in Europe.

- Only once principles have been established for how renewable energy will be supported does it then make any sense to speak about how the burden will be shared. We will only first know what the burden is, what the price of the burden is and what possibilities exist within that framework once we have decided upon the underlying system, says Senior Consultant Ulrich Bang of the Danish Energy Association.

- Denmark is facing a relatively large burden, hence it is in our interest that we implement an efficient system that creates the most renewable energy possible for the money.

- We think that Europe should implement a certificate-based system, where we separate the physical and financial burdens. This means that we would measure renewable energy as a part of our actual end-use consumption, that the electricity utilities will have the obligation to realise RE certificates, and that we then let the market itself determine where the renewable energy infrastructure is to be physically located.

- Once the structure of the system has been determined, then we can certainly consider adjusting the burden between the EU member states on the basis of GNP, cost-effectiveness, etc., says Ulrich Bang.

The debate concerning the burden is already well underway in Europe. The EU Commission is at present the object of intense lobbying efforts by nearly all EU member states. The United Kingdom has for example let it leak to the British media that it is only able to increase its percentage to 9 per-cent. A purely flat rate model would otherwise dictate that the British would have to ramp up to about 15 percent in 2020, on top of which there could possibly be further required increases due to the positive effects of the UK’s GNP level and the cost-effectiveness of its resource basis.



  • Chief Consultant, M.A. (Tech.Soc.)
  • Ulrich Bang
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