Europe Renewable Energy Policy Handbook 2010

A new EU directive on renewable energy, agreed in December 2008, requires each member state to increase its share of renewable energy, such as solar, wind power or hydro, in the primary energy mix from the current 8.5% to 20% by 2020. A 10% share of ‘green fuels’ in transport is also included within the overall EU target.

As per the binding agreement signed by every nation in the the 27-member EU, the share of renewable energy ought to be increased by 5.5% from 2005 levels by 2020 and the remaining would be calculated based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the region.

There are interim targets set to ascertain the consistent advancement towards the accomplishment of targets by 2020. The interim targets are as follows:

20% average between 2011 and 2012;
30% average between 2013 and 2014;
45% average between 2015 and 2016, and;
65% average between 2017 and 2018.

The Member countries can choose the preferred mix of renewables to achieve the overall targets. The new proposal mandates the submission of National Action Plans (NAPs) depending on the targets. Moreover, the Member States ought to submit progress reports every two years across electricity, heating and cooling, and transport.

Biofuels account for 5-6% of the total transportation fuels in 2010 and it has not experienced a significant change from 2009. The lack of a stable policy framework for biofuels dissuades investors in this sector. The usage of biofuels has declined after the government withdrew tax exemption for consumers. The use of ethanol and biodiesel in power vehicles would stagnate over the next few years due to insufficient government incentives. Tax breaks would boost the growth of this sector.

In February 2009, the Spanish government proposed new solar feed-in-tariffs to promote the domestic solar industry. The government has created a register of solar projects to provide new feed-in-tariffs. The proposal was intended to support the solar developers and equipment suppliers. The suppliers and developers have been holding back from investing from October 2008 due to the anticipated announcements. The new tariff program inculcates government-set rates for solar power through long term contracts.

Supportive feed-in-tariffs and financial incentives have driven the growth of the German renewable energy market and transformed it into one of the world’s largest renewable energy market. However, concerns on over-subsidization and relatively stabilized solar PV market have encouraged the German government to reduce the feed-in-tariffs.

After repeated retrenchments, in June 2010, Germany announced a 16% cut in feed-in-tariffs, which would be affective from July 2010. Reduced tariffs would be applicable for all rooftop solar panel systems and those built on disused land such as former army bases. Additionally, solar installations on converted arable land will not receive any incentive.

GlobalData’s new report “Europe Renewable Energy Policy Handbook 2010” provides an in-depth analysis of the renewable policy initiatives in the European Union (EU) and the key countries in terms of strength of policy implementation. The report provides trends and information on renewable energy policies in Europe and analyzes some of the driving forces for the renewable energy sector. It details the key policy instruments adopted by the governments in European countries and analyzes the different forms of incentives and subsidies provided for the development of the renewable energy equipment market.

The report also provides information on key countries in Europe that are investing in renewable energy. The report also includes information on the renewable energy initiatives and legislative frameworks which are driving the renewable energy equipment market in Europe. Various financial instruments such as tax reforms, subsidies and preferential loans for the development of renewable energy sector is included in the report. The report also analyzes the impact of market instruments such as feed-in-tariffs on renewable energy sector.