EU initiative aiming to increase the use of renewable energy sources with lower costs

Risø DTU is leading one of the working groups in the project. Through a coordinated EU effort, this new EU project ”Cost-efficient and sustainable deployment of renewable energy sources towards the EU 20% target by 2020 and beyond” aims to develop a road map that can increase the use of renewable energy sources in the period up to 2020 and 2030, in an economically cost-effective way. The idea is that a coordinated EU effort would prove more successful than when each member state uses their own methods to achieve their national targets for renewable energy sources.

Finally, the project is to identify barriers to effective cooperation among the countries to help them meet the targets for renewable energy.

The project is led by the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN). Risø DTU coordinates the activities in one of the working groups (work package 3).

"We are going to explore how to coordinate the widely different support mechanisms for renewable energy, used by the individual EU countries. It could be mechanisms combining for example feed-in tariffs and green certificates,” says Henrik Klinge Jacobsen, senior researcher in the Systems Analysis Division at Risø DTU.

The EU has no intention of introducing a common set of support regulations for renewable energy. As part of the project, Risø DTU is going to look at how existing support mechanisms can be coordinated and at how to compensate for the economic differences in different support systems.

”Among other things, we will conduct case studies of offshore wind farms and examine some specific coordination mechanisms for support, in case two or three EU countries with different support schemes are to cooperate in an offshore wind farm,” says Henrik Klinge Jacobsen.

”We held a kick-off meeting in Brussels at the end of January. We agreed on the start-up of the work packages and received input from the commission as to what they considered to be the most important priorities. Among other things, we are to bring ’in the short run’ into focus, i.e. from two to four years, putting less emphasis on long-term perspectives after 2020,” says Henrik Klinge Jacobsen.

The work at Risø DTU will consist in carrying through calculations and assessments of the incentives for and barriers to joint efforts between two or more countries with a view to increasing the use of renewable energy.

"We will for example look at how large a compensation should be in proportion to the national support opportunities and at what will be needed so that e.g. gains in the electricity markets compensate for losses," says Henrik Klinge Jacobsen.

”Cost-efficient and sustainable deployment of renewable energy sources towards the EU 20% target by 2020 and beyond” (RES4LESS) is a 2-year research cooperation and development project coordinated by the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands, ECN. Consortium partners include: Risø National laboratory for Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) – Denmark, IT POWER-UK, Enviros – Czech Republic, Institute for Applied Ecology (Oeko Institute)- Germany, Centre for Promotion of Clean and Efficient Energy in Romania (ENERO)-Romania, CIEMAT – Spain.

RES4LESS aims to change the behaviour of national policy makers with regard to a favourable framework and incentives to develop RES, thereby triggering new approaches for the promotion of RES based on a higher degree of cooperation between member states.

The project is targeted at investors in renewable energy, electricity markets, power stations and network operators. The Intelligent Energy – Europe programme has decided to carry out the project. The programme is the EU’s tool for supporting concrete projects, initiatives and best practices via annual calls for proposals.

Feed-in tariffs: For every unit of energy produced using renewable energy technologies, the producer will receive a fixed subsidy of e.g. 70 ører (øre = Danish monetary unit worth 1/100 of a krone) in support of wind farms.

Green certificates: As part of the national targets for the share of renewable energy, the technologies producing green power will receive a certificate that can be sold in the energy markets. Equally, all consumers are committed, through their electricity company, to buying a certain amount of green power.