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Published on April 11th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill

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European Union Implements New Guidelines On State Support For Renewable Energy

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April 11th, 2014 by  

The European Union’s executive body, the European Commission, announced new guidelines Wednesday that would govern the public support for renewable energy projects in an attempt to integrate the burgeoning (and, arguably, relatively mature) industry into the market-proper.

According to the Commission, the new guidelines “will support Member States in reaching their 2020 climate targets, while addressing the market distortions that may result from subsidies granted to renewable energy sources.” Commission Vice President Joanquin Almunia said that “It is time for renewable to join the market.”

As the AFP put it in their news piece on the decision, “the new guidelines … require the bloc’s 28 member countries to gradually replace ad hoc renewable energy subsidies with a competitive bidding process for allocating public support.”

The Commission noted that the recent growth in the renewable energy industry “has helped to make progress on environmental objectives but has also caused serious market distortions and increasing costs to consumers.”

These new guidelines will dismantle some existing state-specific renewable energy subsidy programs in favour of a European Union-wide market-driven bidding process for allocating public support, but allowing for specific circumstances in each state.

The guidelines also allow for “supporting cross-border energy infrastructure to further the Single European Energy Market” which will help to develop a power grid capable of spanning borders and multiple generation techniques. Another factor of this will allow countries under a “real risk of insufficient electricity generation capacity” to seek aid, promoting the idea of generating excess energy for use elsewhere rather than shutting down.

“Europe should meet its ambitious energy and climate targets at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without undue distortions of competition in the Single Market,” Almunia said. “This will contribute to making energy more affordable for European citizens and companies.”

The EU Commission contends that the EU renewable energy industry and economy has suffered from policies that keep renewable energy prices higher than they would be using the bidding process that is promoted in the new guidelines. It should be noted that this is being rather hotly debated by experts in certain EU countries.

Oddly, nuclear power is not being subject to the same guidelines. “The guidelines also steered clear of intervening in the United Kingdom’s controversial state support of a nuclear energy project, with Almunia claiming the Commission’s ‘lack of expertise’ meant the guidelines would not cover nuclear energy.”

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



  • JamesWimberley

    The headline is plain wrong. The Commission is OK with subsidies as long as they comply with its pet rock of competitive auctions.The plan is aimed at killing off FITs., and is blind to the transformative effects of distributed generation. Now this is misguided, but it’s not in the same class as ALEC’s destructive manoeuvres in the USA.
    No link provided. What is the small print on residential rooftop FITs?

  • Will E

    even if played dishonest, oil nuclear coal will not survive.
    my Chinese Solar supplier offered me Solar Panels all in 50 US dollar cents a kWh.
    that is close to 25 euro cents. and 1 kWh cost about 25 euro cents.
    so that is a 30 times investment profit even in the Netherlands.

    • Ross

      50 USD cents is more like 36 Euro cents.

  • Matt

    So EU exec body doesn’t want country specific support for renewable power. But don’t see them with any movement to address the externals of fossil fuel. Wonder if they have been paid off like the feds in US and in Auz. There is a honestly free energy market anywhere in the world. So whenever you see “level playing field” or “It is time for renewable to join the market.” I find it at best uninformed, but more often just plain dishonest.

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