Legal framework for wind energy
Renewable Energy Directives
Enabling renewable energy to overcome the significant barriers to entering the energy market, EU directives in 2001 and 2009 have been the world's most significant legislation for renewable electricity. Support mechanisms and EU single market law are also vital.
The 2001 Directive initiated:
- Streamlined administration procedures for new plant installation
- Support schemes to compensate renewable energy for its positive environmental impacts and its contribution to security of supply
- Publication of guarantees of origin
- Regulation of mechanisms to beat the costs of technical adaptation.
The 2009 Directive made 2020 renewable energy targets legally binding. National Renewable Energy Action Plans set out how each EU country is to meet its overall national target and each country reports on progress every two years.
Read the 2030 brochure to see what is needed to achieve this.
- Wind Energy the Facts (Executive Summary)
- Pure Power
- National Renewable Energy Action Plans (access for EWEA members only)
- EU Energy Policy to 2050
- Rethinking 2050 - European Renewable Energy Council
- 45% by 2030 - European Renewable Energy Council
- Summary of the 2050 Energy Roadmap scenarios (access for EWEA members only)
- EWEA response to 2050 Energy Roadmap
- EWEA response to the Renewable Energy Strategy
- EWEA position - 2030 EU Climate and Energy framework
- EWEA response to the EC Green Paper consultation on a 2030 framework of climate and energy policies
Support Mechanisms for RES electricity
The 2001 RES-E directive gives Member States the possibility to choose from different support mechanisms for the promotion of renewable energy sources that produce electricity. There are two main tools: feed-in tariffs (either fixed price or premium over the "pool") and green certificates, although public tendering, investment incentives and tax exemptions are also applied by some countries.
In 2008, the Commission published a report on national support mechanisms employed by Member States which concluded that major barriers to the growth and integration of renewable electricity remain, and that a long term goal should be harmonisation of support schemes.
- EWEA paper on support mechanisms (March 2012)
- EWEA position on support mechanism guidance (December 2012)
- Commission document: The support of electricity from renewable energy sources
- EWEA Position Paper: CEER consultation on the non-harmonisation of support schemes
- More information on support mechanisms: optres.fhq.de
- EWEA response to the consultation regarding the guidelines on State aid for environmental protection
Internal electricity market legislation
The Third Liberalisation Package of 2009 assists the creation of an Internal Energy Market for electricity and gas notably by requiring ownership unbundling which means that large, vertically-integrated energy firms which control both electricity production and transmission assets are entirely broken up. It also creates two new European bodies: the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO) and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) which have the duty to constitute a common EU-wide regulatory framework for grid management and market integration by implementing so-called binding Framework Guidelines and Network Codes.