Europe’s Policy Framework for Promoting Offshore Wind Energy: Lessons for Taiwan and Other Countries
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (4/2015)
As a result of the recent proliferation of onshore renewable energy (RE) infrastructure in many developed countries around the world, related environmental and public concerns have arisen. Consequently, to facilitate further growth in RE, especially after the Fukushima accident of 2011, these and other countries are considering options for developing RE infrastructure offshore, or in less controversial spaces. Offshore wind farms (OWFs), for example, present a viable option for their energy policy. Europe, in particular, has emerged in recent years as a pioneer in facilitating large-scale deployments of OWFs.
Fracking in the United Kingdom: Regulatory Challenges between Resource Mobilisation and Environmental Protection
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (12/2014)
This article will outline the existing regulatory framework with regard to shale gas extraction and development in the UK and analyse potential implications for the functioning of European and UK legislation in this field with consideration of environmental provisions. Moreover, the impact on wider energy policy objectives of the individual Member States’ implementation of these guidelines will be described.
Shaping the Electricity Market of the Future
© SRU - Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen (11/2013)
Climate-neutral electricity generation is both necessary and possible. It is necessary because the Federal Republic of Germany, together with the other Member States of the European Union, has committed itself to the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050. This is the industrialised countries’ minimum contribution to the internationally agreed target of preventing global average temperature from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This target can only be achieved by moving to a power system essentially based on renewable sources, as substantial emission reductions are easier and less expensive to implement in the electricity sector than in other sectors.
Offshore Renewable Energy Development in the British Islands: Legal and Political Risk - Part 1: Energy Policy and Electricity Market Reform
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (8/2013)
Offshore renewable energy (ORE) development forms a central pillar of UK plans for a largely decarbonised economy by mid-century. To reach ambitious climate change targets and a related renewable energy target, however, step changes are needed in levels of investment in offshore generating stations, electricity transmission networks and related supply chains. Key aims are driving down costs and delivering short-term certainty and longer-term visibility for investors. The law will play a major part in meeting both aims, through two mechanisms: electricity market reform, discussed in this first part of a two-part article; and removing barriers by improving major infrastructure planning, marine planning, licensing consents, environmental management, electricity grid access and marine use accommodation processes, all discussed in the second part to appear in the September issue of RELP.
Government Promotion of the Electric Car: Risk Management or Industrial Policy?
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (6/2013)
There are two prominent motivations for why governments seek to promote the electric car: risk management and industrial policy. This article provides operational definitions of these two motivations and uses them to characterize the public policies of six political jurisdictions: California, China, the European Union, France, Germany, and the United States. The article finds that while the European Union is focused primarily on risk management, China, Germany and the United States are primarily engaged in industrial policy. California and France are intermediate cases with a substantial blend of industrial policy and risk management. Future research into the ramifications of industrial policy for liberalized international trade is recommended.
The German Offshore Transmission Grid – (Finally) A Success Story?
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (4/2013)
As a result of the extensive promotion of offshore wind energy in Germany since 2006 and, in particular, since the so-called “Energiewende” by the German government in 2011, there is an increased demand to expand the German offshore transmission grid. However, the applicable statutory framework proved to be insufficient to provide the needed legal and regulatory guidance for offshore grid investments which have exceeded € 5 billion since 2010 and are expected to increase in the upcoming years. Furthermore, the increasing demand for offshore components and technology has exhausted the available market capacities. Because of these challenges, both de facto and de jure, and after long lasting discussions among the concerned parties, the German legislator implemented on 28 December 2012 a new statutory framework containing in particular a structural approach for the offshore grid development as well as a new liability regime for cases of delayed construction or disruption of offshore grid connection lines. The new statutory framework is aimed at providing potential investors and grid operators with the due level of legal certainty required for a further and effective expansion of offshore wind energy in Germany. In this regard, it should provide a sound basis for facilitating the Energiewende, but it is now up to all stakeholders involved to find a workable solution.
Efficiency and Public Acceptance of European Grid Expansion Projects: Lessons Learned across Europe
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (4/2013)
The adoption of the European Union’s target to increase the share of energy from renewable sources to 20 % requires a substantial modernisation and rebuilding of the electricity grid. Current grid projects are often delayed for a variety of reasons, such as the inefficiency of permitting procedures or local opposition. In fall 2011, the European Commission proposed a regulation which aims at enhancing the necessary grid expansion. The legislation was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in April and came into force on 15 May 2013. Among other considerations, the legislation aims at tackling the aforementioned challenges by making permitting procedures more efficient and implementing measures to increase the acceptance of new power-lines. However, questions remain about the quality and quantity of the proposed provisions designed to overcome all details of the identified problems. It will depend on the implementation of this legislation both on the European and on local level whether the new provisions will prove to be successful in terms of increased procedure efficiency and decreased public opposition. EU institutions, national governments, and competent public authorities should be aware of the area of conflict between improved procedure efficiency and increased public acceptance.