Renewable energies: A continuing balancing act?

Roger Hildingsson, Johannes Stripple, Andrew J. Jordan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Citations (Scopus)


The promotion of renewable energy sources (RES) has been on the systemic agenda in some European countries since the 1950s. In the 1990s, it moved on to the institutional agenda in many more countries, attracted by the expected potential to mitigate climate change, improve energy security, and provide new opportunities for industrial development and job creation. But at EU level, the path towards greater policy coordination has been a long and winding one. Despite the wave of enthusiasm for a stronger EU role in energy policy noted in Chapter 3, only the responsibility for market liberalisation – and for some science, technology and innovation aspects – currently resides at the EU level. This has made the deployment of RES primarily a matter of national energy policy. So, although there are widely thought to be strong and ‘compelling reasons for setting up an enabling framework to promote renewables’ in the EU (COM (2006) 848: 3), disagreements over its specific design look set to persist, not least because it could limit the freedom to pursue energy policy goals, a right currently enjoyed by the Member States.

The struggle to balance multiple objectives has frustrated the development of an EU-level RES policy since the 1970s. With hindsight, it is clear that policy has been driven by two main objectives, which in turn have flowed from rather different problem framings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Change Policy in the European Union
Subtitle of host publicationConfronting the Dilemmas of Mitigation and Adaptation?
EditorsAndrew J. Jordan, Dave Huitema, Harro van Asselt, Tim Rayner, Frans Berkout
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781139042772
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this