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Policy options for reducing the costs of reaching the European renewables target

: Klessmann, Corinna; Rathmann, Max; Jager, David de; Gazzo, Alexis; Resch, Gustav; Busch, Sebastian; Ragwitz, Mario


Renewable energy 57 (2013), pp.390-403
ISSN: 0960-1481
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Renewable energy; Financing; Support schemes; 2020 Target; Europe

European governments have agreed to increase the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 20% by 2020. A crucial question for policy makers is how to mobilise the additional capital investments in RE and which consumer expenditures are involved. The article describes policy options for reducing renewable energy technology (RET) project costs as well as consumer costs, based on research conducted in de Jager et al., 2011 and Rathmann et al., 2011. The results show that risk-sensitive RET policies are crucial for attracting sufficient RET investments until 2020 and achieving the targets cost-effectively. They not only reduce the RET financing costs, but also the project development costs and market gap. There are also other options that can significantly reduce the RET support costs, i.e. the adjustment of support levels to generation costs, phasing out subsidies for conventional energies, and the cost-optimisation of the supported RET portfolio, either th rough increased cooperation between member states or through changes in the supported technology mix. Overall, further improvement and coordination of existing policy frameworks seems more promising than drastic system changes, as the latter would create additional uncertainties and potentially negative effects on RET growth and project costs.