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Promotion of Electricity from
Renewable Energy in the
Internal Electricity Market - Directive

Updated: April 2009

Index of this Page:

· New Directive Replacing Renewable Electricity Directive. Read
· Implementation and Progress. Read

· Status of Adoption. Read

New Directive Replacing Renewable Electricity Directive
With the decision about the new EU climate & energy package agreed December 2008, the new renewable energy directive 2009/28/EC will gradually replace the renewable electricity directive. Read here at EU policy.

Implementation and Progress
January 10, 2007 the Commission released a progress report on renewable electricity, affirming the conclusions from 2005 in general; but also recognizing the strong progress in some countries, in particular countries where feed-in tariffs are used as the main support mechanisms.

December 7, 2005, the Commission launched its evaluation stating that it does not recommend a fast harmonization of support schemes for renewable electricity in the EU countries. It concludes that the most efficient schemes have been the feed-in schemes, used in a growing number of countries. It also states that the current support is not sufficient to reach the 2010-target of 22% renewable electricity. Read the Communication from the Commission SEC (2005) 1573

In 2004 the Commission concluded that with the measures and policies currently in force in the 15 "old" EU countries, it is not likely that they will meet the overall target of 22% renewable energy. This is part of the communication from the Commission "The share of renewable energy in the EU" (COM 2004-366), May 2004, where it stated that there will be only an increase from 14% in 2000 to 18-19% in 2010. Thus, there is an urgent need to implement new measures in the 15 "old" EU countries to reach the target, and thus contributing to the overall renewable energy target and the climate targets.

The 10 "new" EU countries have included national renewable electricity targets as part of their accession agreements, but the likelihood that they will reach their targets is small, especially because most of them have not introduced adequate measures to support renewable energy in the electricity market. Some countries (e.g. Slovakia) want to reduce their targets. It is crucial that more efforts are made, and that effective support systems are introduced, such as feed-in tariffs at adequate levels. Renegotiation of targets should be accompanied by introduction of efficient support systems to facilitate the development.

Some countries have introduced successful schemes for renewable energy that are likely to reach their targets. The schemes consists of:

  • Sufficient and stable prices for sale of electricity. The most successful schemes are variations of 'feed-in tariffs', where the owners of the installations receive a fixed payment per kWh for electricity for a number of years.
  • Simple and affordable connections to the grid.
  • Enabling planning regimes that also supports a dialogue with future neighbors and local stakeholders

In general the most successful implementation is in Germany followed by Spain (that lacks local involvement, however), Denmark (that has uncertain legislation, but seems to reach target because of previous legislation), Austria, Netherlands. Other countries have successful schemes regarding specific technologies, such a biomass CHP in Sweden and landfill gas in the UK. Some countries have good feed-in tariffs but lack good planning regimes to involve local actors. An example of this is France.

Read about legislation in EU countries at the EurObserv'ER Barometers by EUFORES and others.
Read recommendations for support of renewable energy including recommendation for planning for wind turbines at CLER-PREDAC.

Status of Adoption
The Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market was adopted 27 September 2001. It was published in the official journal 27/10 2001.

The EU countries shall implement the directive in national legislation before 27 October 2003.

Read the Directive text here