Abstract

The European Union is currently working on a achieving a target of 20% renewable energy by 2020, and has a policy framework in place that relies primarily on individual Member States implementing their own policy instruments for renewable energy support, within a larger context of a tradable quota system. For 2050 the target is likely to be more stringent, given the goal of reducing European carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by then. Preliminary analysis has suggested that achieving the 2020 target through renewable power deployment will be far less expensive and far more reliable if a regional approach is taken, in order to balance intermittent supply, and to take advantage of high renewable potentials off the European mainland. Analysis based on modeling is combined with the results of stakeholder interviews to highlight the key options and governance challenges associated with developing such a regional approach.