Title: Status Report 2006
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC36111
ISBN: 978-92-79-05559-1
Other Identifiers: EUR 22752 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC36111
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The European Union is implementing challenging commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% in accord with the Kyoto protocol, and has established ambitious targets for renewable energies and energy end-use efficiency in its White Paper: Energy for the Future: Renewable Sources of Energy. In the past decade, renewable energy technologies have made significant progress in terms of performance, cost and reliability, thanks to vigorous research, development, demonstration and market introduction programmes at European, national and also regional level. Developments primarily rooted in environmental concerns are now penetrating all societal decision making and have led to a new, dynamic, and exponentially growing industry. Three major drivers are determining today’s socio-economic framework for the impressive renewables’ industrial and market developments. First, successful application of legally binding feed-in tariffs; secondly, liberalisation of the electricity market, and thus new possibilities for decentralisation of power generation. Third, and in the medium term, there is the undisputed need for massive re-powering the larger part of Europe’s generation capacity. This will incur generally higher electricity costs, which reflect somewhat better the real costs (incl. externalities) of all the different energy technologies. Thus a more favourable market situation for sustainable technology choices will evolve, e.g. for massive renewable power generation. While technology development has been a key driver in the progress of renewables, first examples of significant penetration would have been impossible without appropriate, supporting policies including instruments such as introduction targets, carbon taxes, elimination of non-technical barriers, internalisation of external costs of energy, and harmonisation of market rules. The efficient end-use of energy is a parallel area where modern technology, policies, better public conscience of the issues and market forces, like the utilities’ interest to exploit the potentials for avoidance of new transmission and generation capacity, have combined to achieve significant results. New integrated marketing concepts, like energy service companies, have been very successful lately, and organisationally break ground for the implementation of sharper physical efficiency concepts as well. This is of particular strategic importance for the New Member States of the EU, as the use of energy, including electricity, in these countries is still significantly less efficient than in the old Member States. The aim of this Status Report is to provide relevant, validated and independent information on renewable energy and the efficient end-use of electricity to decision makers and the public.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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