These key policy factors can be divided into two groups, covering direct and indirect impacts on renewable energy. The first three are direct and the latter two indirect. Table 1 lists the policy measures and targets that have been implemented and proposed by the European Commission.
Since 1997, these documents have had an increasing influence on the development of renewables in Europe. The White Paper sets an objective for 2010 of a 12% share of gross energy consumption from renewables. This objective has since been strengthened by the EU target of 22% of electricity from renewables in 2010 in the RES-E Directive. The Directive also specifies "indicative targets" for the individual Member states, thereby providing additional incentive and focus of the Member States towards the implementation of renewable energy.
The recently adopted Biofuels Directive provides further force towards renewable development, by focusing on the transport sector, a sector that has received less emphasis to date. The proposed target, in 2010, of 5.75% of petrol and diesel demand being supplied by biofuels is a significant target, particularly as the biofuel penetration today is relatively small.
of all three of these direct drivers have been modelled in the MITRE
project and the results of the modelling process, towards achieving
each of these targets, has been assessed.
The Kyoto greenhouse gas emission reduction targets are not directly focused on renewable energy, but are a significant driver towards achieving the targets. As a technological option, renewable energy is either zero emission (e.g. wind, photovoltaics) or emissions neutral (e.g. biomass), so it can provide significant benefits towards the achievement of the emissions reductions targets. The effect of these targets is to improve the economics of renewable technologies, through the implementation of the proposed emissions trading scheme.
Paper on Energy Supply provides a set of ideas and proposals on a long
term energy strategy for the European Union, particularly as the Union
will be expanding in size over the forthcoming years. This document
is important, as it helps to improve the potential for renewable energy,
which form the only indigenous energy resource for several of the Member
this background, MITRE's key objective has been to provide decision-makers
and institutional actors with up-to-date information on the socio-economic
costs and benefits of increased renewable penetration in Europe. Employment
creation and the subsequent economic benefits resulting from the implementation
of these energy technologies is one of the strongest associated advantages
The modelling uses the SAFIRE energy model to predict the levels of market penetration for renewable energy technologies to 2020, and the resulting displacement of conventional energy technologies based on two policy scenarios. These penetrations are compared with the targets specified in the RES-E Electricity Directive and Renewables White Paper on an EU-15 and national basis, and the recently adopted Biofuels Directive.
The RIOT input-output model (Renewables enhanced Input-Output Tables) calculates the employment impacts of renewables. It is based upon the calculation of production functions that represent the value of inputs (including employment) from different sectors of the economy needed to produce a unit of energy, for different energy technologies (both renewable and conventional).
The results from this analysis are included in the various MITRE reports. These can be downloaded from the MITRE reports page.
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