EU renewable energy support policy: faith or facts?

Staffan Jacobsson (Corresponding Author), Anna Bergek, Dominique Finon, Volkmar Lauber, Catherine Mitchell, David Toke, Aviel Verbruggen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


The recent EU Commission proposal for promoting the supply of power from renewable energy sources was originally based on a pan-European, harmonised tradable green certificate (TGC) scheme. We suggest, on the basis of a multi-disciplinary analysis, that a pan-EU TGC system is not the way forward for Europe. It is vital that the Commission (and the majority of Member States) avoids implementation of such policy designs put forward by a coalition of vested interests. They should instead look at, and act upon, the available evidence from those countries that have experimented with TGCs (e.g. Flanders, UK and Sweden) and design policies that stand a better chance of meeting the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and equity. In particular, the policies must enable EU to meet the immense innovation/industrialisation challenge by inducing the development of a capital goods industry that can, eventually, diffuse a broad range of technologies that use renewable energy sources. Only then we can acquire an ability to implement an industrial revolution in the energy system in a way that broadly meets the criteria of effectiveness and dynamic efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2143-2146
Number of pages4
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number6
Early online date31 Mar 2009
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • EU Policy
  • Tradable green certificates
  • evidence


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