RELP 3/2012

You can order any of the articles listed below for €35,00; reports and case notes are available for each €20,00; country reports for together €20,00; conference reports and book reviews for €8,00. EU Member States: VAT will be added if applicable.

Issue 3/2012

Table of Contents
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Craig A. Hart
Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 3/2012: pp. 157-158 [Editorial]
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Renewable energy technologies are in many ways reaching their adolescence and the policy debate in Europe and the United States reflects this period of transformation. Wind power is nearing parity with fossil fuel generation on a cost basis when externalities are taken into account. Solar PV prices continue to fall with solar modules now within the range of $1/watt, and expectations that solar technologies will continue to increase in efficiency at reduced price. The rush to biofuels has given way to a more sober examination of their environmental and economic impact leading towards a more sustainable path for developing the technology.

Eyk Bösche, Anika Nicolaas Ponder, Henning Thomas
Power-to-Gas: The Legal Framework for a Long- Term Energy Storage Technology in Germany
Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 3/2012: pp. 159-172
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Germany’s ambitious renewable energy strategy has uncovered some deficiencies in the current energy system. As the development of solar energy and wind farms continues, an expansion and reinforcement of the grid is needed to reach remote production sites and absorb the highly intermittent renewable energy inputs these produce. The strain on the grid can, to a certain extent, be relieved through storage of renewable energy during peak-production hours. Storage technologies may support the integration of intermittent renewable energy into the energy systems. In this light, this article investigates the technology, functions and the legal framework of ‘power-to-gas’, a novel storage concept with ample application potential and flexibility.

Seita Romppanen
The EU’s Biofuels: Certified as Sustainable?
Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 3/2012: pp. 173-186
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The focus of the article is on the practical implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive’s sustainability criteria. The article discusses verification of compliance through voluntary certification schemes, one of the three ways in which Member States can enforce their responsibility of requiring economic operators to show compliance with the sustainability criteria. The voluntary certification schemes are tasked with guaranteeing that all biofuels verified by said schemes are sustainable and produced under the criteria set by the Renewable Energy Directive. The European Commission has claimed that the EU certification scheme is the most stringent of its kind in the world, ensuring that EU biofuels meet the highest environmental standards. However, this article questions these claims and discusses whether the voluntary certification schemes, as the central implementation mechanism for the Renewable Energy Directive, can fully guarantee sustainable biofuels in accordance with the sustainability requirements set in that directive.

David Rokeach and Glenn Schatz
From Subsidies to Markets: Pursuing a More Effective American Energy Policy
Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 3/2012: pp. 187-195
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Since the early 1900s, American energy policy has been woven into a complex web of subsidies, incentives, and complicated tax schemes. The complexities of government policy today create significant uncertainty in energy industries, distort markets, and create perverse economic outcomes. In pursuing a transition toward cleaner, renewable energy, the United States would be best served by phasing out subsidies for all sources, accounting for externalities in the market, and investing in research and development. While well-intentioned, the current American strategy is costly, ineffective, and counterproductive. To lead the world in a 21st Century energy transition, the U.S. should change its direction and reestablish a market that will encourage competition, innovation, and growth.

Craig A. Hart and Dominic Marcellino
Subsidies or Free Markets to Promote Renewables?
Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 3/2012: pp. 196-204
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OECD governments are reviewing government outlays to assess whether certain expenditures could be reduced or eliminated. Energy subsidies and other supports are among those areas being reviewed. While perverse energy subsidies should be eliminated, the authors argue that support for renewable energy remain a priority, both on climate change grounds, but also due to the market advantages fossil fuels enjoy vis-à-vis renewables. Policymakers have instruments at their disposal that promote renewables through the power of markets in the form of renewable portfolio standards and feed-in tariffs. The authors argue for the continued use of these instruments in the medium term.

Stefania Gorgoglione, Catherine Burke and Rachel Pennell, Nicholas Denhaan
Country Reports
Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 3/2012: pp. 205-216 [Report]
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The New Italian Legislation on Renewable Energy
Stefania Gorgoglione

The United Kingdom
Incentive Regimes for Renewable Energy
Catherine Burke and Rachel Pennell

United States of America
Nicholas Denhaan

Dominic Marcellino
Book Review
Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 3/2012: pp. 217-218 [Book Review]
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Energiewende nach Fukushima – Deutscher Sonderweg oder weltweites Vorbild? by Peter Hennicke and Paul J.J. Welfens Oekom Verlag, 2012, 284 pp., €29,95.

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Reading of Intimate Brussels - Living amongst Eurocrats

30 March 2011, 18.30 pm @ European Parliament

For one year, Martin Leidenfrost explored Europe’s capital and wrote fifty personal – tender, alienated, mischievous – portraits.

“Entertaining, amusing, insightful.” The Gap