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Renewable Energy Law in Europe

Challenges and Perspectives


Franz Jürgen Säcker, Lydia Scholz and Thea Sveen

The law of renewable energies has always been subject to change. Together with the Scandinavian Institute for Maritime Law of the University of Oslo, the Berlin Institute for Energy and Regulatory Law has brought together energy law experts from Great Britain, Norway, Finland and Germany in order to exchange their ideas and perspectives. In 2013 and 2014, the ECJ specified the limits on national support schemes, and the European Commission issued its guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy. In an inspiring workshop, these and other important developments regarding renewable energies in the EU and the European Economic Area were discussed. This volume presents various contributions which inform about the conducted debates and encourage further research.
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It is the European Union’s goal to establish a secure, sustainable and competitive supply of electricity. This is one of the fundamental objectives of its energy policy, and since the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty firmly established in Article 194(1) TFEU. The goal has repeatedly been utilised by the European Commission, e.g. in the “Energy 2020” strategy and in the “Energy Roadmap 2050“. Since 1 January 2013, the objective of a common European market for energy is mandatory for EU Member States as well as for the states of the European Economic Area. An inherent part of such a common market and of European energy policy in general is the “triangle of objectives”, namely environmental protection, security of supply and competitiveness, within which the EU’s energy policy operates. It is binding for the legislative bodies of both, the EU and the Member States.

Pursuing all three objectives at the same time, each with maximum intensity, must lead to inconsistencies. As such, renewable energy renders the European energy supply more environmentally friendly, however, it still requires some form of promotion, which is in conflict with the market goal. According to the Renewables Directive, Member States are obliged to implement some kind of promotion scheme. There is, however, no permission to draft these schemes freely. Instead, promotion schemes have to be structured in such a way that they do not infringe upon provisions of the TFEU. In particular, a conflict with the principle of free...

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