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|How to create a single European electricity market - and subsidise renewables
policy brief by David Buchan, April 2012
National subsidy schemes for renewable electricity and back-up generation capacity threaten the attempt to integrate and liberalise Europe's electricity system. Subsidy schemes are necessary to boost investment in renewable energy and to ensure sufficient non-renewable back-up generation. But rising subsidy costs are straining public tolerance. Renewables could be promoted at lower cost and at less risk to energy sector integration if member-states subsidised in the same way, even if the amount of subsidy differed.
David Buchan is a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and author of 'Energy and Climate Change: Europe at the Crossroads', (Oxford University Press, 2009).