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Renewable Energy Law in the EU

Renewable Energy Law in the EU

Legal Perspectives on Bottom-up Approaches

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Edited by Marjan Peeters and Thomas Schomerus

This timely book examines the role played by regional authorities in the EU in the transition towards renewable energy. Drawing on both academia and practice, the expert contributors explore some of the key legal questions that have emerged along the energy transition path. Specific attention is paid to support mechanisms, administrative procedures for authorizing renewable energy projects, and opportunities for allowing citizens, particularly citizens living near renewable energy projects, participate financially in renewable energy production.

Chapter 2: An EU law perspective on the role of regional authorities in the field of renewable energy

Marjan Peeters and Thomas Schomerus

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, energy law, environmental law, european law, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


This chapter maps and analyses the specific position of regional authorities in view of EU climate and energy law. It specifically focuses on the role taken by such authorities in the light of the transition towards a society increasingly employing renewable energy. In this chapter, we will use the term “regional authorities” which broadly covers sub-national bodies who either hold a regional or local authority electoral mandate, or are politically accountable to an elected assembly. On-shore wind turbines, biomass installations, hydropower installations and solar panels must always be established in the territory of a regional authority. The part in the transition to renewable energy played by regional authorities will increase, particularly in relation to spatial planning and environmental permits. This increment will occur through the necessary transition from large scale fossil fuel energy generation – for instance large coal-fired power plants – towards smaller scale renewable energy generation – for instance photovoltaic installations on private house roofs. Regional authorities’ legal positions, their institutional structure and their tasks depend largely on the country’s specific constitution, which gives rise to the many different institutional forms of local governance present in EU practice. It is obvious that in order to comply with national renewable energy obligations as imposed by the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28 (RED) on EU-Member States, adequate local governance regarding the establishment of renewable energy projects is vital.

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