Legal Perspectives on Bottom-up Approaches
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Marjan Peeters and Thomas Schomerus
Chapter 14: Regional renewable energy: A string of legal and financial challenges
The target of 20 per cent for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in the European Union by 2020, and the need for a further increase of renewable energy consumption towards 2030 call for a major transformation in society. Above and beyond the technological challenges such as developing efficient renewable energy generation, improving the grid – particularly with regard to incorporating volatile energy sources – and developing storage techniques for temporary renewable energy surplus, a string of societal and, more specifically, legal challenges need to be explored. The previous chapters of this book have focused on legal aspects of the transition towards renewable energy, specifically exploring new questions from regional government perspectives. Part of this legal exploration includes the legal aspects of the role of finance, both in terms of supporting renewable energy and of engaging local involvement. Another major part addresses the competences of, and decision-making by regional governments. This concluding chapter aims to bridge the findings of the contributing authors and provides overarching observations. We construct our findings around three main themes: the relevance of the EU legal renewable energy framework for regional governments (Section 2); legal aspects of finance (Section 3), firstly with attention to support mechanisms (Section 3.1), and then to potential paths for financial participation by citizens and local communities in renewable energy projects (Section 3.2); and the authorization of renewable energy projects (Section 4). Section 5 concludes the book.
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