International Energy Governance

International Energy Governance

Selected Legal Issues

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Andrew Filis and Ehab S. Abu Gosh

The legal aspects at the junction of interstate energy cooperation have become increasingly important in a world that is hungry for energy security. This book focuses on selected legal issues relating to international energy governance. International law as it stands today is not well equipped to handle international energy governance issues fully. This legal deficiency affects energy security negatively. If the currently fragmented and multi-layered international energy governance regime were streamlined for greater legal cohesiveness and international political and economic cooperation, it would promote energy security. Some chapters of the book take a broader view on interstate energy cooperation, such as energy transit, energy market liberalization and energy investment. Others focus on specific areas of such cooperation, such as trade and energy; trade, environment and energy; and energy exploration and maritime delimitation disputes. The book also presents an analysis of European Union energy governance and renewable energy.

Chapter 8: Renewable energy in the European Union

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Andrew Filis and Ehab S. Abu Gosh

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics, law - academic, energy law, environmental law, international economic law, trade law, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation


The principal aim of this chapter is to present the issue of renewable energy policy development at the EU level against the backdrop of EU law and, more importantly, against the backdrop of the EU’s obligations owed to third-party States and organizations, and the international community at large. Both energy and the EU, albeit for different reasons inherent to them, are complex affairs. EU renewable energy policy encompasses several practices, ranging from EU Member State obligations to increase the overall share of renewables in their energy mix, to the obligation to prioritize electricity from renewable sources in the grid infrastructure, the obligation to increase the share of biofuels in the transport sector, the requirement that emitting industries purchase emission credits through the EU Emissions Trading System, the obligation to use energy more efficiently, and, to sum up, the obligation to promote renewables both at the intra-EU and extra-EU levels. The EU’s renewable energy policy is further conditioned by the EU and its Member States’ obligations owed to third-party States and organizations (for instance, relating to trade, investment, and environmental protection). EU renewable energy policy is not only framed by the normative context at the intra-EU level, but also by a broader normative context, comprising other instances of international law.

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