Selected Legal Issues
Chapter 8: Renewable energy in the European Union
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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