Chapter 11: The Europeanization of renewable energy policy in Romania
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The perception of Romania as a ‘laggard’ European Union member state in environmental policy implementation was challenged by recent developments in the renewable energy sources (RES) sector, as the country had one of the most generous RES support schemes in Europe and reached its 2020 RES targets as early as 2014. However, the significant and sudden growth of investment in RES for electricity (RES-E) was uneven across subsectors and there were significant structural, procedural and practical barriers that threatened the sustainability of policy implementation, indicative of ‘shallow Europeanization’. Furthermore, electricity price increases and the effects of the economic crisis in terms of lower levels of consumption and job losses have provided the backdrop for resistance to and reform of the RES support scheme after 2013. Despite promoting ‘biomass’ as a government priority, mainly for heating and RES-E, compliance with RES for transport (RES-T) was lagging behind agreed targets. This discrepancy was linked to legacies of the communist and early transition periods, and wider processes of transformation (including liberalization, restructuring and land restitution). While RES-E promotion had highlighted the political, institutional and physical barriers to implementation, the promotion of RES-T added to these structural limits, which were too costly to address in the short term. Keywords: biofuels policy, Europeanization, renewable electricity policy, renewable energy policy, Romania, shallow Europeanization

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