European Energy Policy
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European Energy Policy

An Environmental Approach

Edited by Francesc Morata and Israel Solorio Sandoval

This path-breaking book explores the new European energy policy, highlighting the significance of environmental policy concerns, instruments, and objectives vis-à-vis competing security and market dimensions in order to achieve an all-embracing EU energy policy perspective for the future.
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Chapter 4: Europeanization through Diffusion? Renewable Energy Policies and Alternative Sources for European Convergence

Per-Olof Busch and Helge Jörgens


Per-Olof Busch and Helge Jörgens 4.1 INTRODUCTION In recent decades, cross-national policy clustering has become a distinctive feature of international and European environmental policy-making. Since the late 1960s, virtually every country in the world has created government institutions for the protection of the environment and adopted basic legislation in the areas of air pollution control, nature or water protection (Busch and Jörgens, 2005). This trend is even more pronounced in the group of European Union (EU) member states. Here, over the last 30 years, an impressive convergence of domestic patterns of environmental policy-making can be observed (Holzinger et al., 2008). Can a similar degree of policy clustering also be observed with regard to programs aimed at the promotion of renewable energy sources (RES)? And if so, what are the mechanisms that drive the EU-wide convergence of these programs? In order to provide an answer to these questions, this chapter examines the cross-national spread of support schemes for electricity generation from RES sources, namely mandatory feed-in tariffs (FIT) and green certificate systems, in the period from 1988 to 2005. This chapter explores the main driving forces as well as the barriers of a greater promotion of electricity from RES in the EU member states; it proceeds as follows. Section 4.2 presents three modes of international policy coordination. Section 4.3 then examines the spread of mandatory FIT and green certificate systems in the EU and links it to the three mechanisms of international policy coordination. Section 4.4 presents a discussion...

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