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Energy Transitions in Western Europe
Shifting from fossil to renewable energy sources is a major global challenge, and in this context, the European Union has promoted sustainable and environmentally friendly growth as early as the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. To date, European institutions have promulgated a series of environmental regulations and directives aimed at promoting and imposing adoption by member states of internal regulations. This entry focused on Western Europe, and it explores, for each state under analysis, energy policies adopted, the results achieved and recommendations for the future growth of renewable energy. The results show that in countries where energy policy is not fragmented, the yield in renewable energies has been higher, and also in the states where more and various forms of subsidies are foreseen, growth seems to be greater.
The progress made by the states under analysis in the field of renewable energy;
The energy policies adopted and the results that have been reported following the regulatory innovations, in order to identify the potentials and limits for the development of renewable energies;
Recommendations for the future growth of renewable energy in these regions.
2. Leading Features of Renewable Energy Policies in Western European Countries
3. Conclusions and Policy ImplicationsFrom the data published by Eurostat, it emerges that Austria is the state with the highest RES production; however, it is not the state that has obtained the greatest growth, indeed, over the years, as energy production has shown a fluctuating trend, even if the level starting points were higher. This could depend on the fragmented nature of energy policy, since a similar trend characterized by low constancy is also found in Germany, where energy competence is also divided between central power and Länder. In the context of energy policy, therefore, the principle of subsidiarity, as the basic principle of the European Union, does not seem to fully unfold its effects. The subsidiarity principle is defined in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. It aims to ensure that decisions are taken as close as possible to the citizen, verifying that the action to be taken at the community level is justified with respect to the possibilities offered by the action at the national, regional or local level. However, in countries where energy policy is not fragmented, the yield in RES has been higher; for example, this happened in Luxembourg, where RES production growth has increased significantly in recent years. Therefore, surely to obtain a higher yield, it is necessary that the energy policy adopted is unified throughout the territory.
The entry is from 10.3390/en14133940
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