Have EU´s policies and regulations influenced renewable energy´s competitiveness?

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Have EU´s policies and regulations influenced renewable energy´s competitiveness?

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Title: Have EU´s policies and regulations influenced renewable energy´s competitiveness?
Author: Juhl Hansen, Thomas
Abstract: This paper is an exploratory paper, since it seeks to determine if there exist a causal relationship between EU regulations and the competitiveness of renewable energy. This possible causal relationship is explored due to the investment cycle of the energy industry. Any investment into the energy industry in Europe is done with a long term commitment in mind. And therefore, if the regulatory role of the EU can impact the desire to invest, it is important to address this. To highlight this matter, I have created the following research question: will the EU‟s acknowledgment of nuclear power to fulfill the EU‟s 2020 and 2050 climate and energy goals, have an effect on the competitiveness of renewable energy? To answer this, I have combined theories of competitiveness together with theory of political science. This has proven to me that there exist a causal relationship between implemented regulations and competitiveness within the energy sector. By applying competitive theory, to determine the economic factors on which renewable energy and nuclear energy compete, I have determined, that from a purely economic point of view, that the EU‟s inclusion of nuclear power does not impact the competitiveness of renewable energy. However, as I have also argued, and subsequently proven, the concept of whether or not regulations can affect competitiveness cannot be viewed solely from an economic point of view. The political environment is a key factor in defining the investment attractiveness of an industry. And when we consider how investment intensive the energy sector is then, the desire to invest in renewable energy is proportional to the competitiveness of renewable energy. If the policy framework is deemed too unstable, then investment will not occur, and without investment erosion in competitiveness occurs. What I have shown in this thesis is whether or not the EU‟s inclusion of nuclear energy can have an effect on the competitiveness of renewable energy. This is dependent on the stability of the EU‟s future energy policies. If the EU can act as a guarantee for stability, through long term, properly implemented policies, then the decision to invest will reassert itself to an economic comparison. And then it is clear that, within a stable framework, the EU‟s inclusion of nuclear energy would not have a detrimental effect on renewable energy.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10417/3143
Date: 2012-07-13
Pages: 80 s.
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