A comparative analysis of the European and Russian support schemes for renewable energy: return on EU experience for Russia

Anatole Boute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Russia possesses enormous potential for the development of renewable energy sources. Given the necessity to modernize the economy and stimulate innovation, the exploitation of this potential is increasingly recognized as a national political priority. Replacing traditional fossil energy sources with renewable energy in the Russian fuel mix will also have a positive impact on European energy security and climate policy. The European partners thus have an interest in stimulating this development. Sharing with Russia the lessons learned from the European experience in the field of renewable energy policy could be a way to assist Russia in its efforts to develop adequate regulatory mechanisms to stimulate renewable energy investments. This contribution argues that this attempt can only be successful if the European and Russian partners “speak the same language” in terms of renewable energy policy. It therefore proposes to compare the support mechanisms developed by EU Member States with the Russian scheme in order to highlight potential misunderstandings in the concepts and instruments used. Moreover, this contribution argues that the EU will only be convincing in its approach towards Russia if it avoids a “normative hegemonic” behavior. Rather than presenting its rules as “best practice”, the EU should highlight what went wrong with its approach so as to avoid repeating the same mistakes in Russia. It appears from the European experience that regulatory instability constitutes the most important obstacle to a successful renewable energy policy. The readiness of the Russian authorities to meet investors’ concern of stability will therefore determine Russia’s ability to attract private investments in the development of its enormous renewable energy potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-180
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of World Energy Law and Business
Volume4
Issue number2
Early online date10 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

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