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Lauber - Bath May 20081 The struggle over support schemes for wind power in the European Union Volkmar Lauber Where next for wind? University of Bath ESRC.

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Presentation on theme: "Lauber - Bath May 20081 The struggle over support schemes for wind power in the European Union Volkmar Lauber Where next for wind? University of Bath ESRC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lauber - Bath May The struggle over support schemes for wind power in the European Union Volkmar Lauber Where next for wind? University of Bath ESRC Research Seminar Series, 9 May 2008

2 Lauber - Bath May Nature of the struggle From the beginning, this was a struggle between incumbents (big utilities) and new entrants if the latter benefited from a modicum of political support (for RES-E, for a green industrial policy) a background ideology which attributed importance to SMEs for innovation, competition and the prevention of excessive market concentration

3 Lauber - Bath May Why no such struggle in the UK? Very small RES-E sector, dependent on utilities for contracts RES-E not supported by strong popular movement as in Germany (anti-nuclear movement, acid rain, Chernobyl, climate) Not supported by development of a promising renewables industry Thatcherite neo-liberalism stresses short-term market competitiveness and thus incumbents

4 Lauber - Bath May Where did the struggle originate? In 1990, the German Bundestag – responding to a strong movement - adopted feed-in law against the preference of government & Bundestag leaders and big utilities (private members bill) The big utilities (based on coal and nuclear) did not like RES-E (no subsidisation of inefficient technologies), much less a FIT After unsuccessful efforts court challenges to the law (German ordo-liberalism is favourable to new entrants), the utilities turned to the EU (DG Competition) for help, arguing illicit state aid

5 Lauber - Bath May Commission action and rationale DG Competition took up this cause gradually, also influenced DG Energy (Papoutsis) which was following a line of deregulation/liberalisation (first electricity directive of 1996) Commission challenged FIT in courts (joined PreussenElektra case) and in drafts of RES-E directive proposals: illegal state aid, against internal market

6 Lauber - Bath May On RES-E directive, Commission draws on UK and Eurelectric In developing RES-E draft directive, the Commission strove for harmonisaton on the basis of what it called market-based models compatible with Electricty Directive Favoured tenders, later on quota/ tradable certificate schemes (QTC): direct competition. Viewed NFFO as particularly successful. Big utilities also approved of those schemes (to keep RES-E down)

7 Lauber - Bath May Commission rationale in favouring quota/certificate schemes in 1999 Greater static efficiency than FIT (RES-E prices would come down faster, profits become less excessive) Greater effectiveness: lower prices would lead to more rapid deployment Greater dynamic efficiency: direct competition would foster more innovation In retrospect: off the mark on all counts

8 Lauber - Bath May Actors in favour of QTC ( ) Interest group level Eurelectric, esp. big German utilities (but not Spanish utilities) BWEA, to some extent EWEA European Union level DG Energy until early 2000, then compromise DG Competition Member States UK, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Denmark

9 Lauber - Bath May Actors in favour of FIT ( ) Interest group and NGO level German and Spanish renewables assn. Greenpeace, WWF European Union level Parliament Member states Germany, Spain (have most of the renewable energy deployment, their claim of subsidiarity meets with sympathy in Council)

10 Lauber - Bath May Situation in 2000 de Palacio replaces Papoutsis as energy commissioner 1999 (DG TREN) sensitive to Spanish interests (both utilities and RES-E industry for FIT/premium sys.) more pragmatic, not as ideologically neo- liberal as Papoutsis confronted with strong opposition against QTC harmonisation

11 Lauber - Bath May Directive 2001/77/EC Leaves choice of support system to member states Subjects these to discipline of state aid regulations (DG Comp. in 2000 initiated state aid proceedings also against new German EEG). Lawsuit and provision became irrelevant after Preussen Elektra case upholds German FIT Provides for report on performance of national support systems and for possible harmonisation proposal in 2005; also for long transition period

12 Lauber - Bath May New developments after 2001 UK, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Poland and Romania introduce TQC schemes in 2002 or later 18 member states adopt FIT (by 2008) In 2004, European Parliament rejects Kovacs as energy commissioner because of his uncritical support for QTC. Instead, Piebalgs takes this place

13 Lauber - Bath May Piebalgs position Strongly empirical, not ideological In 2005: It is too early to decide which support scheme is best Commission report in 2005 and 2008 clearly shows that FIT are superior to QTC Until 2007, Piebalgs resists demands from Eurelectric and some DGs (Enterprise and Industry - Verheugen) for QTC

14 Lauber - Bath May Actors in favour of harmonised QTC scheme ( ) Interest group level Eurelectric, esp. big German (but not Spanish) utilities, RECs, Europ Fed En Traders EFET No renewables associations European Union level DG Enterprise and Industry Member States UK (most strongly), other QTC states to some extent

15 Lauber - Bath May Actors opposed to harmonised QTC scheme ( ) Interest group and NGO level EREC, EREF, EPIA. EWEA … (this industry is much stronger now than in ) Greenpeace, WWF European Union level Parliament Member states Germany, Spain (have most of the renewable energy deployment), Slovenia and Latvia are most strongly opposed

16 Lauber - Bath May Legitimacy of QTC regime? 2005 and 2008 Commission reports on per- formance of support systems (CEC 2008, and 34) showed dismal results for QTC, particularly for wind (see next slides) Least efficient in terms of pricing Highest profits Lowest deployment (effectiveness) This is in addition to their limited capacity for innovation (PV, marine energy)

17 Lauber - Bath May Price ranges (average to minimum support) for direct support of onshore wind in EU27 (average tariffs are indicative) compared to long-term marginal costs (minimum to average costs). Support schemes are normalised to 15 years. CEC: SEC(2008)57, )

18 Lauber - Bath May Historically observed efficiency of support for onshore wind: Effectiveness indicator compared to expected profit in 2006

19 Lauber - Bath May coup with GOs In summer 2007 new Commission approch to virtual trade in RES-E becomes public: Guarantees of origin (GOs, introduced in 2001) can be traded, supposedly leave national support systems in place Various models are discussed, a December draft provided for unchecked EU-wide trading of GOs Would have destroyed FIT schemes Compromise at last moment January 2008: Trade may be controlled under certain conditions by national systems of prior authorisation

20 Lauber - Bath May Directive proposal 23 Jan 2008, art. 9: MS may control GO transfer if it is likely that the transfer will impair MS ability to ensure a secure and balanced energy supply undermine achievement of environmental objectives underlying MS support scheme impair MS ability to meet targets or indicative trajectory interim targets Commission may propose to modify these rules in 2014 (no medium-term security for investors!)

21 Lauber - Bath May What drives efforts for internal market for TC/GOs? 1. Neoliberal ideology/regulatory capitalist practice (deregulation in name of free market and reregulation friendly to large corporations) 2. Interest Perspective of tremendous windfall profits for generators (reaching about 30bn Euro per year in 2020 in estimate by Ragwitz/Schleich/Resch, Fraunhofer 2008) Perspective of concentrating those windfall profits on the big utilities (better able to take the risk posed by trading schemes and to extract higher returns for such risks)

22 Lauber - Bath May What drives efforts for internal market for TCs/GOs? (2nd) Perspective that utilities will be able to contain RES-E development (check on innovation) and deployment (check on market entry) unless they are overcompensated (also for retired fossil plant) 3. Power (veto power? As in case of ETS?) Clout of power sector. This is the sector that is able to secure windfall profits of about bn (at prices of Euro 21-32/t of CO2) just in Germany and the UK (cumulative, (See Point Carbon Advisory Services, 2008)

23 Lauber - Bath May RES-E deployment by big utilities under QTC/TO scheme means slower development of RES-E Diversion of resources towards higher internal rates of return (compensation for risk), windfall profits and rents of incumbents Reduced availability of resources for innovation coming mostly from new market entrants Incumbent utilities able to check disruptive innovation Utilities will attempt to adapt RES-E to their centralised structure Higher cost to consumer

24 Lauber - Bath May Bibliography Commission of the European Communities (2008) Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, COM(2008)19 final, 23 Jan Commission of the European Communities (2008) Commission staff working document: The support of electricity from renewable energy sources, SEC(2008)17, 23 Jan Lauber, Volkmar (2007) The Politics of European Union Policy on Support Schemes for Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources, in Lutz Mez (ed.), Green Power Markets (Brentwood: Multi-Science) 9-29

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