The Sydney Morning Herald


EU countries to cut renewable support further
The Sydney Morning Herald

EU countries are likely to pare back support for renewable energy further after Spain’s recent proposed overhaul. Those most likely to take action are countries with more expensive schemes, programmes nearing their environmental targets or nations with higher political risk. Energy consumers are paying more for expanding, subsidised renewable power, causing tensions over such programmes amid wider austerity measures.

Most other EU countries pass the cost of renewable energy support on to consumers, via utility bills. However, they may still classify these programmes as tax and spend policy, rather than regulation, bringing them under the scrutiny of treasury ministers. In Britain, for example, support for renewable energy support falls under the Treasury’s so-called levy control framework for tax and spend policies.

Other countries have introduced spending caps based on the estimated cost of the policies for energy consumers, or nearing fulfilment of targets to deploy renewables. German plans to further limit renewable support are on hold pending a forthcoming election.

Besides signalled, incremental reductions in renewable energy support, some countries have made sudden, retroactive cuts in returns on existing projects, rattling investors and developers.

Message aux politiciens Québécois: les énergies vertes ça ne fonctionnent pas !