As Europe heads towards its single market target of 2014, the challenges of policy and regulation implementation are becoming clearer. In order to understand the way in which European single market design impacts current security of supply it is important to understand the European policy and regulation and to appreciate the way it complements and clashes with member-state polciies and objectives. The Energy Delta Institute provides resources and information to remain up-to-date on policy and regulatory developments. In addition to the introduction provided below, please note the following resources:
- A selection of "Top Energy Policy and Regulation related papers"
- For a more extensive list of papers, see our publication database
An Introduction to Energy Policy and Regulations
Energy policy defines the manner in which a government has decided to deal with energy issues including development, production, distribution and consumption. Specific policy is defined by concerns ranging from energy security and energy poverty to environmental impacts and climate change. Attributes of energy policy can include legislation, treaties, investment incentives, guidelines for energy efficiency, taxation and other more general public policy techniques. Energy transition policy tends to be the focus of contemporary energy policy and deals with climate change, environment, expanding energy services, and energy security.
Policies and legislation at the local, national, and supranational level play a critical role in energy transition. For instance, the European Union has set 20-20-20 targets (20% penetration of renewables in the energy mix, 20% reduction in CO2 emissions, and 20% energy efficiency) to be met by 2020. These targets are split up in targets for each member state and for the EU as a whole reach. The European Commission has enacted several directives aimed at the achievement of these targets, ranging from stimulating the use of combined heat and power (92/62/EEC) to carbon capture and storage pilot projects (2009/31/EC), energy efficiency measures (2006/32/EC), and smart grid initiatives. Such Directives commonly lead to national legislation and decision making to ensure the appropriate measures are taken at the appropriate levels. Similar initiatives (with varying levels of ambition) are underway in other countries around the world.
The transition to a low-carbon economy is enabled by political decisions and the rules and regulations based on that. Most of the activities such as energy efficiency, construction of carbon capture and storage, or increasing the penetration of renewables in the energy mix will be undertaken on the basis of these decisions and the relevant legislation expressing the political will for energy transition. It is crucial for any research and buildup of knowledge to be conscious of the political decisions and legislation forming their foundation, as well as the background of these activities.