The Netherlands: ECN Releases Policy Brief on “Renewable Energy: from Marginal to Mainstream”


Renewable energy is facing a new era, both globally and in the European context. Whilst renewable energy is foreseen to play a key role in all routes towards decarbonisation of energy economy, fundamental questions of how to bring renewable energy from marginal to mainstream remain to be addressed.

There is currently no European renewable energy policy framework beyond 2020. However, the European Commission recently launched a Green Paper on a 2030 Framework for climate and energy policy, inviting stakeholders to express their views on important aspects of EU energy policy in a 2030 perspective.

This timely policy brief, by the Policy Studies Unit of the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), aims to instigate a debate on the broader enabling conditions required to move renewable energy from marginal shares in the European energy system to a mainstream role. It does so by posing seven key questions related to public movement, the political-industrial complex, resources and sustainability, grids and markets, finance, legal procedures and overall policy. These questions require short to medium term attention to keep a long-term renewable energy system within the realm of possibilities. This policy brief also provides ECN’s initial reflections on how these key questions could be addressed, and indicates which relevant expertise it can bring to the table.


Press release, April 25, 2013