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European Renewable Energy Policy Integration

An Example of Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom

Erik Hrusc, Peter Lackovic, Baris Ozgen Oncul, Leona Elisabeth Wirtz


Table of Contents

7.1.Overview of the current programs and implementation techniques 19

  1. Introduction

The issue of energy supply, energy security and overall energy sustainability and dependence is one of the most pressing issues of today world. With traditional resources diminishing, every country has to face the problem of adjusting its energy production and consumption to the new resources, or improve technology in order to find and utilize new sources. European Union as an actor is not an exception in this, and several policies were set up by the Union as a whole to combat the current “energy crisis”.

The main strategy of the European Union to achieve and maintain energy security and sustainability was introduced in the European Commission´s document „Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy”, which summarizes the main goals of the Union in the energy sector. Those are portrayed in the following five objectives:

  • An efficient use of energy that translates into 20% savings by 2020”

  • Ensuring the free movement of energy”

  • Secure, safe and affordable energy for citizens and businesses”

  • Making a technological shift”

  • Strong international partnership, notably with our neighbors” (European Union 2011: 3)

Alongside with the mentioned goals, European Council adopted in 2007 a 20-20-20 policy, which is directed to the environment and climate challenges. This policy consists of these three 20% goals, which are to be achieved till 2020: “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, rising to 30% if the conditions are right, to increase the share of renewable energy to 20%, and to make a 20% improvement in energy efficiency.” (European Union 2011: 4) In our project we focus on the second goal of, thus achieving the 20% share of the renewable energy. The Directive of the European Council and European Parliament of April 2009 summarizes and outlines this goal. We will mainly analyze the following five countries that are currently lacking behind with regards to the share of the renewable energy in the total energy consumption of the countries.

Those countries are: Luxemburg, United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland and Netherlands. The justification for this selection can be found in the next part of our project, now we will just mention that these countries currently have the lowest share of renewable sources in the total energy consumption, and there are various obstacles and challenges on their way of achieving their target goals for the renewable energy. Furthermore, we will also comment on Malta and Cyprus, countries that are also lacking behind, but represent a rather different case. The main question of our interest is as following: “What are the selected five countries doing in order to catch up with the European renewable energy policy and achieve their target goals? Are the methods used by each country effective? What are the possible problems on the way to achieve their target goals? “

We believe that the main reasons for these countries lacking behind are the differences in the national action plans, different or late implementation of the renewable policies. After the pre-analysis, there is a clear distinction between these countries and more successful ones. As we will see, most of the policies are new and it is obvious that these countries haven’t been focusing on the renewable energy policies, such as Germany or Denmark. Or the policies they were using so far were not as effective and successful as those used in the mentioned Germany and Denmark. The obvious question is then to ask, why these countries chose a different path with regard to the energy and renewable energy as such. In our project we will also briefly comment on this part, however, our main focus will consist of the already mentioned research question(s). Our hypotheses after the initial pre analysis are as following:

  1. We think that the countries that are doing poorly will follow the policies of the more successful countries. This is mainly due to the spillover effect and close communication among the governments.

  2. We think that each country is different with regard to the technical, political, economical and social aspects and that in each country we will find different obstacles for achieving the national target goals.

The full extent of our argumentation for these hypotheses will be given in the later part of our project; however some explanation of the initial selection of our hypothesis is needed. Firstly, the renewable energy is without doubt not the cheapest one from the alternatives, and with struggling economies and lack of resources and technology, countries tend to prioritize other economic and social areas. So far, there hasn’t been a progress or a strong push for the common European energy policy, which is now represented by the mentioned 20-20-20 policy and Directive on “the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC” of April 2009.

Therefore, we believe that now we have entered a new chapter of the European integration with spillover effect reaching from other areas to the energy policy. In this case the neo-functionalism theory can offer a possible explanation. European Union is becoming more integrated and member states more interconnected, which can be seen also on the spread of financial crisis, debt crisis and euro crisis. The European Union has to combat its challenges in energy sector united and there the new policy comes into play. We see the increasing cooperation of the member states and more issues are resolved on the supranational not intergovernmental level. The mentioned directive sets a goal for the member states and areas, on which their attention should be focused, however doesn’t give specific requirements for the implementation. So each member state can choose its own path. However, we believe that now we are facing the turning point, when countries acknowledged goals in the energy sector, and will utilize policies of more successful countries. Once the goals were set and all member states agreed to them, they have to focus on the renewable energy policy, which hasn’t been the case so far. The learning process, which hasn’t been present in this area until now, will definitely take place in the upcoming years.

Our project will follow in this way: Next part belongs to the methodology of our project, after which we will elaborate on the theories and their connection to our case. Later we will explain the terminology and introduce the European renewable energy policy in closer detail. Then we will finally focus on the selected five countries, briefly introduce them and offer basic statistics and their comparison to the EU level regarding the energy consumption. After that analyzes of their National Action Plans will come into the question and through the discussion part of our project we will provide answers to our research questions and test our hypothesis, by doing which we will conclude our project and research in this field.

  1. Methodology

Our investigation will ultimately build on what we seek to be knowable when searching the ‘truth’. We are not going to be directly working alongside the Energy policy institutions, and have limited prior experience in the policy making. Therefore our perspective will be looking into the situation from the outside as a third party observer and analyzing based on gathered research. As we take this position, it will require us to be specific, factual and detailed when examining previous knowledge regarding the economical, political, technological and sociological status and position on the energy international market. Due to the volume of primary source information available, it will require our investigation to be explorative. We must be mindful that as we attempt to investigate our cause, we have to be aware of our subjective individual nature, and take a more objective approach to research methods to grasp the scope of the problem even nature of paper tends to switch into subjective conclusion.

There are different philosophies which we can use to direct our thoughts such as Arbnor and Bjerke’s concept of operative paradigms (Kuda 2008). The paradigm of objectivism, being objective, refers to the researcher or, ‘seeker of knowledge’, to have an open minded perspective and that reality is own-mind dependent whilst being observant and respective of other believed truths. We will concentrate on data from primary sources dealing with different types of individual subjectivism. Subjectivism being where knowledge exists only in the individual mind and an opinion is formed. Having an objective position to the problem will have a shaping impact on our report which will keep research methods aware of ultimate presumptions which may arise from empirical approaches or believes.

The paper meets theoretical and empirical perspectives to achieve conclusion. The analytical view very much details the cause – effect relation (see figure 1). It is suggested that it is rarely one dimensional; meaning there is not just a main cause and an effect, but there are contributing causes to be considered. For example, if we talk about regional differentiation and its attitude to the Energy policy 20-20-20. We need to consider under what condition this is established and what differ countries we are going to choose. Pre-analyses are used to specify these countries. We look at them because their energy program – Directives copy the 20-20-20 Energy policy declared by European Commission, they try to develop effective policies and all of them share the same goals but steps of some countries don´t look they work and follow the policy target as we found in Eurostat analyzes, The share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption. Among these countries we include Belgium, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherland and United Kingdom. However to this group belongs Malta and Cyprus, we considered their situation, as island Mediterranean countries, practically differs from other mentioned regions, more than politically, economically or technologically, which we try to explain in short paper of this research. Contributing factors in this example would be to look specifically into the political, development level of regions and national energy policies.

Figure 1: Based on (Björn Bjerke. Methodology for creating business knowledge)

First of all in this paper reader will be introduced to the problematic we discuss through main theories, terminology and 20-20-20 policy explanation. Later on we want to focus on countries lagging the fulfilling set policies and discuss what makes different in these regions with countries that are doing well with implementing renewable energy policies like Denmark, Germany, Austria, etc. Towards this discussion we want to analyze National renewable energy action plan of picked countries and focus on their way of understanding and using of such a policy.

Methods of research will include searching the available data sources and online databases. These include databases such as Eurostat as well as national reports from selected countries which are respected sources of information providers. Personal experiences will also be used. The purpose of this is to obtain copious amounts of information from as many possible sources to build as accurate description of energetic situation in Europe and analyze Energy policy 20-20-20 potential usage within different developed regions and national action plans. The next section of this report will focus on critical in-depth analysis and the implementation of current theoretical topics including Liberal Intergovernmentalism and Neo-functionalism will be used for defining integration of European Union and fulfilling the future steps of Energy sector policy. The integration of European countries is affected with spillover effect founded in following each country’s political or economical trends and by this reason we considered the Neo-functionalism is going to be used as a theory to deeper analyze the level of European Union development and future forwarding. Questioned will be the boundary of the spillover effect or new policies are the next steps to keep developing not even countries themselves but European Union as one. Beside the Council of Europe there is no governing institution which pressures on creating new policies like 20-20-20 Energy policy. But increasing of cooperation between member states and conflict among centralizing the society is next theory, the Liberal Intergovernmentalism that will be used to discuss the conflict between directive and member states implementation of such policies and differences between attitude member states governments and EU as one.

To establish worth and useful document we are going to use relevant sources.

NREAP – is the plan that European Commission evaluated and set in accordance to provide roadmaps for each member state that should keep to fulfill energy policies and help to create efficient, secure and green European energy integrated system.

Directives – are related papers to NREAP and European Commission´s plans created by each country´s government to set national efficient plan and future steps in Energy sector.

EREC (The European Renewable Energy Council) – was established in 2000 as the voice of the European renewable energy industry. Organization works as the umbrella for industry, trade and research in different energy sectors.

EU climate tracker – was developed for the European Union by ECOFYS and WWF with the support of the European Climate Foundation.

Andrew Moravcsik – is a theorist, policy maker and professor of Politics and director of the European Union program at Princeton University. He studies European integration, international organizations and human rights. He works on liberal theories of international relations and develops theory of Liberal Intergovermentalism which is going to be applied in our research. He wrote for Financial Times, lectured about European Union and experienced NPR´s Talk of the Nations. Moravcsik is author of several journal articles and he published books titled The Choice of Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht and American Historical Review.

David Mitrany - was historian and political theorist. His richest published memoirs are in The Functional Theory of Politics. He is considered as the founder of the functionalism theory in international relations.

Ernst B.Haas - German-American political scientist and authority in international relations theory and founder of Neo-functionalism. Haas and Mitrany were used as a main sources for better understanding international relations and integrations theories.

Other sources – academic articles, researches and journals are going to be use as source of different perspectives on problem we picked to discuss.

  1. Neo- Functionalism

One of the most important integration theories, neo- functionalism, focuses on non- state actors like the “secretariat” of regional integration, considering effects of associations and social movements in the process of integration (Schmitter 2002: 2). This theory was founded by Ernst B. Haas in critique of the functionalist theory by David Mitrany (ibid: 3). In order to understand neo- functionalist theory, functionalism should be examined.

Functionalism, which was developed by David Mitrany in the 1930’s emphasized the importance of international cooperation to provide peaceful environment rather than federalism (Eilstrup- Sangiovanni 2006: 24). David Mitrany was severely affected by liberal economic policies in the period of the nineteenth century and according to him, permanent reconciliation was attained by transnational economic interdependence and international organizations (ibid: 24). International corporations, such as the International Telegraphic Union and International Postal Union were pillars for Mitrany’s functionalism (ibid: 25). In addition, the effect of World War II and the economic development of the post- war period should not be ignored regarding the creation of functionalist theory. Undoubtedly, in this period there were some inevitable changes at global level especially in technological areas and new developments in these areas such as in communication and industry, which raised the importance of social security considering military security.

However, the functionalist theory was criticized by some scholars especially by the ‘Neo-functionalists’ considering lack of political tasks and scientific rigor. Neo-functionalists claimed that behavior was crucial to prevent the absence of scientific rigor in the functionalist theory due to considering methodological and political process (ibid: 89). Neo-functionalists also emphasized the necessity of empirical research for international cooperation and different than the functionalists, they aimed to introduce ECSC, Euratom, the EEC and NATO in terms of scientific explanation (ibid: 89).

Where welfare and peaceful environment is important for functionalist integration, neo-functionalism focuses on differentiated part of integration process through the examination of political and economic effects (ibid: 90). Interests of political actors are more significant compared to the global peaceful environment (ibid: 91). Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni (2006) paraphrases Haas in regard to the Neo-functionalist theory in the following way: “In the neofunctionalist version, integration is advanced less by functional pressures or technological change as such, but more by the interaction of political forces- politicians, interest groups, political parties, and even governments- who seek to exploit these pressures in pursuit of their own interests” (Haas cited in Elistrup-Sangiovanni 2006: 91).

Moreover, according to Haas the creation of a new center which could also be called “shifting loyalties” is the result of initial integration considering instrumental interests (Risse 2004: 3). Also, the author Thomas Risse, in his article on Neo- Functionalism, European Identity, and the Puzzles of European Integration, mentioned Haas regarding “shifting loyalties” considering in the following way: “Shifts in the focus of loyalty need not necessarily imply the immediate repudiation of the national state or government”(Haas cited in Risse 2004: 3). Haas gave more importance to the transfer of authority and legitimacy rather than loyalty transfer in the next years and the Eurobarometer1 data show us the given importance to the European identity of EU citizens (ibid 4: 5).

Political and economic relationship is in the center of Neo-functionalism and economic developments provide political integration by spillover effect. (ibid: 90) Spillover is related with policy goals and in order to achieve specific policy, political cooperation should be formed. Thus, this political cooperation creates new goals and the integration process accelerates (ibid: 94). There are different types of spillover effects like functional, political and cultivated spillovers. According to functional spillover effect, there is mutual dependency between different economic sectors and possible problems can be solved by more integrated government type (ibid: 94).

The author Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni (2006) paraphrases Haas and Lindberg in regard to the political spillover in the following way: “Political spillover, by contrast, occurs because economic and social integration influences the political aspirations of major societal groups in participating states. As integration proceeds, actors become aware that their interests can no longer be adequately served at the national level. Industrial groups and political parties organize across borders in order to influence the new decision- making centers. These adaptations create a further impulse for centralization of decision- making” (Haas and Lindberg cited in Elistrup-Sangiovanni 2006: 94).

Cultivated spillover emphasized the importance of supranational institutions like European Commission in integration process. The author Carsten Stroby Jensen (2000) paraphrases Joseph Nye with regard to the cultivated spillover in the following way: “Problems are deliberately linked together into package deals, not on the basis of technological necessity but on the basis of political and ideological projections and political possibilities” (Nye cited in Jensen 2000: 74).

When we examined the different explanations of spillover effects, achieving of individual countries which have the lowest share of renewable energy in the total energy consumption to 20-20-20 policy can be understand easily by creating new policies, co-operations and goals. Importance and functions of new institutions, new governmental regulations, negotiations on different local areas emerges to implement renewable targets of countries.

  1. Liberal Intergovernmentalism

Briefly, the characteristics of Liberal Intergovernmentalism can be summarzied in the following three points: it identifies the motivation of the main actors and predicts future behavior of the actors in integration, it is a theoretical framework that takes multiple theories and factors into consideration, and last but not least it describes the integration process through a multistage model (Moravcsik and Schimmelfennig 2009: 66f).

To give the reader an adequate overview of the theory we wish to present Liberal Intergovernmentalism (LI) by summarizing Frank Schimmelfennig’s chapter ‘Liberal Intergovernmentalism’ from the book European Integration Theory (2003). The author starts by presenting the former theories LI developed from on three levels of abstraction. First, the high level of abstraction places LI into the context of the general field of International Relations and identifies the fundamentals of the LI theory from ‘rationalist institutionalism’. Rationalist Institutionalism is based on two ideas: rationalism and institutionalism. Rationalism describes the actors, in this case the nation states, as acting according to their own good and always in order to increase their advantages. Nevertheless, the institutional part of the theory is based on the idea that nation states form international institutions in support of their common good. To cite the authors own words: ‘Rationalist institutionalism in IR theory then seeks to explain the establishment and design of international institutions as a collective outcome of interdependent (‘strategic’) rational state choices and intergovernmental negotiations in an anarchical context’ (Schimmelfennig 2003: 77).

Second, the medium level of abstraction, refers to the liberal idea of LI, explaining the preference formulation process of nation states, as a result from the pressure of domestic social actors (c.f. ibid). However, LI views the nation state as a unified actor, as it assumes that the government has gathered and formulated the varying domestic preferences into one, and does not consider the individual domestic actors to play a role in international negotiations (ibid). These international negotiations are concerned with so called first- and second- order problems. First- order problems deal with avoiding collective sub-optimal outcomes and achieving coordination and cooperation of the negotiators. Second- order problems arise once the first- order problems are solved and address the overall distribution of the mutual gains agreed upon(ibid). According to Schimmelfennig, Moravcsik utilizes the bargaining theory in LI, to display the possible outcomes of international negotiations (ibid). Bargain theory views the outcomes of international negotiations to depend on the relative bargaining power of the involved actors and therefore reflects an asymmetrical distribution of information and asymmetrical benefits of agreement (ibid).
The lowest level of abstraction describes the process the European Union goes through. First, there are concrete propositions to be made, these reflect the preferences of the national governments which are issue-specific and have been predominantly economic (ibid: 78). Second, intergovernmental bargaining takes place of which the distribution of the common gains stands in foreground. These common gains agreed upon nevertheless, reflect the relative power of the states and an asymmetrical interdependence (ibid: 79). Third, the agreed upon mutual gains and their distribution is controlled, and sanctioned by institutional choice with the help of ‘pre-commitments’ made by the member states (c.f. ibid: 80). These agreements made are therefore free from influence of domestic politics in the sense that they are obligatory (ibdid). The institutions have more sovereignty the more emphasis is set on the importance of the issue. In short:

‘EU can be best understood as a series of rational choices made by national leaders. These choices responded to constraints and opportunities stemming from the economic interests of powerful domestic constituents, the relative power of each state in the international system, and the role of institution in bolstering the credibility of interstate commitments.’ (Moravcsik as cited in Schimmelfennig 2003: 78).

Last but not least, LI argues that state governments are in control of the integration process because member states have clearly defined interests at national level which are then negotiated on European level in their own interest (Schimmelfennig 2003: 81). Additionally, as states gain institutional and informational resources through cooperation, the parliamentary control is limited, as is the power of domestic interest groups (c.f. ibid).

To summarize the theory in our own words LI views the Member States of the European Union to each have own goals they want to pursue while in European negotiation. The results of the negotiations are to be viewed as to be beneficial for all but nevertheless will reflect the asymmetry of the states and will be influenced by the most powerful arguments (of certain nations). Arguments in this context are related to information on the subject as well as the country’s overall status. The more information a country has on an issue the more likely it will have influence on the end result of the negotiations. Finally, the Member States establish international institutions which are to distribute the benefits of the results as well as to make sure that these goals are achieved.

The theory in context of our project: In 2007 the head of state and government had a summit in which they agreed to commit to the climate change package of which one element is concerned with the 20-20-20 targets mentioned above (E3G 2009: 1f). Another part of the climate change package is the renewable energy directive 2009/28/EC. We assume that the various targets and guidelines outlined in the directive were carefully negotiated by the Member States according to their preference. The European Parliament reflects one of the international institutions to which the member states have assigned the supervision of their agreed benefits. As does the EU Commission to which the Member States had to report their National Action Plans and will have to report their further process.
As we have mentioned above 7 countries are considerably lagging behind in achieving their target goals. This may suggest that they did not play an active role in bargaining on environmental issues as they possibly have had limited experience in generating renewable energy so far and therefore could not contribute with information, technology or similar factors relevant for bargaining power. Other counties that are currently generating a larger percentage of energy from renewable sources already will arguably have had better arguments in negotiation.

  1. Overview of the European Renewable Energy Policy and explanation of the terminology

The Directive of the European Council and European Parliament of April 2009 represents the major step towards the common European Renewable Energy Policy. This Directive amends the previous directives on this subject, concretely the directives from 2001 and 2003. (The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union 2009: 16) The previous directive also set the overall goals for the European Union, however, the goal set in the Directed 2009 is seen as more obligatory as the previous ones.

Regarding the target goal, some clarification is also needed. The Directive of April 2009 states that “Each Member State shall ensure that the share of energy from renewable sources…is at least its national overall target for the share of energy from renewable sources in that year…Such mandatory national overall targets are consistent with a target of at least a 20% share of energy from renewable sources in the Community´s gross final consumption of energy in 2020.” (The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union 2009: 28) Furthermore: “Each Member State shall ensure that the share of energy from renewable sources in all forms of transport in 2020 is at least 10% of the final consumption of energy in transport in that Member State.” (ibid: 28) So, according to the Directive, each member state has a different national target goal in order to achieve the target goal of 20% for the whole community.

The justification for the different national goals for each country is that for each member state the conditions vary, and each member states have different energy potential. Into account are taken different starting position, gross domestic product of the member state and past effort of the member state concerning the use of renewable energy (ibid: 18). However, the goal of 10% share of use of renewable energy in transport sector is same for every member country. The reason is the simple trading of the renewable fuels (ibid: 18). Therefore the countries that are lacking in resources (as we will see in our project in case of Luxembourg) can utilize import of the renewable fuels from other countries in order to achieve their 10% goal. On the other hand, the overall national goal has to take into account the difference among countries and their different positions, as we mentioned above.

In order to provide an explanation of the renewable sources and terminology connected to them, we will utilize the definitions as stated in the Directive of the European Council and European Parliament of April 2009, mainly the definition for the overall gross final consumption and various sources of renewable energy. Overall, the energy from the renewable sources means according to the Directive: “energy from renewable non-fossil sources, namely wind, solar, aerothermal, geothermal, hydrothermal and ocean energy, hydropower, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogases.” (The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union 2009: 27) With regard to the aerothermal energy, the Directive means “energy stored in the form of heat in the ambient air”, with regard to the geothermal energy, the Directive states that it is an “energy stored in the form of heat beneath the surface of solid earth” and with regard to the hydrothermal energy, the Directive considers “energy stored in the form of heat in surface water.” (ibid: 27) The wind, solar and hydropower energy sources should be clear to the reader.

Furthermore, according to the Directive, biomass means: “the biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues from biological origin from agriculture (including vegetal and animal substances), forestry and related industries including fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste.” (ibid: 27) Concerning the biomass, the definitions of the renewable fuel are in place. Bioliquid is, according to the directive “liquid fuel for energy purposes other than for transport, including electricity and heating and cooling, produced from biomass.“ (ibid: 27) And biofuel means „liquid or gaseous fuel for transport produced from biomass. “ (ibid: 27)

We stated that each of the member state should reach its target goal in the gross final consumption of energy. The definition of this consumption is, according to the Directive, as following:”‘gross final consumption of energy’ means the energy commodities delivered for energy purposes to industry, transport, households, services including public services, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, including the consumption of electricity and heat by the energy branch for electricity and heat production and including losses of electricity and heat in distribution and transmission.” (ibid: 27) The important issue here is to not confuse production and consumption of energy, because for each country the data are different for these two energy sectors. Small countries can have a insignificant energy production, however relatively high consumption of energy through trade with other countries, mainly the neighboring ones.

Furthermore, there is a need to explain the composition of the National Renewable Energy Plan of each country. In the Directive of April 2009 the member countries are asked to provide action plan, in which they are supposed to present strategies and techniques to achieve their target goal in three sectors: transport, electricity and heating and cooling (ibid: 28). As we have mentioned above, in the transport sector, the obligatory goal is 10% and in other sectors, countries have freedom with regard to the individual target, however they are obligated to meet the overall target goal. So the each National Renewable Energy Plan has the similar structure, where countries first give the overall introduction of their policies, goal and how are they planning on progressing throughout the following years. Then, the countries in closer detail present their plans and proposed strategies for each mentioned sector. Finally they provide other necessary information and overall assessment. In our project we are therefore focusing on those three sectors and we examine policies accordingly.

  1. Overview of the selected countries

On the following pages we introduce the overview of the selected and mentioned countries in our project with regard to their gross inland consumption of energy according to the different sources of energy. The sources are as following: Solid Fuels, Total Petroleum Products, Natural Gas, Nuclear Heat and Renewable Energies. The data are for the year 2009 and were obtained through the Eurostat database. The Eurostat calculated the gross inland consumption in the following way: “primary production plus recovered products plus total imports plus variations of stocks minus total exports minus bunkers. Furthermore it corresponds to the addition of final consumption, distribution losses, transformation losses and statistical differences.” (Eurostat 2011) All graphs are from the source: (Eurostat 2011).

Some observation on the above graphs is needed for clarification. As we can see, the selected five countries, together with Malta and Cyprus have low share of renewable energies in the gross consumption of energy. This was expected and already said. Furthermore, all selected countries, and especially Luxembourg, rely mainly on the petroleum products and natural gas. For Cyprus and Malta petroleum products represent the only or close to being the only source of energy. From our five selected countries Denmark, Luxembourg, and Ireland are without the use of nuclear energy. On the other hand, especially for Belgium the nuclear energy represents a rather large source of energy – 21%. With regard to Denmark and Germany, we can see that the consumption of energy is better allocated to different sources as in the other countries (maybe with the exception of United Kingdom). Furthermore, the share of the renewable source is larger than in the other countries. In the following part of our project we will provide the closer analysis of the selected countries and answers to the stated questions.

  1. Belgium

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