3     Is (early) harmonisation a preferable policy option?

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Next, selected outcomes of a quantitative prospective RES policy assessment conducted within RE-Shaping are shown. The Green-X model was used to perform an update of previous assessments of a possible harmonisation of RES support across the EU. Thereby, the following assumptions are made (9):

Since the impact of harmonising support and in particular the performance of individual instruments is researched in detail for the electricity sector, the subsequent discussion of key outcomes focuses also on RES for power generation.

3.1     Focus on RES-electricity - impact on technology-specific deployment

Figure 3-1 shows which RES-E options contribute most in the assessed period 2011 to 2020 de­pending on the applied policy pathway. Once again, as was seen in the case of “strengthened national support” described in section 2.1.3, wind energy (on- & offshore) and biomass dominate the picture. At first glance, small differences among the reviewed cases are applicable as a more ambitious target generally requires a larger contribution of all available RES-E options. Technology-neutral incentives evaluated in the “least cost” variant of harmonised uniform RES support fail to offer the necessary guidance to more expensive novel RES-E options in sufficient time. Consequently, the deployment of PV, solar thermal electricity or wave power, but also wind offshore may be delayed or even not taking place. The gap in deployment would be compensated by an increased penetration of cheap to moderate RES options, in particular wind onshore and biomass used for cofiring or in large-scale plants.

Figure 3-1: Technology-specific breakdown of RES-E generation from new installations (2011 to 2020) at EU-27 level in the year 2020 for all key cases (national (SNP) and (by 2013) harmonised RES support)


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(9) Background on the approach taken and scenarios conducted is given in a comprehensive manner in the corresponding scenario report (see Resch et al. (2011)) and briefly also in Annex A of this report.