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Regulating the Race to Renewables – a Transatlantic Policy Comparison

Regulating the Race to Renewables – a Transatlantic Policy Comparison

Research project


Felix Mormann


The transatlantic quest for the best promotional policy for renewable energy technologies – sometimes referred to as the “race to renewables” – has received much attention in the engineering and economic literature. A whole phalanx of studies discusses the technological feasibility of a timely transition to renewables. Economists offer a multitude of indicators and models designed to assess and compare the efficiency of competing policies and strands of renewable energy technologies. In contrast, the transatlantic potpourri of promotional policies has thus far illicited relatively little attention in the legal literature, especially among comparativists.

My research aims to close this gap through an in-depth qualitative analysis of the policies adopted by select jurisdictions in the U.S. and the EU to promote technologies for the generation of electricity from renewables. The success of any policy measure depends not only on its proper design but also on its implementation and enforcement. Hence, my analysis extends beyond the respective policy measures' black-letter law to include the regulatory and administrative framework pertaining to key issues such as grid access, forecast and balancing responsibilities, spatial planning, and permit procedures.

These and other aspects relevant to the deployment of renewable energy technologies form the basis of my comparative policy analysis for select jurisdictions in Europe and North America. The goal of my qualitative work is to identify best (and worst) practices on both sides of the Atlantic. My findings will allow me to make recommendations for the next generation of regulatory and policy measures for the promotion of renewable energy technologies in the U.S. and the EU.

Abstract - PDF Version