Essays on Comparison of the Regulatory Reforms for Renewable Energy Regulations in Germany and the UK Case Study

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The paper "Comparison of the Regulatory Reforms for Renewable Energy Regulations in Germany and the UK" is an outstanding example of an environmental studies case study.   Renewable Energy Sources (RES) have become important to satisfy energy needs as climatic changes are making rapid strides and have forced countries to re-think their energy generation options to have a judicious mix of RES and traditional energy sources. Since the reserves of fossil fuel are finite all countries are seeking ways of ensuring their energy security for the future through the use of RES-E. Renewable energy has long been considered as an option because it confers tremendous benefits in reducing carbon emissions.

To this end “ the European Commission expects that, under the most likely implementation scenario, the Renewable Energy Directive will result in at least 34% of electricity being derived from renewable sources” (Wannier 2011). In this paper, we will examine the policies of Renewable Energy Regulatory Acts of Germany and the United Kingdom and draw conclusions as to which system has proved to be the better. The EU vide its Directive 2009/28/EC has set a binding target on member countries to use 20% of all energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

Besides the overall target for Europe, the individual target set for Germany is 18% and for Britain, it is 15% (Julien & Lamla, 2011) Both Germany and UK have their regulatory reforms according to the targets that have been set for them by the EU Renewable Energy Directive. The German Renewable Energy Act (Erneuerbare- Energien- Gesetz) EEG has been formulated on the economies of scale. The Government feels this will reduce the cost of electricity if energy efficiency is improved.

The German reforms first came into force in 2000 and since then Germany has become the largest investor in the production of renewable energy. In 2005 the energy generated comprised a mixture of 46% fossil fuels, 28% nuclear, 11% natural gas and 4.5 % each hydro and wind. (Konstantinos et al, 2009) The UK Parliamentary Report debating Britain’ s use of RES-E in 2008 stated that the EEG aims to increase the share of the renewable energies in the total electricity consumption to 12.5% by 2010 and to 20% by 2020 and wondered where Britain was placed. The UK regulatory reform is called Renewables Obligation Order ROO and has been operational since April 2002 and like the German EEG has been amended a few times.

It is obligatory on electricity suppliers who are registered in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland they are expected to increase their use of RES-E by 15.4% by 2015. The electricity suppliers have to present ‘ green certificates’ or Renewable Obligation certificates to Ofgem or to Ofreg (northern Ireland ) as these are the regulatory bodies. This order emphasises the need for licensed electricity suppliers to increase the supply of electricity through renewable sources.

Through this measure, the electricity through renewable sources has increased from 1.8% to 7% in 2010. The long term goal of the RO is to attain 20% energy green sources by 2020 and a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 as this is the directive of the European Union. Konstantinos et al have put the generation mix in the UK in 2005 as 77% thermal, 20% nuclear, 2% hydro and 0.8 % wind.

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