Introduction
Background information
Overview on assessed cases
Indicator definitions

This cost-benefit database and the subsequent graphs provide for a set of distinct RES policy paths indicators on investments (i.e. capital expenditures), costs (i.e. additional generation cost, support expenditures) and benefits (i.e. avoided fossil fuels, avoided CO2 emissions) associated with the RES deployment at EU-28 and at Member State level in the period up to 2020. All data stems from a modelling exercise done by use of TU Wien’s Green-X model, assessing distinct scenarios of meeting 20% RES by 2020.

More precisely, indicators are shown on yearly average costs and benefits in the period 2011 to 2020 that come along with the use of energy produced from new renewable energy facilities, installed in the period 2011 to 2020. Specifically, at Member State level a range is displayed for support expenditures, additional generation costs, capital expenditures and benefits resulting from avoided fossil fuel use and avoided expenses for CO2 emission allowances. This range depicts values from different RES deployment scenarios (i.e. assuming limited, medium or strong RES cooperation among EU Member States), all in accordance with the target of meeting 20% RES by 2020 at EU level and with corresponding national 2020 RES targets.

A set of three distinct scenarios has been derived, initially aimed to identify the need for and impacts of RES cooperation. Common to all cases is that a continuation of national RES policies until 2020 is assumed. More precisely, the assumption is made that these policies will be further optimised in the future with regard to their effectiveness and efficiency in order to meet 2020 RES targets (as set by the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC) both at EU level and at the national level. Thus, all cases can be classified as “strengthened national (RES) policies”, considering improved financial support as well as the mitigation of non-economic barriers that hinder an enhanced RES deployment. The individual cases are defined as follows:

  • The reference case is defined by a scenario of “moderate cooperation”. In this scenario Member States make effective use of cooperation, but still seek to achieve some domestic deployment that otherwise would have been realised more cheaply in a different Member State.
  • A “European perspective” is taken in the second variant that can be classified as “strong cooperation” where an efficient and effective RES target achievement is envisaged rather at EU level than fulfilling each national RES target purely domestically.
  • As third option a “national perspective” is researched where Member States primarily aim for a pure domestic RES target fulfilment and, consequently, only “limited cooperation” is expected to arise from that.

Support expenditures: Support expenditures - i.e. the transfer costs for consumers (society) – due to RES support are defined as the financial transfer payments from the consumer to the RES producer compared to the reference case of e.g. consumers purchasing conventional electricity on the power market. This means that these costs do not consider any indirect costs or externalities (environmental benefits, change of employment, etc.).

Additional generation cost: This indicator shows the impact of the renewable energy policy intervention on the system level, indicating the increase of overall energy system cost. More precisely, additional generation costs are defined as the levelized cost of renewable energy minus the reference price for conventional energy supply whereby the levelling is done over the lifetime.

Capital expenditures: Capital expenditures or CAPEX are expenses incurred when money is spent to buy fixed assets or to add to the value of an existing fixed asset, thus investments on newly installed or extended facilities for the generation of renewable energy.

Avoided fossil fuels: Avoided fossil fuels are expressed in monetary terms. Therefore, the indicator represents avoided expenses for fossil fuel use in the energy sector that come along with the energy production from new renewable energy generation facilities (installed 2011 to 2020). For simplification the assumption is taken that the avoidance takes place domestically, with impact on a country’s trade balance. Thus, the estimation is based on a multiplication of avoided annual fossil energy quantities with corresponding fossil fuel price trend assumptions, done in a dynamic way.

Avoided CO2 emissions: Avoided CO2 emissions through the increased use of renewables (i.e. the energy production from new renewable energy generation facilities installed 2011 to 2020) denote the reduced costs for otherwise required spending for CO2 emissions for the domestic energy use. The monetary volume is calculated by multiplying the avoided annual amount of CO2 emissions of burned fossil fuels, which were substituted by renewable energies, with the CO2 price trend assumptions, done in a dynamic way.

GDP per capita: The value of all final goods and services produced within a country or otherwise defined region in a given year, divided by the population of the respective country or region for the same year. The gross domestic product (GDP) per capita value is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living. Additionally, the GDP value is used in this database to express the cost and benefit figures in relative terms, related to the GDP of each Member State. This step adds to the comparability of the cost and benefit indicators at Member State level.

RES target 2020: This figure represents the binding target for renewable energies for the year 2020 and is defined specifically for all EU Member States and the EU-28. It denotes the share of final energy consumption stemming from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020 set in the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC).

Share of new RES 2020 (domestic, incl. biofuel trade): This indicator represents the share of final energy consumption stemming from renewable sources, in particular from new RES installations in the period 2011 to 2020 in the gross final energy consumption by 2020.

RES-share 2020 (domestic, incl. biofuel trade): This shows the share of domestic final energy consumption stemming from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020.

RES deployment 2020 (domestic, incl. biofuel trade): The amount of renewable energy consumed in 2020 in terms of final energy consumption.

RES-share 2020 (for target accounting, incl. cooperation & trade): The share of final energy consumption from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020 including corrections made by the use of cooperation mechanisms for (virtual) imports or exports of renewable energies defined in the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC).

RES deployment 2020 (for target accounting, incl. cooperation & trade): The amount of renewable energy consumed in 2020 in terms of final energy consumption, including corrections made by the use of flexibility or cooperation mechanisms for (virtual) trade of renewable energies defined in the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC).

Virtual exchange (RES cooperation or trade): This indicator shows the amount of renewable energy exchanged between Member States through the use of cooperation mechanisms for renewable energies defined in the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC). At EU level the total amount of cooperation volumes by 2020 is expressed in absolute terms (TWh) and in relative terms, setting cooperation volumes in relation to total RES use and to RES use from new RES facilities (installed 2011 to 2020). At Member State level it can be seen if the country acts as an (virtual) exporter (positive numbers) or as importer (negative numbers). Again, exchanged volumes are shown in absolute terms (TWh) and in relative terms, as share of gross final energy consumption.

EU-28 Level

Indicator

Cross-country comparison

By choosing one of the following indicators, you can observe the levels per EU country