POWER policy experts and the Regional Correspondents analysed project results and worked together to identify and formulate macro policy recommendations for each theme. Clearly the themes are fundamentally interrelated, and a holistic approach needs to be taken. For each of the themes, micro-level and technical recommendations can be found in the evidence produced by the subprojects.
This section of the report summarises, by theme, some of the recommended actions and policy changes that would make a difference to a regionís ability to achieve a low carbon economy. As the themes are so closely linked, some of the recommendations appear in more than one section. Some of the recommendations are for local and regional authorities whilst others are more relevant to National or EU level policy makers. The important thing is to recognise the multiplicity of actors involved and the different levels at which policy changes are necessary.
For the renewable energy market to grow there needs to be coordinated action at all levels of governance. The POWER recommendations apply to European, national and regional levels. POWER Policy Experts also believe that increasing the share of renewables (supply) must always go hand in hand with increased energy efficiency and a steady reduction in the amount of energy we consume (demand).
- At an EU level establish and control a framework that enables stable market regulation at Member State level - the framework should include standardisation of more ambitious targets for renewables to accelerate market growth
- At a national level, establish clear and stable rules for feed in tariffs and authorisation frameworks; remove bureaucratic procedures and reduce time-frames and red tape
- Differentiate between large and small scale renewable energy plants. Protect small scale initiatives which can be financially vulnerable
- Invest in smart grids to manage increasing demand from diverse sources, facilitate connection to the grid and balance supply
- At regional or local level analyse the landscape to understand the potential and the environmental limitations for each type of renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass, hydro) to identify and quantify supply capacity
- At regional level, conduct and regularly review a rigorous assessment of the potential needs within the region, to identify and quantify demand;
- Develop guidelines and metrics for this assessment
- Press for renewable suppliers to give annual production forecasts
- Promote innovative financing mechanisms: like third party guarantees, loans, and access to EU funds
- Facilitate regional cooperation for renewable resource management
- Implement fast track systems, such as planning approval, to authorise local low impact plants and get them up and running quickly
- Facilitate cooperation, through regular structured dialogue, between local demand and supply sides
- Look for opportunities to combine regional energy production with other regional goals, like biodiversity and landscape maintenance in a way that strengthens all activities