Harvesting Transition? Energy Policy Cooperation or Competition around the North Sea
The Northwest European electricity markets are increasingly becoming intertwined with the advance of the internal market. This implies that national fuel mix policies increasingly have cross-national implications. Pieter Boot, co-author of this publication, is department head at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, as well as associate fellow at the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
The German decision to phase out nuclear energy brought home the message that integration in Northwest Europe has become more than just a paper affair but is part of daily life. With more renewable energy in the future electricity system the need for coordination between Northwest European countries intensifies. Looking at Northwest European countries' long-term energy strategies, however, it appears that cross-border implications and coordination are only marginally taken into account when thinking about, for example, capacity markets.
With the Pentalateral Forum in mind, five different options can be distinguished with an increasing level of coordination. Instead of immediately resorting to coordination at the European level smaller steps to bridge the space between unilateral decision-making (national level) and harmonisation at the EU level are an option. This is to manage the risks of national policy producing a non-optimal outcome from a cross-national perspective and to overcome the difficulty of reaching an early agreement with 27 actors.
It seems that the Northwest European countries agree on a host of general energy policy principles, but that the hierarchy in the driving forces of energy transition differs. The coordination options can vary from upfront information sharing on policies with external effects to developing joint policies. More progressive forms of coordination such as the latter can only be successful if and when drivers of energy policy are more aligned.
PBL The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Pieter Boot is department head at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, as well as associate fellow at the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
|Author(s)||Leonie Meulman, Pieter Boot, Coby van der Linde, Jacques de Jong and Luc Werring|