Europe has the potential to generate all of its electricity from renewable energy sources if it combines its diverse natural potentials. The Heinrich Böll Foundation has strongly promoted such a European approach in the past years. In our study on a European Community for Renewable Energy (ERENE), published in 2008, we presented a concept how 100 % renewables in the EU are possible by the year 2050 if the EU member states work together. Since then, a number of studies have confirmed the feasibility of our findings. The EU is already on its way to changing the production of its electricity, and to investing more into renewable energy. Business and politics have in the last years begun to initiate large scale European cooperation projects, most notably Desertec and the North Sea Grid Initiative.
While our overall objective remains that all member states of the European Union should combine their potential, these examples show that there will probably be regional approaches as a starting point. In this paper we therefore take a closer look at a region that could be a pioneer for regional cooperation in the EU: the Baltic Sea Region. As the first region with a European Union regional cooperation initiative – the EU Baltic Sea initiative – and with a long-lasting tradition of cooperation, this region could play an essential role in showing the EU the way forward by sharing their large potential of diverse renewable energy sources.
We have asked Mats Abrahamsson from the think-tank factwise in Stockholm to examine the already existing cooperation mechanisms in the Baltic Sea region, to analyze how well they function and how they could be developed further to fully use the regional renewable energy potential. We hope that with this paper we can contribute to the discussions on how regional cooperation can help pave the way for a new European energy system based on 100 % renewables.
This publication was created within the scope of ERENE.
Table of contents:
10 Energy cooperation in the Baltic Region
19 Support schemes for renewable electricity
22 Enery and electricity in the region today
27 Assessment of current measures
32 List of Abbreviations