Reform of Energy Infrastructure in the European Union

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Jørgen Madsen
4. term, European Studies, Master (Master Programme)
The share of renewable energy is steadily growing in the European Union. Ambitions of strengthening this development was underlined in the Commission climate action package presented in January 2008. However, increasing the share of renewable energy destabilises the electricity production, resulting in increased pressure on the transmission nets. One way of countering this challenge is by integrating wind parks with Combined Heat and Power plants (CHPs). By taking advantage of the district heating nets attached to these plants it is possible to transform electricity into heat. This facilitates both effective usage of electricity from wind turbines, and at the same time relieves pressure on the transmission net. However, this technology is relatively new and has so far not been implemented. Further, the role of CHPs in national electricity production varies significantly between the member states of the EU. If such an approach was to be pursued, it would require a legislative set-up conducive to both CHPs in general and to the integration of wind energy and CHPs more specifically. In the current thesis, a number of barriers to pursuing this approach will be identified. This is done by scrutinising current EU initiatives directly dealing with CHPs and with broader policies concerned with the European energy sector. Finally, by applying main schools of integration theory possible explanations for the existence of these barriers will be discussed. It is concluded that in all three policy areas analysed, barriers for pursuing the proposed strategy exist. Also it is concluded that both resilience of member states and historically grounded preferences in the Commission could explain the existence of these barriers.
Publication date2008
Number of pages80
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 16339883