Wind Wire: Lack of support

Many EU countries are failing to offer adequate financial and institutional support for renewable electricity generation, says a report by market research company London Research International.

Lack of state support has left some member states struggling to attract sufficient investment to meet their mandatory 2020 renewables targets, says the report, The European Renewable Electricity Sector 2009/10: A Country Comparison of Risks and Opportunities. The lowest-risk countries for investment are Austria, Denmark and Germany, followed by the Czech Republic, Finland and Spain, while some of the highest are in new EU member states such as Romania and Slovakia, it adds. In terms of wind generation, the report singles out the UK, Denmark, Greece and Italy for specific comment. The UK has an "abundance of wind resources" but is "still lagging behind many other European countries in terms of renewable power development (due to construction) permission and grid capacity constraints". Denmark is considered a lower risk than the UK, but long lead times in gaining building permission, with delays caused by local opposition to projects, is a concern, says the report. It adds: "Increasing local opposition in Denmark, one of the most mature onshore wind markets in Europe, is suggestive of an increasing problem for onshore wind farm developers, as suitable greenfield sites become increasingly scarce." Meantime, despite high ratings on the incentive and power market opportunities indices and their abundant resources for solar and wind power generation, Greece and Italy have achieved significantly less than Spain in terms of renewables deployment. "This is the result of the complex planning permission processes and grid connection problems of the two countries," the report says

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