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Many hamsters: How the EU can enable private firms to provide renewable energy

Simister, J and Syrrakos, D and Day, F and Whittle, R (2014) Many hamsters: How the EU can enable private firms to provide renewable energy. International Journal of Green Economics, 8. ISSN 1744-9928

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Abstract

This paper investigates the energy investment needs of the European Union (EU), including renewable energy. Europe currently has little or no economic growth, and interest rates are expected to rise. Given the state of many EU countries' economies, this is a good time to encourage investment because - according to Keynesian economics - extra spending can stimulate economic activity. The current economic situation limits options for many governments in EU countries, so new approaches may be required. This paper uses ideas from the European Commission, on how a 'smart' electricity grid can enable renewable energy - such as solar power. The EU Parliament could enable a market-provided solution by offering incentives to the private sector. Private investment will be encouraged if the EU gives long-term low-interest-rate loans for renewable energy generation. Also, a Europe-wide grid makes it profitable to locate solar panels in low-wage countries in southern Europe, and sell electricity in richer countries.

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