Working Paper
Implementing EU renewable energy policy at the subnational level

Navigating between conflicting interests

The European Union (EU) has set targets for gradually reducing greenhouse gas emissions through 2050. One of the instruments involved is the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, which specifies a 20 per cent renewable energy target for the EU by 2020. This paper reviews tensions and institutional innovations that can arise at local and regional levels within the context of the implementation of this policy.

Drawing on empirical evidence collected in two regions, one in a federal country (Brandenburg in Germany), one in a unitary state (Aquitaine in France), the paper describes the factors that determine community and market acceptance of renewable energies, suggesting that appropriate multi-level governance schemes are instrumental in the successful adoption and implementation of EU priorities at the local level.