Open Access Article

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

Authors: John Simister; Dimitrios Syrrakos; Fred Day; Richard Whittle

Addresses: Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH, UK ' Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH, UK ' Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH, UK ' Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH, UK

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.

Keywords: renewable energy; solar power; wind power; smart grid; European Union; European commission; economic recovery; solar energy; wind energy; EU energy investment; incentives; private sector; private investment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGE.2014.065853

International Journal of Green Economics, 2014 Vol.8 No.2, pp.158 - 176

Published online: 24 Nov 2014 *