Fraunhofer-Institut für
System- und Innovationsforschung ISI

Assessment and optimisation of renewable energy support schemes in the European electricity market – “OPTRES”


The Fraunhofer ISI heads a consortium of five European institutions on the project OPTRES “Assessment and optimisation of renewable energy support schemes in the European electricity market”. The project is supported by the DG TREN of the European Commission within the framework of the Intelligent Energy for Europe programme. The consortium will analyse the effectiveness as well as the economic efficiency of currently implemented support schemes for renewable energies in the electricity sector in the enlarged European Union. The project will give recommendations for future improvements of the existing promotion measures. Furthermore the consortium will carry out an extensive stakeholder consultation, which will focus on the identification of existing market barriers to the development of renewable electricity in the EU. Key stakeholders are invited to share their experiences via a web–based questionnaire.

The effectiveness and efficiency of current and future RES–E support schemes will be analysed with particular focus on a single European market for renewable electricity products. Current best practices shall be identified, and an assessment made of the (future) costs of RES–E and the relevant support necessary to initiate stable growth. The main barriers to a higher RES–E deployment as perceived by market actors and stakeholders will be assessed.

The central project questions are

  • What is the current level of support for RES–E in Europe compared to the corresponding costs of RES–E generation?

  • Which funding mechanisms are being implemented today? Which funding schemes should be fostered for financially viable projects?

  • Which of the currently implemented support schemes (investment incentives, feed-in law, obligation, portfolio standard, tender procedure) are the most effective and which are the most efficient?

  • Are these support schemes compatible with the principles of the internal electricity market and what are the effects of different RES–E support mechanisms on the restriction of trade?

  • Which interactions take place between the various RES–E support schemes in different countries?

  • Which interactions of RES–E support schemes with other policies like CO 2 certificate trading occur?

  • To what extent are avoided external costs internalized in RES–E support schemes and what are the real socio-economical costs due to RES–E support if external costs are internalised?

  • What alternative innovative policies and regulatory frameworks are there to the currently existing ones?

  • Is a harmonisation of RES–E support in Europe preferable with respect to effectiveness and efficiency in the future and which instruments are optimal in a harmonised scenario?

  • Which level of technology deployment is needed for a self–sustained growth of the different RES–E technologies?


European Commission, DG TREN


  • Project co-ordinator Fh-ISI

  • Vienna University of Technology

  • Institute of Power Systems and Energy Economics

  • Ecofy

  • Risoe

  • LEI


Interim report June 2005

© 2018 Fraunhofer ISI