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Policy Dialogue on the assessment and convergence of RES policy in EU Member States (DIA-CORE)

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Directive 2009/28/EC lays the policy framework for renewable energy sources (RES) until 2020. The aim of this project is to ensure a continuous assessment of the existing policy mechanisms and to establish a fruitful stakeholder dialogue on future policy needs for RES in all sectors (electricity, heating & cooling and transport). Thus, DIA-CORE shall facilitate convergence in RES support across the EU and enhance investments and coordination between Member States (MSs). Assessments build on detailed quantitative policy performance evaluations related to effectiveness, efficiency and resulting total costs and benefits. DIA-CORE complements the EC’s monitoring activities of MSs progress in meeting 2020 RES targets and builds on approaches successfully applied in previous IEE projects (OPTRES, RE-Shaping).


  • An up-to-date information platform and scientific knowledge base on RES support policy performance in EU MSs.
  • A database on RES policy performance is published and regularly updated (
  • Awareness on costs and benefits of RES policy and deployment to increase transparency in the policy debate, indicate impacts of future policy options and foster public acceptance.
  • Intensification of policy coordination across the EU contributing to efficient resource exploitation.
  • An interactive RES policy stakeholder dialogue contributing to an informed policy and decision making processes and increased acceptance of key RES policy reforms.
  • More targeted policy actions focused on national and European priorities leading to a substantial improvement of policy performance.
  • Specific results on policy performance drivers and barriers:
  • A clear and reliable policy framework is essential for the stable and sustainable diffusion of all renewable energy technologies. Sudden changes, including retroactive changes, should thus be avoided.
  • Instruments that lead to strong market growth are also often economically efficient. Conversely, overcompensation does not necessarily result in strong market growth.
  • Technology-specific support should be given in order to avoid windfall profits and to exploit the cost-reduction potential of current, less cost-efficient technologies.
  • Predictable, transparent and continuous adaptations of support levels for dynamic technologies, such as solar PV, are required to limit policy support costs and to adapt to changing framework conditions.
  • Specific results on costs and benefits:
  • A comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of deploying renewables across all EU member states is needed
  • This assessment must be based on clear definitions of the effects, costs and benefits of the technologies to be examined as well as the models and type of data to be used
  • Misleading messages based on the communication of only selected effects or a wrong classification of effects should be avoided. If only a selection of effects is communicated, this should be stated clearly and be accompanied by a sound interpretation of results and warnings about potential misinterpretation.
  • We recommend Member States to realise assessments on costs and benefits following a common approach in order to get a more complete picture of the costs and benefits associated to different deployment pathways of renewables.

Lessons learned

  • Effectiveness of RES policy instruments has generally increased in recent years, but the economic efficiency can be classified as still too low in many Member States. Past research used in the European Commission evaluations of Member State support schemes revealed large differences of Member State performance regarding policy effectiveness (realized growth) and efficiency (support paid compared to generation cost). High support, for example, did not always result in high growth.
  • The costs of capital for renewable energy investments strongly differ between Member States. Support policy cost for renewable electricity projects can be reduced substantially for specific Member States/technologies while improving the investment climate for project developers and investors and thus enhancing the growth of RE considerably. This can be achieved if Member States consider more strongly the risk (perception) of investors and lenders and establish risk-conscious RE policies (Triple-A policies) based on coordinated policy design.
  • An increase in the coordination between Member State policies appears beneficial from an economic perspective, considering in particular support expenditures related to the RES policy intervention. This was confirmed by theoretical, conceptual as well as quantitative assessments conducted within this project.

Partners and coordinator

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Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research
Contact point: 
Dr. Mario Ragwitz
+49 721 6809-157


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In brief

01/04/2013 to 31/03/2016
Contract number: 

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