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Power in The Wind
Employing the uncertain pursuit of Ireland's 2020 renewable electricity target as a case study, this thesis examines the role of law, policy and regulation in the promotion and development of wind energy. Specifically, this thesis seeks to highlight, examine, and understand, the reasons why Ireland (a country with one of the best wind regimes in Europe), is facing difficult challenges in meeting its 2020 national renewable electricity target, with knock on consequences for its binding EU target of 16% of gross final consumption of energy from renewable energy sources by 2020; and the possibility of having to incur significant compliance costs. This thesis does not seek to question the correctness of an EU policy that seeks to pursue decarbonisation in the interests of climate change, or indeed an Irish policy that seeks to implement that policy through the preferment of wind generated electricity. This thesis rather assumes that these decisions represent a collective assessment and agreement as to the best way forward for European and Irish energy policy. The focus of this thesis is to scrutinise the effectiveness of, and the role played by, law and regulation in securing the desired outcomes of that policy. Given the extent of EU policy and regulatory intervention aimed at securing specific renewable energy outcomes for individual Member States, the principal question posited in this thesis is how an ostensibly considered, detailed, all-embracing, and at times prescriptive body of EU legal instruments can potentially fail to secure, over a reasonable timeframe, what is on the face of it, a clearly defined purpose in one of the smallest, and most isolated energy markets in the EU. In this thesis, it is submitted that the answer to this question does not lie in any uncertainty as to what the overall purpose or objective to be achieved is. This thesis reveals that the answer lies in part, with innate, and fundamental flaws in the EU?s legislative schemes for the promotion of renewable energy and electricity market liberalisation; in part with the manner of transposition of those legislative schemes into Irish law; but for the most part, this thesis reveals that the answer to the question lies first and foremost with acts, omissions and failings, on the part of the State, and key actors in the Irish electricity market motivated, in many instances, by purposes that have conflicted with renewable objectives; and secondly, with the conflict that has emerged between wind farm development and protection of the environment considerations; a conflict that the State has done little to resolve and much to further. The detailed findings put forward in this thesis in support of this overarching conclusion can thus be summarised under four broad contributory factor headings namely: energy law and policy failings; regulatory action and inaction; subversion of renewable energy policy; and the conflict between wind energy development and protection of the environment considerations.
Keyword(s): Wind Energy; Renewable Energy; Energy Law; EU Energy Law; Electricity Law; Planning and Environmental Law; Electricity Regulation; Irish Energy Law and Policy; Energy Infrastructure; Renewable Energy Directives; Internal Energy Market; Sustainable Energy; Renewable Energy Support Schemes; Electricity Network Access Regulation; Electricity Market Regulation
Publication Date:
Type: Doctoral thesis
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): O'CONNOR, MICHAEL MARTIN, Power in The Wind, The Role of Law, Policy and Regulation in the Promotion and Development of Wind Energy: The Uncertain Pursuit of Ireland?s 2020 Renewable Electricity Target as a Case Study, Trinity College Dublin.School of Law.LAW, 2018
Publisher(s): Trinity College Dublin. School of Law. Discipline of Law
Alternative Title(s): The Role of Law, Policy and Regulation in the Promotion and Development of Wind Energy: The Uncertain Pursuit of Ireland?s 2020 Renewable Electricity Target as a Case Study
Supervisor(s): Schuster, Alexander
First Indexed: 2018-05-04 06:10:14 Last Updated: 2018-05-04 06:10:14