Definitions


Barrier category Barrier subcategory Description
Political and economic framework Remuneration level for RES The remuneration level under the given RES support scheme defines the expected income for a RES project (under given resource conditions and technological performance parameters). In case of a quota or feed-in premium it comprises the overall remuneration available for RES, including certificate price/premium and final energy price.
Revenue risk under given support scheme The revenue risk represents the expected stability of the RES support level under the given support instrument. It may be affected by fluctuations in the remuneration level due to tariff adjustments as foreseen in legislation as well as due to risk factors inherent to the type of support scheme (such as risks associated with fluctuating certificate prices in a quota scheme as compared to the relative stability of a fixed FIT).
Access to finance The access to finance represents the maturity of the national financing environment and the ease to obtain attractive financing for RES projects. It includes availability of capital and the respective financing costs (including national risk surcharges), existence of soft loan schemes and willingness of local banks to cooperate with RES developers.
European institutions' position on RES Several EU-reports question the sustainability and efficiency of biofuels, particularly as regards their impact on carbon dioxide emissions and their use of arable lands - Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) Debate. Barriers under this sub-category are related to the share of biofuels produced from food crops of maximum 5% of the total fuels production as well as to double and quadruple counting for 2nd generation biofuels.
Reliability of general RES strategy The reliability of the general RES policy framework represents the risk associated with drastic and sudden changes in the RES strategy and the support scheme itself. In the worst case, this could imply a complete change or abandoning of the present RES targets or support scheme as well as retroactive changes of RES support. In a positive case, transparent adjustments could be made to improve RES support conditions.
Reliability of RES support scheme The reliability of the general RES policy framework represents the risk associated with drastic and sudden changes in the support scheme. In the worst case, this could imply a complete change or abandoning of the present support scheme as well as retroactive changes of RES support. In a positive case, transparent adjustments could be made to improve RES support conditions.
Market structure Fair and independent regulation of the RES sector Fair and independent regulation implies that electricity market regulation ensures a non-discriminatory access of RES-producers to the market, without barriers such as legislation hindering participation of independent power producers (IPPs), incomplete unbundling or a lack of an independent regulatory body.
Existence of functioning and non-discriminatory short term markets for RES The availability of liquid markets implies flexibility for RES developers to participate on even ground in wholesale, intraday and possibly balancing markets. For example, gate closure times may affect the integration of variable RES-E: Shorter gate closure times favour RES-E integration whilst longer gate closure times tend to discriminate RES-E compared to conventional technologies.
Availability of reliable long term contracts (PPA) Availability of attractive Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) may mitigate risks associated with volatile electricity prices and provides long-term revenue certainty for RES developers. PPAs are of crucial relevance in support schemes where the electricity price is part of the overall remuneration, such as quota systems with tradable green certificates (TGC) or premium systems.
Dominance of conventional retailers This sub-category is looking at issues such as classical market designs under which conventional sources were used and conventional retailers had a strong market position as well as issues related to legal regulations, which were originally designed for the use of conventional sources; thus, hindering or limiting the introduction, use and diffusion of RES technologies.
Administrative processes Complexity of administrative procedure The complexity of the administrative procedure determines the effort it takes for the developer to carry out the permitting process. A transparent process has clearly defined and manageable requirements in terms of number of permits, intermediate steps, and time limits for permit decisions. Moreover, options for online application could be provided, etc. Opposed to this would be an obscure process with a high number of required permits and a lack of time limits for permitting decisions. Also the setup of the administrative authorities (e.g. number of authorities that have to be contacted directly or indirectly, communication & coordination between authorities, one-stop shop, etc.) plays a role for the complexity of administrative procedures.
Integration of RES in spatial and environmental planning Spatial and environmental planning issues can cause additional delays in RES project development, e.g. due to conflicts of interest in land use. In the best case, suitable areas for RES development could be reserved to allow for the fast realization of projects.
Cost of administrative procedure The cost of administrative procedure encompasses the expenses for obtaining all required building permits, environmental impact assessments as well as for paying administrative processing fees. It excludes costs for the equipment itself. Depending on the national regulations and administrative practice, the administrative costs can constitute substantial extra cost in the overall project cost.
Duration of administrative procedure The duration of the administrative procedure refers to the time required for obtaining all permits and documents needed for starting the construction of the power plant. This can also be influenced by public resistance to RES projects. The administrative lead time can imply substantial delays in the whole project implementation process. Depending on the technology it can range from a few weeks up to far more than a year.
Environmental issues concerning biofuels This subcategory refers to environment legislation, both at national and European level, that biofuels’ production needs to comply directly or indirectly. It covers all aspects apart from the EU sustainability criteria established by RES Directive, such as impacts on water, soil, biodiversity, food prices, etc.
Grid regulation and infrastructure Transparent and foreseeable grid development The transparency and predictability of the future grid development can be relevant factors for the evaluation of potential RES project sites. Developers wanting to assess connection options to the grid depend on the respective information outlining the future development of new grid structures or reinforcements of the existing network. Barriers in this regard are referring to the unavailability of information on grid development plans to the general public or even to the general nonexistence of grid development plans.
Cost of RES grid access The cost of grid connection and grid reinforcement indicates how much additional cost the investor will have to face for connecting his project to the grid. Shallow (only for connection to nearest point) or even super-shallow costs (no cost for connection) imply low additional cost whereas deep costs (for connection and reinforcement) result in possibly very high extra costs for grid connection. Mixed approaches are also possible.
Duration of RES grid access The lead time for obtaining access and connection to the electricity grid can imply substantial delays of the whole project implementation process. Depending on the technology, it can range from a few weeks up to far more than a year.
Predictability / transparency of connection procedure The transparency of the grid connection procedure is influenced by the predictability of the respective duration and the related cost until grid connection is established (variance in duration and cost).
Treatment of RES dispatch (curtailment) The electricity dispatch regime represents the level of certainty that generated RES-electricity will be dispatched and remunerated. In positive cases, RES electricity can either be dispatched with priority or compensation payments could be guaranteed in case of grid-related curtailment. A less favouring option for RES-E would imply no priority dispatch and no foreseen compensation.
Lack of infrastructure and infrastructure development This sub-category is looking at issues regarding the lack of infrastructure as well as infrastructure development. It addresses all infrastructures, which are required for a further development and diffusion of RES-H&C, beside the district heating network.
District heating networks District heating networks are differently developed in the various EU-Member States. Barriers in this sub-category are addressing a general lack of a district heating network as well as shortages of such network. In addition, it would also include access issues to the network as well as related hindering regulations.
Injection of biogas into natural gas grid Producers of biogas are allowed under different national regulations to inject biogas into the existing natural gas grid. Conditions and requirements for the injections differ from one Member Sate to the other. Barriers under this sub-category would address practical aspects of the injection or the preparing processes as well as legal aspects and regulations on the injection of biogas to the natural gas grid.
Technological issues (e.g. blending limits) This sub-category contains issues such as quantity limits of the maximum permitted content of biocomponents in standard fuels and blending levels that are not fully compliant with EU legislation. Moreover, it would address barriers related to the limited battery life of electric vehicles and the lack of standardisation of electric batteries.
Other Operational issues This sub-category is grouping issues, which occur in conjunction with the practical operation of RES installations, respectively in the course of their practical development. Identified barriers would include issues that are not necessarily under the control of the government, but which are the outcome of general market structures, conditions and practices.
Public perception of RES The lack of public awareness regarding RES technologies and their benefits may lead to the underestimation of their potential, thus triggering resistance to a wider implementation of RES-installations.
Information exchange / communication between relevant stakeholders Communication and information exchange between relevant stakeholder groups, i.e. project developers, administration, other involved administrative bodies, grid operators, regulators etc. influence the smoothness of RES development. Unavailability of required information, absence of competent stakeholders or a lack of communication channels between the involved parties might lead to substantial complications of both, the project implementation and operation.
Sustainability criteria for biomass This subcategory is referring to the national legally binding sustainability requirements for solid and gaseous biomass used in the heating and cooling (or electricity) sector. These criteria can address issues such as GHG savings, protection of certain types of land, exclusion of certain types of biomass materials due to economic concerns (competition of uses). Barriers would include the content of the criteria as well as their practical implementation.
Taxing regime Barriers under this sub-category refer to the complexity of the tax structure as well as to the various bureaucratic fulfilments necessary in order to benefit from tax incentives. Moreover, barriers may also refer to the mere inexistence of tax incentives and fiscal benefits, thus leading to a lower profitability of RES investments.
Certification Certification issues may result from a lack of appropriate certification schemes for RES installers or RES-installations itself. In addition, certification issues may also arise in regards to missing standards on which basis a certification could be executed. Finally, existing certification schemes may be not detailed enough to cover all required cases or they are too detailed to allow for an appropriate compliance with the regulation.
Training RES installers require a profound theoretical background and an in-depth practical training to be able to properly install and certify RES installations. The unavailability of respective training schemes or a lack focus on technology specific requirements and practical skills in existing training schemes may hamper the diffusion of RES technologies.
Statistics Barriers under this sub-category refer to a lack of available information and statistics on RES-E, affecting the assessment of costs and benefits as well as the assessment of the existing potential of RES-E technologies. The lack of statistical information also hinders the identification of the most appropriate sites for the development of RES projects.
Sustainability criteria for biofuels This subcategory is referring to the legally binding sustainability criteria (art 17). These criteria have to be met for biofuels to be accounted towards the 2020 targets and to receive any financial support. They consist in a minimum GHG saving criterion and in a land criterion (protection of lands with a high biodiversity value and land with high carbon stock). Barriers would include the content of the criteria as well as their practical implementation at national level. The regulatory uncertainty caused by the possible review at European level of these criteria, along with current discussions on ILUC (Indirect Land Use Change) should also be considered.


Acknowledgement Description
Acknowledged and addressed The barrier has been acknowledged by the competent authority and some measures were officially undertaken to overcome it. However no positive effects could be observed yet.
Acknowledged The barrier has been acknowledged by the competent authority. However, the policy makers and stakeholders competent to overcome the barrier have not addressed the problem so far.
Not acknowledged The barrier has not been acknowledged by the competent authority. As a result, no measures were undertaken.


Severity Description
Definition The severity level of the barrier (how deep) and the spread of the barrier (how wide) constitute two elements aiming at understanding the degree of gravity of the barrier. Both scales are composed of 5 levels in order to define the severity and the spread as precisely as possible
1 The identified barrier has minimal effects on the further development of RES installations. It causes no or negligible time loss and has no or negligible financial consequences.
2 The identified barrier has minor effects on the further development of RES installations. The completion of the installation may be slightly slowed down and financial consequences may (rarely) arise.
3 The identified barrier has moderate effects on the further development of RES installations, resulting into important time and financial losses.
4 The identified barrier has substantial effects on the further development of RES installations. The completion of the installation could be seriously jeopardized, resulting into substantial time and financial losses.
5 The identified barrier has severe effects on the further development of RES installations, leading to project abortion.


Spread Description
Definition The severity level of the barrier (how deep) and the spread of the barrier (how wide) constitute two elements aiming at understanding the degree of gravity of the barrier. Both scales are composed of 5 levels in order to define the severity and the spread as precisely as possible
1 The barrier impacts sporadic installations of the above mentioned technologies.
2 The barrier affects a small fraction of installations of the above mentioned technologies.
3 The barrier affects a moderate share of installations of the above mentioned technologies.
4 The barrier affects a predominant share of installations of the above mentioned technologies.
5 The barrier concerns almost all installations of the above mentioned technologies.

Did you find this article useful?



  • Vocabulary guide

    All numbers are written as follows: One thousand: 1,000 Three point five: 3.5 One million : „million“ or “m.” The Euro...