Developing Urban Renewable Energy Projects: Opportunities and Challenges for Romania

By Zamfir, Andreea | Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, November 2014 | Go to article overview

Developing Urban Renewable Energy Projects: Opportunities and Challenges for Romania


Zamfir, Andreea, Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management


1. INTRODUCTION

Nowadays there is more and more acknowledged the fact that renewable energy can make a major contribution to the economic development, and consequently, it is reasonable to involve the public authorities in renewable energy projects' implementation. In this context, the debate regarding the ways by which to support the development of renewable energy projects has involved more and more companies and public authorities. All actors are playing an essential role in managing this change, at local, regional, national and European level.

This study investigates the public authorities support for the development of renewable energy projects, with an eye to reveal a change of paradigm, in the sense that their role is currently reconsidered and intensified. Therefore, this study reveals firstly the responsibility of the public authorities in the field of renewable energy, and secondly, the main aspects of the public policy in the field of renewable energy, together with its opportunities, challenges and possible solutions. Thirdly, this study discloses the main issues of the public renewable energy policy in Romania, revealing the evolution of the renewable energy sector and the support schemes used by the public authorities so as to develop renewable energy.

The research was; conducted using evidence provided by articles (such as research papers, conceptual papers, and literature reviews), as well as books. The research question was answered by analyzing and evaluating published sources, and by interpreting and reorganizing concepts. Answering the research question was difficult, due to the variety of approaches, concepts and definitions found in the literature.

2. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES IN THE FIELD OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

In today's world of services, people act as clients or consumers of services, as well as providers of services, depending on their interests on different markets. Nowadays people need to have universal access to modern energy services, and also environmentally-focused small and medium sized enterprises or other service organizations need business development services (Zamfir, 2013a). The European Union and its Member States have established different objectives and targets for renewable energy, expressing this way their ambitions and technological priorities (Lean and Smyth, 2013; Gawel et al., 2014).

The role of the public authorities is under constant debate in the last years, due to the changing global economic, social, and political conditions. Extensive adoption of democracy as the preferred form of government, and widespread of the market economy as the preferred economic system are reasons to clearly define the control and responsibility in the provision of public services (Arguden, 2011, p. 40).

The relationships established within the energy market are mainly economic relations, governed by the economic laws of each country, but the specific nature of these relationships has imposed the need for special regulations. The basic characteristic of these regulations in the energy field is derived from the concept of "public service". This concept is generally associated with economic and social infrastructure, and it is justified through the role played by public power, that is the role of protecting the citizen, especially in two respects: the right to receive the requested service and the right to equitable tariff. It is widely accepted that there may be a public service if a community (local, regional, national, European) estimates that at some point, within the area of responsibility, a good or an essential service for all, existing or new, cannot be satisfactorily provided only through market mechanisms (Badileanu, 2001; Comanescu, 2000; Leca, 1997).

In this context, there is a need for a new philosophy of designing and managing modern services for developing renewable energy in the European Union. …

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