The Failures of the Entrepreneurial State: Subsidies to Renewable Energies in Europe

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Since the 1990s, the European Union has committed to gaining global leadership in clean energies such as solar photovoltaic and wind power. The joint amount of wind and solar capacity grew from 12.5 GW (or 2% of total installed electricity capacity) in 2000 to 261.2 GW in 2018 (or 28.1% of total installed electricity capacity). This came at a cost: In 2018 alone, the European Union (excluding the United Kingdom) spent €73 billion to subsidize green energy production. These financial aids were paid for by European energy consumers, mainly through levies charged on top of their power bills. According to proponents, these subsidies were needed to achieve sustainability while promoting the emergence of the European renewable industry. This chapter focuses on the European venture into renewable energies to answer the following three questions: (1) Was the subsidization of green electricity sources an effective environmental policy? (2) Was it an effective industrial policy? (3) Was it an effective social policy? The answer is: no, no, no.




Amenta, C., & Stagnaro, C. (2022). The Failures of the Entrepreneurial State: Subsidies to Renewable Energies in Europe. In International Studies in Entrepreneurship (Vol. 53, pp. 233–250). Springer.

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