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The RES Directive defines general accounting rules and framework conditions for using the Cooperation Mechanisms, but leaves the design and practical implementation of the flexible mechanisms to the Member States. Moreover, Cooperation Mechanisms will interact and convergence towards best-practice design of support schemes requires cooperation between the Member States.

So far the use of Cooperation Mechanisms has been limited. There are a number of reasons for Member states’ hesitance to use the Cooperation Mechanisms, e.g. first movers are concerned about risks regarding the legal aspects and economic effects or the complexity of the institutional design. Also, the lack of cross-border grid capacity which limits the transfer of electricity could be perceived as a barrier in case Member States want to link cooperation to physical flows.

Against this background the Commission seeks to address these and other barriers. This project aims to support this by:

  1. providing in-depth analytical and scientific background on Cooperation Mechanisms and best-practices related to support schemes, and;
  2. giving practical guidance and assistance for all relevant parties that seek to engage in and implement one or more of the Cooperation Mechanisms.

The activities in this project build on two guidance documents that the European Commission published in October 2013. These guidance documents cover the design of renewable energy support schemes, and the use of renewable energy cooperation mechanisms. The activities in this project aim to help with the implementation of both guidance documents through further operational steps and elements.