As countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) seek to boost use of renewable energy sources, it is valid to examine the experience of others that have already navigated the multiple challenges involved. This chapter offers insights from the European Union (EU) experience, which is particularly relevant as it involved collective action by multiple countries on a regional level.

The analysis identifies seven fundamental elements of EU policies for renewable energy from which the GCC can draw lessons, including: the use of mandatory targets; the legal and regulatory framework; support for research and development (R&D) and research and innovation (R&I); the design of both regulatory and voluntary measures; actions to boost public acceptance, including involvement in the policymaking process; and integrating renewables policy with the two other pillars of energy policy – energy efficiency and climate change. The EU experience highlights the importance of working collectively toward shared goals and developing regional approaches.