Published in association with The Royal Institute of International Affairs Technologies for generating electricity from primary renewable sources ? hydro, wind, solar cells, wave and tidal power - are developing rapidly. So too are Europe?s electricity systems, which are undergoing momentous change as governments and the European Commission move to introduce competition and new environmental policies into the sector. This study examines the implications of these combined trends for the role of primary renewables in European electricity. In the centralized electricity monopolies of old, the small unit scale and the dispersed, fluctuating nature of most of these sources were serious drawbacks. But in the emerging liberalized electricity systems, this book argues, renewables will be able to develop into major commercial industries based on their special characteristics and continuing technical improvements. With appropriate complementary policies, the regulatory liberalization now sweeping European electricity could lead to renewable sources contributing as much as half of Europe?s electricity within three decades.