EU ‘deep decarbonization needs unprecedented storage and renewables drive’
by Kelvin Ross
Source: PEI- Power Engineering International


“Deep decarbonization will require unprecedented efforts” across Europe if the EU is to meet its clean energy targets.

That was the message delivered today by Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of electricity trade group Eurelectric.

“Political focus on shaping a fair transition and leaving room for regional nuances will be key to success,” said Ruby at the launch of a new study called Decarbonization Pathways, which was unveiled today at a press conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia.EU ‘deep decarbonization needs unprecedented storage and renewables drive’

The study states that decisive action on climate change is needed to meet the goals set by the Paris climate agreement and this requires a major shift to electricity in transport, buildings and industry in the EU.

The study covers 100 per cent of EU final energy consumption and reveals a close connection between electrification and deep decarbonization. For the EU to reach 95 per cent emissions reduction by 2050, electricity needs to cover at least 60 per cent of final energy consumption.

Eurelectric says this is achievable with a 1.5 per cent year-on-year growth of EU electricity use whilst at the same time reducing the EU’s energy consumption by 1.3 per cent per year.

Francesco Starace, Eurelectric President and chief executive of Enel, said that “by leveraging on cost-effective renewables and developments in storage, electricity can lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across sectors, making the EU economy cleaner and more competitive. “European institutions play a pivotal role in shaping policies around decarbonization, so urgent actions must be taken to promote the transition to a more electrified energy scenario.”

Full EU decarbonization by 2050 would require an electrification share of 63 per cent in transport and buildings respectively and 50 per cent in industrial processes. Moreover, the study points out that different starting points across EU countries – in terms of energy mix, economic situation and industrial activities – will require different pathways and level of efforts.

In Poland, for instance, deep decarbonisation will depend heavily on the commercial availability of key transition technologies.

The analysis is the result of a comprehensive consultation process with electricity companies and industry representatives from across Europe and was carried out with analytical support of McKinsey & Company. It follows a vision declaration issued by the European power sector last December, in which it committed to work for an accelerated energy transition and pursue a fully carbon-neutral power sector well before 2050.

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