European businesses and consumers face at least two decades of rising electricity prices, according to a leaked European Commission report on green energy targets.

Wind farms are also set to provide 49 per cent of EU electricity by 2050, rising from just 5 per cent now to overhaul coal and nuclear, finds the 112-page report, according to the Financial Times.

Average electricity prices for households and businesses would rise “strongly up to 2020-30” under all scenarios, says the document.

But increases would accelerate after 2030 if renewables such as wind and solar take off. Average prices for households could more than double by 2050 if this happens, but rise by only 43 per cent if more nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS) is used.

The report, which examines five scenarios for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050, is now circulating as officials prepare to release the commission’s Energy Roadmap to 2050 by the year-end.

Of the five scenarios, electricity prices are highest under a “high renewables” scenario in which North Sea offshore wind and concentrated solar power make a large contribution to capacity along with micro-generation from solar and wind.

Prices are lowest under a “diversified supply” scenario, which assumes support for renewable energy but also acceptance of nuclear power and the commercial viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

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