Europe must ramp up renewables argues Eurelectric

Image: Eurelectric

Eurelectric’s Power Barometer 2020 calls for accelerated rollout of renewable energies alongside decarbonisation of end-user energy use to meet EU climate targets.

Data presented in the Power Barometer show that carbon emissions from the power sector have dropped faster than anticipated over the past year with their sharpest decline since 2013.

In that time, the share of renewables in the generation mix gained almost 10 percentage points, while the coal phase-out steeply accelerated. However, while this sharp upward trend in renewables is set to continue, further acceleration is needed to meet the EU’s 2030 targets, according to Eurelectric.

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In addition, and mirroring the IEA’s energy technologies report of last week, the industry association highlights the need for accelerated low carbon electrification of sectors including transport, buildings and industry.

Renewables reached 34% of the EU’s electricity mix in 2019. Eurelectric’s data shows that for the capacity to reach 60% by 2030, wind needs to grow by 1.9 times the 2019 level. At the current rate the growth will be 1.7 times.

Similarly, solar needs to grow by 2.9 times the 2019 level, compared with the 1.9 times at current rates.

The data also shows that electrification of the economy will reach 24% in 2030 on the current trend. The projected requirement is between 33% to 38%.

“In order to meet the 2030 targets, or go even further, we must urgently remove the specific barriers holding back the progress on the ground,” says Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric.

First, the association recommends addressing factors hampering further renewables deployment and most importantly permitting procedures.

To advance end-use electrification the deployment of electric vehicle charging points should be accelerated to reach 1 million by 2025, up from 250,000 currently. Heat pumps should be widely deployed in buildings.

The EU should take steps to avoid unfair competition and imports of unabated coal-based electricity from third countries. In the past five years there has been a steep growth from 3TWh to over 20TWh of electricity imported annually from outside the EU. The average carbon intensity of this imported electricity is two to three times higher than that of the one produced in Europe.

Last but not least, the EU should facilitate the deployment of grid infrastructure to fully enable a flexible and sustainable energy system.

The Power Barometer 2020 is available here.

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