renewable energy
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Research firm Wood Mackenzie has highlighted technology areas with the greatest potential to help Europe meet its 2030 goal of reducing carbon emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.

Amongst all the sectors capable of aiding the bloc to combat climate change, wind energy, solar energy and energy storage provide the greatest opportunities, states the research firm.

Europe will need to ramp up its clean energy funding to generate 65% of energy from non-fossil fuels to meet the new target. Solar, wind and storage are the top three technologies that have the infrastructure, ready-policies and stakeholder readiness to enable the expansion of the renewables market towards the required 65% target.

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Wood Mackenzie states that the region will need to generate an additional 472GW of energy from wind and solar by 2030 to achieve the Fit for 55 target. This means stakeholders in the region will need to generate 53GW of wind and solar electricity per annum, a 160% increase in solar and wind energy capacity installations.

This will help Europe to rapidly shift from being a power market where centrally dispatched supply follows demand, to one where demand can respond to an increasingly variable, weather-driven supply from renewable sources, a vital requirement for the 2030 goals to be met.

Despite the ongoing maturity of the wind, solar and energy storage market, more emphasis will need to be put on the enactment of supporting policies, injection of capital, modernisation of distribution networks, the build out of system flexibility and ensuring regulators have a net-zero mindset.

Other areas where there are opportunities for Europe to decarbonise in line with the new 2030 target include transport electrification, strengthening of carbon pricing, energy efficiency and hydrogen.

Today, owing to an increase in renewable energy adoption, Europe has managed to reduce carbon emissions by 50% since their peak, according to Wood Mackenzie.

“Europe is at the forefront of the shift to net zero, both in ambition, but also in terms of how to make rapid and deep decarbonisation a reality. The world needs to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as quickly as possible. Not doing so means we will need to turn to expensive and unproven technologies to withdraw CO2 from the atmosphere later this century,” according to a statement.