European green energy growing: 100% Renewables by 2050 is it possible?

May 26, 2020

 

European green energy growing: 100% Renewables by 2050 is it possible?

 

The situation related to Covid-19 caused an economic crisis and complete uncertainty. In this way, over 1.2 million people in Europe request green post-COVID-19 recovery.

 

According to Balkan Green Energy News, the European Parliament passed a resolution urging the EU's authorities to put citizens at the heart of the revival strategy after the devastation from the coronavirus. MEPs overwhelmingly insist the upcoming budget must be in line with the European Green Deal. Ahead of the vote, more than 1.2 million people signed an environmentalist organizations' petition for the world's biggest green recovery spending program to reverse the damage from COVID-19.

 

 Photo by Emerging Europe

 

European Parliament said that the executives in Brussels must establish a EUR 2 trillion fund by issuing long-dated bonds and disburse the money "through loans and, mostly, through grants, direct payments for investment and equity.

 

CAN Europe said scientific evidence and the terms of the Paris Agreement show the European Union would need to lift targets and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2040.

 

"The EU to become fully climate neutral by 2040, complying with the ambitious 1.5°C Paris Agreement target, and without any tricks, like carbon sinks, but by implementing ambitious energy efficiency policies and going 100% renewables", commented Luxembourg energy minister Claude Turmes.

 

 

The United Nations has calculated annual emission reductions of 7.6% are warranted for limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030, it added. It means the EU would have to increase its emissions reduction target for the next decade to 65%.

 

Recently Solar Power Europe Association published a report stating that Strong sectoral integration required for 100% renewable energy system in Europe. The report shows that the drive towards low-cost electrification and enhanced sectoral integration will result in significant electricity demand growth by 2050, with renewable electricity emerging as the prime energy carrier in future energy systems.

 

SolarPower Europe and LUT University's new report shows that it is entirely possible to achieve a 100% renewables scenario in which Europe meets the climate-neutrality target before 2050. The report also finds that a 100% renewable energy system is the most cost-efficient way to become climate neutral in Europe by 2050, with levelised costs of energy 5-6% lower than in a less ambitious scenario. 

 

This would require at least 7.7TW of solar, while wind energy would provide around 33% of EU generation with 1.7TW. Importantly, however, solar's dominant position only comes into effect after 2030, up to which point wind energy, with its high capacity factors, provides the highest shares of electricity generation.

 

 Photo by SolarPower Europe

 

The drive towards low-cost electrification and enhanced sectoral integration will result in significant electricity demand growth by 2050, with renewable electricity emerging as the prime energy carrier in future energy systems.

 

Dr. Sarah Kurtz, Professor, University of California Merced Research Fellow, National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV), told about positive feedback opportunities to accelerate new growth in the framework of International Online Conference "Solar Energy in Times of Coronavirus Pandemic."

 

According to research by Sarah Kurtz, there is a 1-2-3 approach to the renewable energy transition. It consists of 3 main factors:

1️. Renewable electricity. Electrification requires more electricity, allowing solar to continue to grow rapidly!

2️. Electrification. It enables new ways to make the grid flexible.

3️. Flexible grid, which includes energy storage, green hydrogen, depending on time demand management, and carbon removal from the environment (decarbonization). A flexible grid provides variable electricity prices, making electrification more attractive using off-peak rates.

 

 

 

"It is necessary to balance the supply and demand for electricity. If we do this in a coordinated and balanced way, we will get positive feedback," said the professor.

 

In terms of the heating sector, heat pump technologies will be crucial, in combination with direct electric heating, to take over by 2050, due to the substantial efficiency gains of these electricity-based solutions.

 

Thomas Nowak, Secretary-General of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), said that heat pump technologies are the perfect tool to decarbonize heating and cooling. 

 

"We are delighted to see this recognized. Studies like this one show that 100% green and electric society is possible. They allow policymakers to dare to be more ambitious. We will need this ambition to turn the proposed COVID-19 support into an EU green recovery and to continue our fight against climate change", told Thomas Novak.

 

As for hydrogen, it will be fundamental for achieving a 100% renewable system, as it will contribute to the full decarbonization of the heating and transport sectors.

 

SolarPowerEurope executive advisor Michael Schmela said: "Electrolysers for hydrogen production are also a crucial technology for this scenario, as from 2030 onwards, renewable hydrogen will contribute to the full decarbonization of the heat and transport sectors, becoming Europe's second key energy carrier."

 

Following the results of the International Online Conference, "Solar Energy in Times of Coronavirus Pandemic," Mark Rechter, Co-founder ENERCOUTIM - Alcoutim Solar Energy Business Association, made important conclusions about using of hydrogen in the energy industry. According to his forecast, the use of hydrogen for the development of green energy will contribute to the stable long-term growth of the market, as well as attractive infrastructure assets.

 

«Green Hydrogen will likely be competitive by 2030 Major policy support mechanisms under preparation Market mechanisms will be formed,» - said Mark Rechter.

 

Learn more about green hydrogen, its role in European society, as well as the development of renewable energy in Europe during a pandemic from world-famous industry experts Peter Fusaro, Hans-Josef Fell, Eicke Weber, Mike Longson, Gaëtan Masson, Dr. Sarah Kurtz and Marc Rechter in the materials of the online conference.

 

To receive video recordings and presentations of speakers, subscribe to IB Club and get free access to all future webinars and a library of online materials.

 

Subscribe to IB Club: ibcentre.org

 

 

 

Sources: 

Balkan Green Energy News

SolarPower Europe

 

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