EU Nations Could Double Clean Energy Share By 2030
A new study concludes that the European Union (EU) can cost-effectively double the renewable energy share in its final energy consumption mix by 2030.
The International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) REmap study, prepared with the collaboration of the European Commission, shows that the EU could reach a clean energy share of 34% by 2030, compared to a figure of just below 17% in 2015, and all at a net positive financial cost. This compares to a figure of just 9% in gross final energy consumption in 2005. A target of 27% by 2030 was adopted by the European Council in 2014.
The study suggests cost-effective renewable energy options for all EU states, spanning a wide range of sectors and technologies. Apart from the potential to reach a 34% share of renewables, other key findings include:
- Renewables are vital for long-term decarbonisation of the EU energy system
- The European electricity sector can accommodate large shares of solar PV and wind power generation
- Heating and cooling solutions account for more than one third of the EU’s untapped renewable energy potential
- All renewable transport options are needed to realise long-term EU decarbonisation objectives
- Biomass will remain a key renewable energy source in 2030 and beyond
The REmax scenario envisages a high share (29%) for variable renewables – wind and solar – which in turn will put stress on EU power systems. This means that there will need to be sufficient flexibility in the grid/generation systems to cope with peaks and troughs in supply and demand.
The report concluded that the European network of interconnectors being constructed would make a high share of variable renewables technically feasible, although it warns additional grid infrastructure will be required.