It has been hotly debated for months, and last week – finally – the European Commission published its 2050 energy roadmap outlining several different scenarios for Europe’s energy future over the coming decades.
For wind energy and other renewables the week was tense. Until now, the European renewables industry has been driven forward by renewable energy and carbon cutting 2020 targets. Investors in the sector need political commitments to renewable energy that extend to 2030 to help them make the right investment choices now.
By Susanne Nies, EURELECTRIC
Renewables will play an increasingly important role in the electricity mix, with their share more than doubling over the next ten years. Indeed, the EU’s goal of reaching 20% renewable energy by 2020 implies that almost 35% of electricity will need to be generated from renewable energy sources (RES).
The take-off of RES is a key investment opportunity. But it also poses unique challenges: variable renewables will have a profound, transformative effect on the electricity system as a whole.
Renewable energy could meet almost all of the UK’s electricity needs by 2030, a new report published by WWF has found. Between 60-90% of the UK’s electricity demand could be covered by wind, solar, tidal and other renewable power sources, with a firm renewable energy target for 2030 in place, WWF said.
The report added that renewables can decarbonise the UK’s power sector without resorting to new nuclear power.
Austria will lead Europe when it comes to sourcing the highest percentage of electricity from renewable sources in 2020, according to recent analysis carried out by EWEA. The small, mountainous nation will source an impressive 71% of its electricity from renewables.
Next in line will be Sweden – set to source 63% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, followed by Latvia – 60%, Portugal – 55% and Denmark – 54%. At the other end of the scale, Poland, Estonia, Cyprus, Malta, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Hungary are all set to cover less than 20% of their electricity needs with renewable electricity.
Having witnessed first-hand the impact of rising sea levels in the south Pacific due to climate change, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called again on Wednesday for rapid international action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In a joint statement in Auckland with leaders of Pacific island nations, Ban noted that climate change is one of the greatest threats to people living in the region.
The statement “emphasized the need for an ambitious reduction of greenhouse gas emissions sufficient to enable the survival and viability of all Pacific Small Island Developing States.” It also called for the UNFCCC COP 17 meeting in Durban, South Africa in December “to deliver a comprehensive outcome persistent with this objective.”