- Eurelectric’s second part of the study Decarbonisation Pathwaysshows European power sector can be fully decarbonized by 2045, 5 years earlier than that mentioned in the Paris Agreement
- One major factor that can lead to this is when renewables account for more than 80% of the total electricity supply in Europe by 2045
- Other equally important factors are stated as diversification of power sources to ensure system reliability and flexibility, conventional generation to provide back-up energy, and maturity of CO2 offset and power-to-gas technologies
- Solar’s share is estimated by the association as contributing only 15% of the total electricity supply, while wind is expected to claim 50% of it
European electricity sector association Eurelectric claims the regional power sector can be fully decarbonized by the year 2045, 5 years earlier than 2050 target under Paris Agreement, and that too in a cost-effective way. In such a scenario wholesale electricity supply cost could be in between €70 to €75 ($79.7 to $85.4) per MWh.
This cost estimate is much lower than European Commission’s estimate of €105 ($119.56) per MWh.
Eurelectric has based its assumptions under three scenarios as 80% EU economy decarbonization, 90% EU economy decarbonization and 95% EU economy decarbonization with cost breakthrough.
In the second part of its study titled Decarbonisation Pathways, the association basis its findings on 4 key characteristics that can help achieve this state of affairs. These are diversification of power sources to ensure system reliability and flexibility, conventional generation to provide back-up energy, and maturity of CO2 offset and power-to-gas technologies.
But the foremost point is mentions is having over 80% electricity supply from renewables as hydropower, solar, wind and sustainable biomass, as coal is phased out over the period by 2045. Eurelectric estimates solar to account for 15% of total electricity supply in such a scenario, while wind will represent 50%.
In its New Energy Outlook for 2018, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF), in contrast, is more positive as it believes solar will have a share of 36% among renewables if the latter reaches around 87% share in European electricity supply by 2050.
In fact, both Eurelectric and BloombergNEF are optimistic about solar doing better in the long term than International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Energy Outlook 2018 where it expects solar to contribute a maximum of 10% to the European electricity generation under Sustainable Development scenario by 2040 with a power generation capacity of 317 GW.
In the first part of the Decarbonisation Pathways analysis, Eurelectric said at least 60% of the European Union’s economy should be electrified by 2050 to achieve 95% GHG emission reduction compared to 1990 levels.
“Renewable energy is increasingly cost-effective, easier to develop as well as to build and as such it is playing a key role in the energy transition. The transformation requires a change in the energy mix of the power sector, which is achievable through the implementation of predictable regulatory frameworks and clear long-term price signals to unlock the necessary private capital,” said Francesco Starace, president of Eurelectric and CEO of Enel.
Complete report is available to read on Eurelectric website.