Shift needed in electrification for EU goals

8 June 2018

Sian Crampsie

European trade body Eurelectric says that a “major shift” in electrification to transport, buildings and industry is required to enable EU nations to meet Paris climate goals.

Eurelectric has released a new study that examines EU final energy consumption patterns and reveals a close connection between electrification and deep decarbonization. For the EU to reach 95 per cent emissions reduction by 2050 electricity needs to cover at least 60 per cent of final energy consumption.

This is achievable with a 1.5 per cent year-on-year growth of EU electricity use whilst at the same time reducing the EU’s energy consumption by 1.3 per cent per year, Eurelectric said.

“By leveraging on cost-effective renewables and developments in storage, electricity can lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across sectors, making the EU economy cleaner and more competitive,” said Francesco Starace, Eurelectric President and CEO of Enel. “European institutions play a pivotal role in shaping policies around decarbonisation, so urgent actions must be taken to promote the transition to a more electrified energy scenario.”

Eurelectric’s study, ‘Decarbonisation pathways’, finds that full EU decarbonisation by 2050 would require an electrification share of 63 per cent in transport and buildings respectively and 50 per cent in industrial processes. Moreover, the study points out that different starting points across EU countries – in terms of energy mix, economic situation and industrial activities – will require different pathways and level of efforts.

In Poland, for instance, deep decarbonisation will depend heavily on the commercial availability of key transition technologies.

“Deep decarbonisation will require unprecedented efforts. Political focus on shaping a fair transition and leaving room for regional nuances will be key to success,” said Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric.

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