In line with targets set out in the 2015 Paris Accord, electrification of at least 60 percent of the European Union economies will be required if it is to meet its pledge of reducing emissions by 95 percent by mid-century, a new study from European utilities’ trade body, Eurelectric, has said.
The Decarbonization Pathways report obtained by business a.m., which said the potential for electrification is substantial across
energy-using sectors and will underpin deep decarbonisation of the economy, also pointed to the need for a “major shift to electricity” in powering the EU’s transport, building, and industrial sectors.
“By leveraging on cost-effective renewables and developments in storage, electricity can lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions across sectors, making the EU economy cleaner and more competitive,” said Francesco Starace, Eurelectric’s current
president and chief executive of Italian utility, 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.”
The Eurelectric study highlights that different European countries were at “different starting points” in terms of the energy mix, economic situation and industrial activities and so needed “different pathways and level of efforts”.
Meanwhile, Kristian Ruby Eurelectric secretary general has said the deep decarbonisation will require “unprecedented efforts.”
According to him, “Political focus on shaping a fair transition and leaving room for regional nuances will be key to success.”
The report, which covers 100 percent of EU final energy consumption, follows a “comprehensive” consultation process with electricity
companies and industry representatives from across Europe carried out with analytical support of management consultancy McKinsey.
Last December, chief executives from all major power companies in Europe put achieving a carbon-neutral electricity mix in the EU “well before” 2050 at the heart of a document unveiled in Brussels by Eurelectric called a Vision for the European Electricity Industry.
As a follow-up to the scenarios unveiled as part of its new report, Eurelectric, which represents 3,500 companies across Europe with an aggregate turnover of €200bn ($234bn), will now examine a set of “detailed pathways” to reach full carbon-neutrality by this date.