Roadmap 2050 unveiled by EU sends signal to invest in clean energy future now
- 16 December 2011
BRUSSELS: The EU has revealed the long awaited Energy Roadmap 2050, which sets out to achieve Europe’s goal of cutting emissions by at least 80% by 2050 without disrupting energy supplies or the economy, ensuring Europe remains at the forefront of competitive innovation.
Outlining the consequences of a carbon free energy system, the Roadmap reveals that switching most of Europe’s energy to renewables would be just as cost efficient as continuing to use fossil fuels, data of which will mean energy ministers can invest even more confidently in the Clean Revolution.
The Roadmap uses new energy model scenarios to show renewables and energy efficiency are 'no regrets' policies, which sends the urgent signal to investors and policy makers to start developing immediately to reap the benefits to their fullest potential.
Günther Oettinger, Energy Commissioner for the EU said: “Only a new energy model will make our system secure, competitive and sustainable in the long-run. We now have a European framework for the necessary policy measures to be taken in order to secure the right investments.”
The four future ‘decarbonization scenarios’ the Roadmap is built around are based on increased levels of the following:
- energy efficiency;
- nuclear energy;
- and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
While none of these scenarios are likely to prevail by themselves, the findings all show very positive outcomes for Europe if renewables dominate its future energy mix. Analysis showed:
- decabonization is technically and economically achievable, costing less than current policies in the long term
- energy efficiency and renewables are critical to meeting Europe’s 2050 emissions targets
- investing early avoids costly charges later on
- any costs will be outweighed by sustainable investment, related green jobs and greater energy security.
At the launch of the Roadmap last week, Gunther Oettinger set the standards even higher by calling for clean energy targets to be achieved by 2030, and binding renewable targets for this to be in place by 2014. Speaking at the press conference in Brussels, he said: "With our roadmap we want to ensure that, for all participants, there should be an interesting discussion on binding targets for renewables by 2030. This should begin now and lead to a decision in two years' time."
Luc Bas, Director of European Programmes and International States and Regions, The Climate Group says: “Although the Roadmap 2050 can be criticized for lacking a clear enough direction as it fails to set any concrete recommendations, policy actions or intermediate targets, it does offer a welcomed signal to Europe’s industry and policymakers that a clean energy future will not only secure our energy systems, but is economically advantageous. The Roadmap must now be further defined, giving more attention to energy efficiency potential and supported with strong legislation if Europe is to forge ahead with its Clean Revolution.”
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