Carbon neutrality of electricity is fast approaching in the EU - British Herald
October 28, 2021
Europe

Carbon neutrality of electricity is fast approaching in the EU

BRUSSELS  – Nine Policy Steps That  Could Move Europe’s Economy Towards Net-Zero, Underlines Eurelectric’s Power Barometer 2021 , An Analysis Of Industry Trends In The EU’s Electricity Sector .

Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of EDF and Chairman of Eurelectric  declared:

“With the ‘Fit for 55’ package, European electricity could be carbon-free five to ten years earlier than expected, which would help transport, heating and industries to accelerate their decarbonisation. We are ready and committed to play a leading role and provide the zero carbon electricity necessary to achieve the ambition of the Green Deal ”.

Kristian Ruby , General Secretary of Eurelectric, added:

“To achieve this ambition, it is essential to have the right investment signals and to remove any obstacles that exist. The top priority must be to reduce permitting times for new electricity projects. “

In less than a decade, electricity capacity is expected to increase by 27% compared to 2020. This corresponds to a 93% growth in renewable capacity, achievable only if European permitting processes change radically.

Investment must increase to close the ambition gap. By 2030, investments in distribution will have to double the average of the last ten years and reach 55 billion euros per year. Clean production capacities will need 75 billion euros per year. The main enabling factors will be: clear and market-based rules, a functioning emission allowance system, modernized network tariffs and comprehensive regulation for flexibility.

The electrification of the transport, heating / cooling and industrial sectors must grow dramatically. Unless the annual reduction in emissions triples to 160 Mt CO2 equivalent, the 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will not be achieved until 2045 – 15 years too late. The key  to these decarbonisation targets is to bring the electrification rate from 23% today to at least 33% in 2030.  

Electricity taxes and levies must also be reduced. While they have increased by 29% since 2010, these weigh on consumers seeking to adopt zero carbon alternatives for transport, heating / cooling and industrial processes. EU policymakers must reduce them to enable electric heat pumps to triple to 45 million and increase EV market share to 60%, from 10% in 2020, as foreseen in the ‘Fit for 55’ package .

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