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08 Jul 2020, 13:50
Kerstine Appunn

European energy system has to be 100% renewable by 2040 – researchers

Clean Energy Wire

If the EU is to reach greenhouse gas neutrality by the middle of the century at the latest, countries will need to reduce CO2 emissions by 65 percent of their 1990 levels by 2030 and reach a 100 percent renewable energy supply by 2040, according to a report from the German Institute for Economic Research - DIW Berlin. This will require 3,000 billion euros in investments, which will be used to fulfil the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement climate targets. At the same time, 2,000 billion euros that would otherwise have been used to import fossil energy sources can be saved, the researchers say. Their scenario calculation showed that energy supply will remain secure and stable with 100 percent renewables in 2040, even in countries such as Poland and France that currently use a lot of coal or nuclear power.

Germany and the European Union are aiming for climate neutrality by 2050, where remaining human-made greenhouse gas emissions are offset by sinks. To reach this goal, the economy has to be largely decarbonised by switching the energy supply from fossil fuels to renewables, although a limited use of fossil fuels is possible in connection with capturing and storing the carbon (CCS). There are studies that say a global energy system fully based on renewable energy by 2050 is feasible and could even be cheaper than the current global energy supply.

Graph shows ambitious climate change scenario: Net-zero emissions and 100 percent renewable energy in the EU by 2040. Source: DIW Berlin 2020.
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