Technology choices and policies are available to create a zero-carbon energy system in Europe by 2050, keep the economy competitive and secure a favourable deal for citizens, concludes a podcast by EU scream produced in conjunction with FORESIGHT Climate & Energy.
The findings are based on a report from Cambridge Econometrics and Element Energy for the European Climate Foundation, which examines six possible configurations of a zero-carbon energy system in Europe by 2050 with varying degrees of reliance on electrification and green gas.
All scenarios show both electrification and green gases, namely hydrogen, as necessary to decarbonise the EU by mid-century. The significance of their respective roles remains an open question, though the “breakthrough scenario”, in which efficiency measures and smart electrification are maximised and hydrogen only used in large quantities to meet peak demand, such as to generate electricity for heating in winter, is the clear winner. Infrastructure costs are lower than under a high green gas scenario, home energy bills would decrease and more jobs would be created.
Lisa Fischer from think tank E3G believes the ball is now in the gas industry’s court to prove whether and how it can get “to full climate neutrality” before policy makers agree to hand over investment aimed at giving green gas a more significant role in the European energy transition.
Listen here to the full discussion with Fisher, experts from the European Commission, and the electricity and hydrogen industries.
Modelling aimed at creating a zero-carbon energy system by 2050 will never be perfect, but a new report shows enough knowledge now exists to make clear decisions about the infrastructure and investments needed to move forward in the right direction, writes Lisa Fischer, Senior Policy Adviser at think-tank E3G
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