Electrification of heating, cooling and transport, powered by renewables, is generally considered the backbone of the clean energy transition. To push for coherent lawmaking in Europe to expand the use of electricity, eight industry bodies plus the European Climate Foundation (ECF) launched an Electrification Alliance in a packed hall in Brussels in November 2019. Speakers at the event acknowledged that gas in the form of green hydrogen from renewables electricity will also play a part. All eyes are now on the incoming European Commission and its ability to marry industrial leadership with the aim of net zero emissions under the auspices of a Green New Deal.
Led by lobby groups Eurelectric, WindEurope, SolarPower Europe, the European Heat Pump Association, the European Association for Electromobility, the European Association of Electrical Contractors, Smart Energy Europe and the European Copper Institute, the Electrification Alliance calls on EU and national policy makers to: “Acknowledge and support the crucial role decarbonised electricity and efficient electric technologies,” will play in achieving climate and energy goals. Policies are needed to support infrastructure and innovation, and to remove barriers to electrification, says the alliance’s declaration.
“Electrification is the most efficient way of decarbonising,” said Gunnar Groebler, senior vice president at Vattenfall. The Swedish state-owned energy company says it has fully embraced decarbonisation with the aim of making fossil free living possible within one generation. It makes both climate and business sense to do so, argued Groebler. He stressed the importance of a European Green Deal and an industrial strategy that supports all companies during the transition away from use of fossil fuel. “It needs to cover the just transition so people are not left behind,” he said. Groebler cited the support afforded the wind industry at its outset and the need to: “Allow industry to invest in new technology without worrying how to pay upfront costs.”
EU leaders need to get serious about electrification if Europe is to decarbonise in line with the commitments of the Paris climate agreement and bring about economic benefits for consumers, say signatories of The Electrification Alliance, launched in Brussels this week
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