Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union (External Content)
Story Highlights: 

For more than two decades, the European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of global renewable energy deployment. The adoption of long-term targets and supporting policy measures has resulted in strong growth in renewable energy deployment across the region, from a 9% share in gross final energy consumption in 2005 to 16.7% in 2015.

The REmap study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), prepared in co-operation with the European Commission,  identifies cost-effective renewable energy options for all EU Member States, spanning a wide range of sectors and technologies.

Key findings:

The EU could double the renewable share in its energy mix, cost effectively, from 17% in 2015 to 34% in 2030.

All EU countries have cost-effective potential to use more renewables.

Renewables are vital for long-term decarbonisation of the EU energy system.

The European electricity sector can accommodate large shares of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power generation.

Heating and cooling solutions account for more than one third of the EU’s untapped renewable energy potential.

All renewable transport option, including both electric vehicles and biofuels, are needed to realise long-term EU decarbonisation objectives.

Biomass will remain a key renewable energy source beyond 2030.

Tapping the additional renewable energy potentials identified in the study would propel the EU further on a decarbonisation pathway compatible with the ‘well-below’ 2°C objective established in the Paris Agreement. The importance of both an EU-wide target and national-level commitments are critical, as is the faster deployment of renewables, feasible with today’s technology. Finally, substantial socio-economic and environmental benefits across the EU would be garnered from additional renewables deployment.

The study forms part of IRENA’s global REmap analysis, which sets out a practical roadmap for doubling renewables in the global energy mix.

 

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