A leaked draft of the EU’s 2050 energy road map reveals a huge shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the coming years. But as a consequence, electricity prices in the EU will increase over the next two decades before stabilizing in 2030.
The purpose of the EU’s energy road map is to chart out how Europe will reduce its carbon emissions more than 80% by 2050. Currently, the EU derives most of its energy from fossil fuels, but according to the draft: “this has to change.”
The draft delves into various energy scenarios, depending on which policy measures are implemented in the next few years. Some of the scenarios take into account various types of renewable energy, technological advancements in efficiency, a potential delay in the implementation of carbon capture and storage, and various levels of nuclear integration.
Regardless of whether the EU invests heavily in renewable energy, Europe will see higher energy prices due to its necessity to upgrade its infrastructure. Households could see an increase in their energy expenditures to 15% of their income in 2030 and 16% in 2060.
Interestingly, the draft also expressed a need to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure. Although it predicts demand for coal will drop over the next few decades, it describes gas as a ‘bridging fuel’ throughout the 2030’s as large-scale renewable projects come to fruition.
The authors of the draft expressed a need to “[maintain] a foot in the global oil market and [keep] domestic refineries even when production and consumption is falling at home… [it] is important to the EU economy and security”.
However, when it comes to renewable energy and reductions in carbon emissions, the document highlights the necessity for international cooperation in order for the EU’s plans to have any effect. Therefore, the draft also calls for other countries to embark on a similar green trajectory in order combat climate change.
Image CC licensed by sacratomato_hr: rooftop solar panels on a building in Germany.