Europe could be operating on 100% renewable energy by 2050, according to a new report from the Heinrich Boll Foundation.
However, one of the most notable observations in the report is that Europe desperately needs a coherent and consistent approach to developing a solid energy policy. The mix of subsidies, priorities, and targets makes it difficult to progress, meaning it’s time to sort through all the policy papers, narrow everything down to a similar goal, and get down to the business of quickly and efficiently transitioning to renewable energy over the next 30 years.
Upgraded smart grid construction is said to be a huge time commitment, requiring as much as 10 years to really come to fruition. This means any potential investors in the electricity grid need to commit – with no doubts – to renewable energies, with no chance of backing down. According to the report, all “open and hidden” fossil fuel subsidies need to be abolished in order to even the playing field between renewable and conventional energy.
There are plenty of warnings on the record about the coming impacts of climate change, and in Europe it is becoming more than scientists who think a clear set of priorities is really possible. Between protesters occupying power stations and CEOs demanding more transparency on fossil fuel subsidies, it is interesting to see that parts of the world are beginning to take climate change seriously. If leaders in Europe really step up and get things done, the region could be a great example of where the world needs to be by mid-century.
Do you think it’s possible for Europe, or will a lack of commitment continue holding everyone back?
Image CC licensed by Michael Betke