09/03/2018 – News / Renewables / Energy / International Renewable Energy Agency / IRENA

New IRENA study assesses renewable energy prospects for the EU

For more than two decades, the European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of global renewable energy deployment, and the bloc’s share of the world’s deployed renewables has grown from nine per cent in gross final energy consumption in 2005, to 16.7 per cent share in 2015. A new 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 of the REmap study


Key findings of the REmap study include that the EU could double the renewable share in its energy mix – cost effectively – from 17 per cent in 2015 to 34 per cent in 2030, and that all EU countries have cost-effective potential to use more renewables.


The study concluded that 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, the report found, alongside the fact that heating and cooling solutions account for more than one-third of the EU’s untapped renewable energy potential.


The study asserts that all renewable transport options – including both electric vehicles and biofuels – are needed to realise long-term EU decarbonisation objectives. It also forecasted that biomass would remain a key renewable energy source beyond 2030.


On the decarbonisation pathway


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.


Read the Executive Summary of the report here: http://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2018/Feb/IRENA_REmap-EU_2018_summary.pdf?la=en&hash=818E3BDBFC16B90E1D0317C5AA5B07C8ED27F9EF

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