Roapmap 2050: A report on the need to create a European carbon-free power sector

April 14th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Roapmap 2050, a report published on 13 April 2010, states that Europe must virtually eliminate carbon-emitting power generation to achieve an 80 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  The report funded by the European Climate Exchange, and produced by management consultants McKinsey & Company, Imperial College London, Oxford Economics, and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, states that it is technically and economically possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels with existing technologies and a nearly zero-carbon power supply.

The 2050 greenhouse gas emissions target will be difficult to achieve if the transition to a nearly zero-carbon power supply isn’t started within the next five years.

To achieve this goal, European countries must prioritize energy efficiency, invest in a European supergrid electricity network so that they can share the unpredictable supply of electricity generated from some renewable sources (solar, wind, wave), and encourage massive investment in low carbon technologies.  At the same time power plants producing greenhouse gases must be phased out.

Wind turbines in Eemsmond, The Netherlands ©RLLord

Wind turbines in Eemsmond, The Netherlands ©RLLord

The report finds that technology breakthroughs are not required to achieve the desired greenhouse gas emission cuts by 2050.  The targets can be met with existing technology.  It is estimated that Europe will have to spend an average of €52 billion annually to build the required infrastructure.

Tom Brookes of the European Climate Foundation says that Europe will have to double capital expenditure in the electricity sector; delaying investment will make the task much more expensive.  The report states that the impact on consumer electricity prices would be small because of the lower operating costs of renewable energy production.

Wind turbines near Sortino, Sicily ©RLLord

The authors state that “the mission of Roadmap 2050 is to provide a practical, independent and objective analysis of pathways to achieve a low-carbon economy in Europe, in line with the energy security, environmental and economic goals of the European Union.  The Roadmap 2050 project is an initiative of the European Climate Foundation (ECF) and has been developed by a consortium of experts funded by the European Climate Foundation.”  To download the full report click on Roadmap 2050.   A summary of the report can also be viewed as a Youtube video.

  1. No Comments

Have your say