ARKANSAS, Oct 5 (Future Headlines)- A new study led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has outlined a transformative roadmap for Europe to wean itself off fossil fuels and establish a self-sustainable energy sector powered by renewables by 2040. The ambitious plan would require an investment of approximately 2 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion) over two decades.
To achieve a self-sustainable energy sector by 2040, Europe would need to make substantial investments. The study estimates that annual investments of 140 billion euros would be necessary by 2030, with a reduced requirement of 100 billion euros per year in the subsequent decade. The majority of these investments would be channeled into expanding onshore wind capacity. This form of renewable energy would serve as the backbone of Europe’s green energy strategy. However, the plan also incorporates other renewable sources, including solar, hydrogen, and geothermal resources.
The proposed strategy aims to power all of Europe’s electricity needs exclusively from renewables by 2030. This entails a rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources in the power generation sector. Beyond electricity, the study envisions a comprehensive shift to renewables across the entire energy system. This includes sectors such as heating, currently reliant on oil or gas. The transition of these sectors is expected to take an additional decade, culminating in a fully renewable energy ecosystem by 2040.
The study highlights that the estimated 2 trillion euros investment should be contextualized. In the past year alone, European countries collectively spent an additional 792 billion euros on maintaining the status quo energy system to shield consumers from the effects of the energy crisis spurred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This comparison underscores the cost-effectiveness of the proposed renewable energy transition.
Last month, European lawmakers approved legally binding targets designed to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy in the region during this decade. These targets form a pivotal component of Europe’s broader efforts to combat climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Notably, the new law elevates the EU’s renewable energy targets, stipulating that 42.5% of the EU’s energy must come from renewable sources by 2030, replacing the prior target of 32%.
The scientific study, commissioned by Aquila Capital, a prominent private renewables investor in Europe, echoes the concerns voiced by industry experts regarding European regulatory processes. It calls for expedited approval of renewable energy projects to ensure that the ambitious targets are met within the specified timeframe. Accelerating project approvals and streamlining regulatory processes are deemed critical to the successful execution of Europe’s renewable energy transition.
The study underscores the need for an extraordinary growth rate in renewable energy supply, estimated at 20% annually, to meet the projected power demand by 2030. This pace of expansion is essential to ensure that Europe’s energy needs can be exclusively fulfilled by renewables within the next decade. With the support of legislative mandates and a commitment to streamlining regulatory processes, Europe is poised to embark on a transformative journey toward a greener and more sustainable energy future. This ambitious plan aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and serves as a beacon for other regions seeking to transition to renewable energy.
Writing by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White