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16 April 2010

100% renewables 'feasible by 2050', EU told

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The EU could cut its emissions by more than 90% by 2050 by moving to produce all its energy from renewable sources, according to the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), an industry group

In a report published on Thursday (14 April), it said the environmental and social benefits would outweigh the required investments.

The report provides a roadmap to 2050 for different renewable technologies, arguing that 100% renewables is both economically feasible and environmentally desirable.

EREC predicts the largest increase to take place in renewable electricity, driven by wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar, with its share of total energy demand rising from 10% in 2020 to 18% in 2030 and 41% by 2050. It also expects the renewable heating and cooling market from biomass, solar thermal and geothermal applications to take off quickly, comprising 21% of the EU’s total energy consumption in 2030 and 45% in 2050.

Transport will remain the biggest challenge for renewable energies, according to EREC. But as conversion technologies for biofuels and electric vehicles enter the market on a large scale after 2020, it expects the share of renewable transport fuels in Europe's energy consumption to increase from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2050.

EREC stressed that the technologies required to achieve a 100% renewables scenario are already available and it is simply a matter of finding the political will to make it happen.

Studies on 2050 energy scenarios have started to proliferate as the European Commission prepares its own roadmap, scheduled to be presented in early 2011.


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