The rapid fall in costs of wind and solar power, combined with flexible demand in technology, could replace “more than half” of coal and gas-powered electricity in Europe by 2030, according to new research published on Tuesday (21 November), European media informs.
A report from consultants Artelys, to be unveiled in Brussels today, updates the cost projections that form the basis of the European Commission’s modelling for the EU’s energy and climate change goals up to 2030.
According to the analysis, the EU could confidently opt for a 61% share of electricity generated from renewable sources by 2030, instead of the 49% currently foreseen in EU projections.
This would translate into an additional 265 million tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions, and savings of €600 million per year in energy system costs, the research found.
In fact, the falling costs of wind and solar power, combined with demand flexibility, means that it’s actually cheaper to go for 61% renewables and to decrease today’s level of gas generation by around 50%, the report found.
“The drop in the cost of clean technology has gone far beyond all expectations,” said Laurence Tubiana, the CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), which commissioned the research. “The economics are now decisively tipping in favour of clean energy, making an even stronger case for higher EU ambition for 2030,” she added.
Tubiana’s words were echoed by Francesco Starace, the CEO of Italian power utility Enel, who recently took over the presidency of Eurelectric, the European power industry association.