Lars Josefsson highlights the Role of Electricity in promoting a low-carbon, energy-efficient and supply-secure economy

13 November 2007

Europe needs to "unleash the potential of energy efficiency; develop a low-carbon electricity system by using all available options; pursue intelligent electrification of the economy; use a consistent deployment strategy and a least-cost, market-oriented approach to technology; and engage in global cooperation on the global issues of climate change", Vattenfall CEO and EURELECTRIC Vice-President Lars Josefsson told policymakers, energy industry professionals and stakeholders on 13 November in Rome. Speaking at a side event in the afternoon at the World Energy Council's annual gathering, Mr Josefsson highlighted the key results of EURELECTRIC's 2006-07 Role of Electricity project, which examined how to achieve substantial reductions in CO2 emissions, while maintaining a high level of energy supply security, all at reasonable economic cost.

Mr Josefsson's presentation underlined the potential of electricity to enhance demand-side energy efficiency. This means using less electricity where possible, through electricity savings and more electricity where necessary to replace less efficient end-use energy sources.

He highlighted the demand-side energy savings to be made by switching to electro-technologies in many industrial processes, through more efficient lighting, and by using heat-pump technology in heating and cooling systems and electric drive in transport (trains and plug-in hybrid road vehicles) which also implies a lower degree of dependency on imported hydrocarbons. Thus intelligent electrification of the economy can unlock important synergies between demand-side electric technology deployment and a low-carbon power supply.

On the supply side, the EURELECTRIC Vice-President explained the results of the scenario modelling carried out under the Role of Electricity project.

These show that the business-as-usual scenario is unsustainable in terms of external energy dependency and greenhouse gas emissions. Alternative scenarios set up to achieve a 30% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030 and a 50% cut by mid-century focus respectively on

  • Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Energy Efficiency action, continuing current nuclear policy including the various planned nation phase-outs and making no use of carbon capture & storage (CCS) technology to extend the use of fossil-fuelled power
  • A nuclear "renaissance" plus deployment of CCS
  • An all-options scenario entitled Role of Electricity - making active use of RES, deployment of CCS, plus a nuclear renaissance and key demand-side synergies.

For an identical reduction in CO2 emissions, the Role of Electricity scenario performs significantly better in total cost of energy, oil & gas import dependency and market value of carbon dioxide, Mr Josefsson showed, concluding that active use of a broad portfolio of energy solutions is the "right path to secure and competitive energy in a carbon-constrained world".

 

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