A net-zero EU economy relies on the ability to ramp up the speed and scale of electrification to reach 30% in 2030 and at least 50% by 2050. The “Fit for 55” package will be the catalyst of a rapid, cost-effective energy transition, but to do so it must swiftly remove all pending barriers to electrification.
In this context, Eurelectric calls on EU and national policymakers to take consequential and prompt action to untap the full potential of clean electrification to decarbonise the economy. An overarching electrification strategy is urgently needed.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, President of Eurelectric and CEO of EDF Group said:
“Direct electrification is a very efficient solution for phasing out fossil fuels and cutting the CO2 emissions. Policymakers must urgently take clear and decisive steps to put clean electricity at the heart of the transformation.”
In a position paper released today, Eurelectric identifies four areas that are indispensable for a successful and accelerated transition.
First, electrification is the backbone of any sustainable decarbonisation strategy. It is therefore essential to streamline policies that prioritise the direct and indirect electrification of end-use sectors like transport, heating or industrial applications. In addition, reducing the taxes and levies on electricity, while enabling flexibility from electrified sectors, will allow users to leverage the power of modern, carbon neutral and efficient technologies.
Second, renewable energy capacities must at least double to decarbonise the power sector and cover the additional demand for clean electricity. Increasing the 2030 decarbonisation targets require an upward revision of EU’s 2030 energy efficiency and renewable targets. Such policy coherence between regulatory instruments, coupled with predictable, stable, and transparent market-based frameworks are needed to drive the necessary investments. A robust emission trading system (EU ETS) and efficient carbon pricing are core instruments in reaching increased climate ambitions and providing investors with long term investment visibility. Equally important: political and regulatory interventions must be removed as they hamper the long-term investments.
Third, radical changes to permitting processes are needed to tackle the most prominent bottleneck to rolling out clean generation capacities, grid and charging infrastructure. Simpler and faster procedures for climate critical infrastructures must be implemented for successful fast-tracked decarbonisation.
Fourth, the receding trend of investments in distribution grids must be reversed to optimise the networks for an increasingly decentralised, decarbonised and digitalised power system. By 2030, €375-425 bn are needed to support grid operators in a massive transformation that includes adding over 500 GW of renewable energy – meaning about half of the entire European power capacity – and providing electricity for 40-50 million heat pumps, and 40-70 million electric vehicles. Reviewing the network tariffs so that they incentivise an efficient use of the grid is also of paramount importance.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, President of Eurelectric and CEO of EDF Group concluded:
“If we want to deliver the volumes of electricity needed to decarbonise our economy while ensuring resilience and security of supply we will need massive investments in a diversity of decarbonised technologies, renewables, storage, and digital solutions. But we also need a supportive and comprehensive regulatory framework to accelerate cost-effective electrification across sectors”
Note to Editors:
Eurelectric represents the interests of the European electricity industry. With members in over 30 European countries, we speak for more than 3,500 companies in power generation, distribution and supply, directly employing 970.000 people and having a €627bn turnover. We seek to contribute to the competitiveness of our industry, provide effective representation in public affairs and promote the role of electricity in the advancement of society.