Electrification is the solution to the biggest crises facing us today – climate change and energy security.
This was the key takeaway from our recent Game Changers report, an in-depth look at how an accelerated energy transition and electrification can help Europe overcome these twin crises.
The report, published at Power Summit 2022 last month, outlined how Europe’s energy transition urgently needs to enter a phase of unprecedented acceleration to combat the growing threats from a warming planet and a changing geopolitical landscape.
Rapid decarbonisation is the solution to limiting warming and preventing the worst impacts of climate change. Moreover, achieving this goal through the mass rollout of renewables and electrification can also increase Europe’s energy security amid high gas prices and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
At the launch of our Game Changers report, Jean-Bernard Lévy, Eurelectric’s President, said: “We must accelerate the electrification of our economy to regain independence, enhance energy security and fight climate change.”
However, at the current deployment rate, the EU will have just 780 GW of installed hydropower, solar and wind capacities by 2030, the Game Changers report shows.
But we need to go 2.6 times faster to deliver the over 1200 GW of clean energy that the REPowerEU estimates necessary to ensure a carbon-neutral, independent, and secure energy supply by the end of the decade.
To ensure this transition, permitting for renewables must be fast-tracked while a skilled workforce is essential. These are the main points of the first of our five game-changing policy actions and recommendations.
Clean energy: Raise the game on clean and renewable power generation
This calls on policymakers to:
- Recognise the planning, construction, and operation of renewable power plants, as well as their connection to the grid and the grid itself, as being in the overriding public interest and interest of public safety.
- Accelerate permitting for clean and renewables capacity, to enable the deployment of at least 550 GW of green energy by 2030. Europe needs simpler and digitalised procedures, and more resources given to permitting authorities.
- Anticipate the skill gaps and provide workers with skilling and upskilling training in decarbonisation and electrification solutions, while providing clear European and national guidelines for the adaptation of workplaces to climate change.
Jobs, jobs, and more jobs
The Game Changers report showed that the energy transition could lead to millions of new jobs. For instance, 7.4 million roles could be created in grids, networks, variable renewable energy, and future power markets. Approximately 489,000 potential job openings could be available in efficiency and demand optimisation; 340,000 employment opportunities could open up in green hydrogen, while the electrification of transport could provide 199,000 new jobs.