Energy  |  Publications  |  30.08.2011

Energy Vision Scenario for the European Union

Ahead of the EU "energy summit" in February 2011, where EU leaders discussed the Union's energy future, the Greens/EFA group launched the 'Vision Scenario', an independent study by Öko-Institut, setting out a detailed energy scenario for Europe up to 2050.

Global climate change, finite fossil and nuclear resources and the vulnerability of economies and consumers to increasing and volatile prices of fossil energies are the challenges which will determine energy and climate policies for the next decades.

The Vision Scenario represents a pathway which consistently combines short- and medium-term objectives with the long-term objectives. Furthermore it is in line with the greenhouse gas emission budget, which could allow the increase of the global mean temperature to be kept to a level below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels.

The quantitative scenario analysis of the energy system and all greenhouse gas emis-sions sources (except land use, land-use change and forestry) and of different ambi-tions in energy and climate policy outlines significantly different pathways for future energy and climate policies:

  • In the Reference Scenario, which is based on recent ambitions in energy cli-mate policies, an emission reduction of 19% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 38% by 2050 is achieved. Renewable energies con-tribute 13% of the primary energy supply in 2020, 16% in 2030 and 24% in 2050. The share of power generation from renewable energies in total electricity generation represents 24% in 2020, 29% in 2030 and 46% in 2050. The level of nuclear power production remains at recent levels for the next two decades and decreases from 2030 onwards.
  • The Vision Scenario is based on a greenhouse gas emission reduction target in accordance with the EU’s long-term goal. The total greenhouse gas emission reduction amounts to 35% in 2020, 57% in 2030 and 91% in 2050. Additional measures in land use, land-use change and forestry could enable a 95% emis-sions reduction. Renewable energies represent a share of 20% in the total pri-mary energy supply in 2020, nearly 40% in 2030 and about 90% in 2050. The power sector undergoes a process of early decarbonisation; the share of re-newable energies in total net power generation is 39% in 2020, 60% in 2030 and 94% in 2050. Nuclear power in the EU is phased out in this scenario by 2040.

Excerpt from the Executive Summary of the study.

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