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European Electricity Generation Post-2020: Renewable Energy Not To Be Underestimated

Economic Bulletin of September 30, 2013

by Christian von Hirschhausen, Claudia Kemfert, Friedrich Kunz, Roman Mendelevitch in: DIW Economic Bulletin 09/2013.

In its Green Paper on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, the European Commission calls for a framework for the future development of environment and energy policy beyond 2020. However, much like the Energy Roadmap 2050 adopted by the Commission in December 2011, the Green Paper is based on scenario assumptions that are, to a great extent, not up-to-date. The European Commission would need to provide updated model calculations rapidly to enable energy policy decisions to be taken on the basis of transparent and comprehensible scenarios. A comparison of recent estimates conducted by DIW Berlin indicates that the Commission systematically underestimates the cost of nuclear power and carbon capture, transport, and storage (CCTS), while the cost of renewables tends to be overestimated. In particular this applies to photovoltaics where current capital costs are, to a certain extent, already lower than the Commission's estimates for 2050. In contrast to renewables, neither nuclear energy nor carbon capture, transport, and storage are cost efficient enough to play a central role in the future European electricity mix. It is therefore vital for Europe to continue to focus on the further development of renewables. This requires the setting of ambitious renewables targets for 2030 as well as clear emissions reduction and energy efficiency targets.

European Electricity Generation Post-2020: Renewable Energy Not To Be Underestimated (PDF, 0.57 MB)

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