Eurelectric summit: Electricity chance for carbon-free society
Eurelectric, an association representing the interests of the electricity industry at the European level, presented a study on how to decarbonise the EU economy by 2050.
If the Union wants to cut green house gas emissions by 95% until 2050, electricity should represent at least 60% of all energy use, while it now represents only 22%.
For full decarbonisation until 2050, electricity should represent 63% of all energy used in transport and buildings, while the share in industry should stand at 50%.
Eurelectric president Francesco Starace believes different approaches will be needed in different members states as they differ in terms of energy use, economic situation and industrial activity.
"Electrification is vital if we want to pursue climate goals such as more renewables, less green house gas emissions, and decarbonisation," Starace, who is convinced the era of fossil fuels is over, said at the event in Cankarjev Dom, which ends tomorrow.
However, apart from measures for efficient energy use, other carbon-neutral solutions, changes to legislation and technological development, a change in mentality will needed, he stressed.
Starace, who is also the CEO of Italian energy multinational Enel, believes "this will make the European economy more competitive".
Eurelectric vice-president Alistair Phillips Davies, the CEO of British power utility SSE, said electricity represents only 1% of energy used in the transport sector.
While there is a lot of potential to be tapped in, it will be a big challenge to achieve the 63% mark, requiring changes to the entire system, he added.
Sharing the view that electricity can play a key role in decarbonisation, Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Peter Gašperšič said "the energy sector can lead the way".
He noted that Slovenia had adopted an ambitious strategy on alternative fuels which aims to cut CO2 emissions in transport with the help of electrification.
The strategy says that by 2030, 17% of all vehicles will be powered by electricity.