According to the new European Environment Agency (EEA) report ‘Transforming the EU power sector: avoiding a carbon lock-in’, significant changes will be needed in the Member States’ energy-generating mix if the European Union is to meet its 2050 goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % compared to 1990 levels, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to the official website of the European Environment Agency (EEA).
While the European Union has made considerable progress in improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy sources, a well-planned transition out of carbon-intensive power generation is needed to meet the long-term aim of creating a low-carbon society.
The EU Climate and Energy Package of 2009 set three main targets for 2020: a 20 % reduction in GHG emissions (compared with 1990), a 20 % share of renewable energy sources in energy consumption, and 20 % improvement in energy efficiency,
In January 2014, the European Commission proposed medium-term targets for 2030: a 40 % reduction in GHG emissions (compared with 1990), a 27 % share of renewable energy consumption, and a 27 % improvement in energy efficiency. To limit climate change to below 2 °C, EU leaders have endorsed the objective of reducing Europe's GHG emissions by 80-95 % by 2050, compared with 1990 levels, as part of measures taken by developed countries as a group to reduce their emissions by a similar degree. In line with this long-term objective, GHG emissions in the EU power sector need to fall by 48–66 % by 2030 and by 90–98 % by 2050 compared with 2005.
The 'Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050', the Energy Roadmap 2050 and the Transport White Paper reflect the EU's goal to reduce GHG emissions in the run-up to 2050, with a 54–68 % cut in emissions by 2030 and an 80–95 % reduction by 2050, both compared with levels in 1990.
These targets, set at the macro-level, have profound implications for the — largely fossil fuel-based — EU power sector and should set out the requirements for a huge cross-sectoral transformation. The vision is that electricity should come almost entirely from renewable sources, nuclear power plant units and fossil fuel power plant units equipped with CCS technology.
The EU's medium-term climate and energy targets represent sectoral transformation benchmarks (EC, 2009, 2014) against which policy effectiveness and coherence can and should be assessed.