Cleaning up the Energy Act in Europe

Published on Thursday, 16 January 2014

Reduced consumption of primary energy, greater use of electricity and in particular electricity generated from renewable energy sources, as well as lower levels of green house gas emissions are all part of the European development strategy outlined in the recent EU Energy, transport and GHG emissions trends to 2050 published by the European Commission.

According to the report, a key characteristic of Europe's energy system in the future will be the substantial decoupling of energy consumption from growth in GDP. This means that, unlike what happened in the past, economic development will not see a corresponding increase in energy consumption. In fact it is estimated that in 2050 the economywill have grown78 percent compared to 2010, while primary energy consumption will have decreased by eight percent.

This will lead to the reduction of emissions, which will also be aided by an increased use of electricity and a greater share for renewable energy sources in the electricity generation mix, accounting for 53 percent of the total, more than double the 22 percent share of 2010.

The report also estimates that the EU will easily exceed the reduction targets set for 2020, when emissions will be 24 percent lower than they were in the base year (1990), with four points more than the expected 20 percent.

Subsequently emissions will diminish by 32 percent by 2030 and 44 percent by 2050, but while these numbers are significant they are not high enough to reach the targets set by the Commission in its energy roadmap, which asks that cuts be between 80-95 percent.

By that time the Enel Group is firmly set on becoming a 100% carbon free business, which will be possible thanks to the development of renewable energy and other zero emission technologies, the adoption of the best techniques in each area of its activity and the search for the highest possible levels of efficiency. This is a realistic aim, given that in 2012 42 percent of all the electricity generated by the Group was zero emissions.