The study suggests European policy priorities should be on a fully-interconnected grid, energy efficiency, and energy market reform and offers an innovative perspective on the issue, proposing a clear path towards achieving these objectives and paving the way for pragmatic debate. The ECF research concludes that such measures are technically feasible and economically viable and would maintain grid reliability at its current levels.
The study looks at four different reduction scenarios: 40 percent, 60 percent, 80 percent and 100 percent renewable penetration by 2050. Remaining non-renewable energy supply in all the
models is provided by Carbon Capture and Storage and nuclear.
According to the ECF report, the key to achieving an 80 percent reduction in CO2 is grid interconnection which would efficiently allocate the resource amongst European partners, while at the same time reducing the demand for storage. Part of this proposal includes a 47 Gigawatt interconnection between Spain and France. In this scenario, the ECF predicts that Spain would become Europe’s main producer of renewables. Other countries, led by France and Germany, would play a complementary role in providing grid base power through nuclear and other non-renewables.
In addition, ECF also proposes doubling the pace of energy efficiency improvements along with binding legislation in order to meet the 2050 goal. However, the measure would necessitate spending twice as much in capital expenditures on energy infrastructure.