IRENA Finds EU’s Share of Renewables Could Double Without Extra Cost
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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IRENA's report on renewable energy deployment in the EU finds that the region has the potential to cost-effectively double the share of renewables in its energy mix.

The publication explores solar PV, wind, biomass, transportation and heating and cooling solutions.

It also quantifies avoided health and environmental costs associated with their deployment.

19 February 2018: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released a report on cost effective opportunities for the expansion of renewable energy deployment in the EU.

IRENA prepared the report, which is titled, “Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union,” at the request of the European Commission to determine pathways to meet the European Council’s minimum target of 27% renewable energy by 2030. The report also contributes to IRENA’s global REmap initiative, which assesses the potential for various countries to scale up renewable deployment, assessing options in terms of costs, required investments, and their contribution to climate and environmental objectives.

The EU could cost effectively double the share of renewable energy by 2030.

The publication finds that the EU has the potential to cost-effectively double the share of renewables in its energy mix from the 2015 rate of 17% to 34% in 2030. According to the report, the EU’s identified renewable energy project opportunities could result in avoided health and environmental costs worth US$52-133 billion per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 412 Mt, an amount comparable to Italy’s current emission levels.

Solar PV and wind power make up the bulk of renewable projects recommended by the report. One third of the report’s recommendations is accounted for by heating and cooling solutions, while the potential for the electrification of the transportation sector and continued use of biomass are also studied.

The report, which was prepared to support discussion on a package of regulatory reforms titled, ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans,’ was launched in Brussels by European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete and IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin. [Publication: Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union] [European Commission Press Release]

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