Energiewende 2030: Europe’s path to carbon neutrality

June 23, 2020

With the European Green Deal, the European Union has set itself the goal to become climate-neutral by 2050. Upon assuming the Presidency of the Council of the EU on July 1, 2020, Germany will have the opportunity to help shape this new direction in European climate policy. In a joint statement, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities present a series of recommendations on the European energy transformation, including the introduction of a cross-sector CO₂ price and comprehensive changes to the infrastructure.

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In the statement "Energy Transition 2030: Europe’s path to carbon neutrality", the authors consider the challenges of climate protection policy against the background of the current crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For climate protection, it will be crucial that the financial resources allocated to cope with the consequences of the crisis are invested in line with the achievement of the climate protection goals. To this end, the working group is identifying political, technological and regulatory measures that will enable an energy system transformation without overburdening the economy and society.

Among the technological prerequisites for a successful energy transition are the expansion of wind power, photovoltaics, electricity grids, electric mobility, heat pumps and investments in hydrogen technologies. In order to make the energy transformation as cost-efficient as possible, regulatory measures in the form of incentive systems are necessary.

"A central instrument will be a cross-sectoral, EU-wide uniform CO₂ price. Against the background of a possible corona-induced recession, there must be an effective minimum price for CO₂ in order to provide planning security and set long-term incentives for investments in sustainable climate protection," explains Prof. Hans-Martin Henning, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, who contributed to the statement as an expert.

In addition, the right balance has to be found between the need to develop infrastructure and open market approaches. And finally, the necessary technologies must be brought to the market and global supply chains must be developed to support the continued import of green energy to Europe, which will be necessary in the future.

 

For more information, see the full statement: