Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Renewable electricity: the cheapest energy source for Europe by 2050

03.11.2011
On the basis of calculations for 36 countries in Europe and Northern Africa the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) concludes that a power supply completely based upon renewable sources by 2050 is achievable at average costs of 65 €/ Mwh.

“Renewable electricity will become the cheapest source of energy throughout Europe“, says the lead author of the report Prof. Dr. Olav Hohmeyer. The calculated costs are significantly lower than the pessimistic assumptions of the draft EU Energy Road Map 2050, which has been leaked to the media recently.

The SRU launches the scenario results for each of the 36 countries in the European and Northern Africa region together with the English version of its special report „Pathways towards a 100% renewable electricity system“. The scenarios assume a cost-optimized mix of renewable energy sources and a high level of national self-sufficiency. Wind power is for most European countries the cheapest technology, in the Mediterranean region high shares of solar power can also be expected. A completely renewable electricity system, that guarantees security of supply at every moment throughout the year, is achievable at system costs of 65 €/Mwh including the cost for grid expansion and storage. In countries with comparatively greater renewable potentials costs can even be lower. The pump storage potential in Norway is sufficient to function as the “green battery” of Europe.

A leaked draft of the Energy Roadmap 2050 of the European Commission has been recently discussed in the press. The European Commission compared different low carbon scenarios. It concluded that to achieve its climate targets until 2050 a share of renewable energy in the electricity mix between 59 – 86 % by 2050 is necessary, which implies that in any case renewables would become the most important source. However, the scenario with the highest renewables shares appears as the most expensive one. The Commission results are at a level considerably above the calculations for a 100% renewables based scenario calulated by DLR (German Aerospace Center) on the basis of the ReMix-Model for the SRU.* „The European Commission systematically underestimates the low cost potential of renewable energies for a truly sustainable power system”, comments Prof. Dr. Hohmeyer at today’s presentation of the results in the House of Commons in London. „The cost pessimism of the European Commission is scientifically not well grounded.” Exaggerated cost estimates may undermine political acceptance for further expansion of renewable energy in the EU.

In his special report, the SRU emphasizes that a supportive European framework is pivotal for a national energy transition towards renewable energies. The SRU recommends that the EU formulates ambitious binding targets for renewable energy for the year 2030 and that the future European electricity grid systematically has to match the needs of growing shares of renewable sources in the electricity mix. However, the SRU considers the harmonization of support schemes not appropriate, as the conditions in member states are too different.

* The European Commission has calculated overall cost including tax at a level of 199 €/ MWh, the SRU estimated a level without tax at 65 €/MWh. The figures are not directly comparable – but the orders of magnitude diverge significantly.

The scenarios and the full report can be downloaded at www.umweltrat.de

For further information, please contact Dr. Christian Hey on +49 (0)30-26 36 96-0.

The Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) was founded in 1971 to advise the German government. The Council is made up of seven university professors from a range of different environment-related disciplines. This ensures an encompassing and independent evaluation from a natural scientific and technical as well as from an economic, legal and political science perspective.
The Council has currently the following members:
Prof. Dr. Martin Faulstich (Chair), Technische Universität München
Prof. Dr. Heidi Foth (Vice Chair), Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Prof. Dr. Christian Calliess, Freie Universität Berlin
Prof. Dr. Olav Hohmeyer, Universität Flensburg
Prof. Dr. Karin Holm-Müller, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Prof. Dr. Manfred Niekisch, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt

Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Freie Universität Berlin

Christian Simon | idw
Further information:
http://www.umweltrat.de/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>