Europe must diversify its renewable energy supply to avoid future shocks
Reacting to the conclusions of the extraordinary Energy Council, the heads of 7 renewable energy associations call upon Europe to prioritise the diversification of renewable energy supply as a matter of urgency. A wider range of renewables will deliver a cleaner energy system that protects citizens and businesses from future energy shocks.
The recent spikes in fossil gas prices show how much European economic and social life depends upon a stable energy supply. Accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources is absolutely the solution – but increasing just the quantity alone is not enough.
Diversity of supply has always been a core principle of energy system security. And Europe is blessed with a wealth of different renewable energy sources.
Together with wind and solar PV, Europe can call upon geothermal, solar heat, wave, hydro, concentrated solar power and tidal energy. Collectively these renewable sources can provide decarbonised and balanced energy at any point in the day, season or year.
But to deliver on this 100% renewables future, action is needed now:
- The revised Renewables Directive needs a sub-target to incentivise national governments to roll out innovative and diverse renewable sources by 2030;
- The 2022-23 Horizon Europe Work Programme should prioritise diverse renewable energy technologies with the greatest potential for innovation and scale-up;
- The European Commission needs to start modelling how a system of diverse renewables will operate, and to inform policy-making with these findings.
Beyond security of supply, these renewables will deliver more of the wider societal benefits that solar PV and wind have already shown – indigenous jobs, low-cost energy, balanced economic growth, sustainable exports and European leadership in strategic technology.
“Europe’s early focus on wind and PV has delivered beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Today’s shock is a clear signal to double down and replicate these successes with all of Europe’s abundant renewable energy sources.” Rémi Gruet, CEO – Ocean Energy Europe
“The decarbonisation challenge is huge and multi-faceted. ‘Silver bullet’ or simple fixes will always be tempting … but only a diversity of renewable sources will provide the ultimate solution.” Marcel Bial, Secretary General – European Solar Thermal Electricity Association
“100% renewable energy system is possible only with the combination of all renewable energy sources. This is the only low cost, employment-rich, energy secure and sustainable solution pathway to meeting the EU’s 2030 and 2050 targets.” Philippe Dumas, Secretary General – European Geothermal Energy Council
“The decarbonisation effort requires the use of a broad diversity of renewable energy sources, both for power and for heat generation. It is not only a matter of security of energy supply, it is also about securing, in Europe and for Europe, new sustainable jobs.” Pedro Dias, Secretary General – Solar Heat Europe
“The IEA’s Global Energy Review 2021 concluded that the share of renewables in global electricity generation jumped to 29% in 2020. We are here to deliver – fast and diversified.” Dörte Fouquet, Director – European Renewable Energies Federation
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