Energy Blue Print
Key results - EU-27

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

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key results of the EU 27 energy [r]evolution scenario

5.1 energy demand by sector

The future development pathways for Europe’s energy demand are shown in Figure 5.1 for the Reference and the Energy [R]evolution scenario. Under the Reference scenario, total primary energy demand in EU 27 (The 27 countries in the European Union economic region) increases by 5% from the current 69,700 PJ/a to around 73,400 PJ/a in 2050 (including net electricity imports). The energy demand in 2050 in the Energy [R]evolution scenario decreases by 35% compared to current consumption and it is expected by 2050 to reach 45,500 PJ/a.

Under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, electricity demand in the industry as well as in the residential and service sectors is expected to decrease after 2015 (see Figure 5.2). Because of the growing shares of electric vehicles, heat pumps and hydrogen generation however, electricity demand increases to 3,296 TWh/a in 2050, still 16% below the Reference case.

Efficiency gains in the heat supply sector are larger than in the electricity sector. Under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, final demand for heat supply can even be reduced significantly (see Figure 5.4). Compared to the Reference scenario, consumption equivalent to 8,710 PJ/a is avoided through efficiency measures by 2050. As a result of energy-related renovation of the existing stock of residential buildings, as well as the introduction of low energy standards and ‘passive houses’ for new buildings, enjoyment of the same comfort and energy services will be accompanied by a much lower future energy demand.

5.2 electricity generation

The development of the electricity supply market under the Energy [R]evolution scenario is characterised by a dynamically growing renewable energy market. This will compensate for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reduce the number of fossil fuel-fired power plants required for grid stabilisation. By 2050, 96% of the electricity produced in EU 27 will come from renewable energy sources. ‘New’ renewables – mainly wind, solar thermal energy and PV – will contribute 75% of electricity generation. The Energy [R]evolution scenario projects an immediate market development with high annual growth rates achieving a renewable electricity share of 44% already by 2020 and 67% by 2030. The installed capacity of renewables will reach 989 GW in 2030 and 1,480 GW by 2050.

Table 5.1 shows the comparative evolution of the different renewable technologies in EU 27 over time. Up to 2020 hydro and wind will remain the main contributors of the growing market share. After 2020, the continuing growth of wind will be complemented by electricity from biomass, photovoltaics and solar thermal (CSP) energy. The Energy [R]evolution scenario will lead to a high share of fluctuating power generation sources (photovoltaic, wind and ocean) of 40% by 2030, therefore the expansion of smart grids, demand side management (DSM) and storage capacity e.g. from the increased share of electric vehicles will be used for a better grid integration and power generation management.