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The energy transition: short-term ambition delivers positive results for the future

According to scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark, the time has come to invest quickly and massively to make the energy transition more cheap. This can be read in a study recently published in the journal Nature Communications. Aarhus University is one of the top 100 universities denmark knows and is known for their award-winning research and university studies, as well as in the field of clean energy.

Research method

The research 'Early decarbonisation of the European energy system pays off' examines the best financial way for the energy transition to take place in Europe. For example, a cumulative carbon budget of 33 GtCO2 for the European electricity, heating and transport sectors is assumed between 2020 and 2050.

The scientists used a supercomputer that was filled with detailed data on the European power grid. Thanks to all the data entered, the scientists were able to create models for the production of electricity, heating and fuel. For example, it was measured how much energy one needs in order to be able to supply all inhabitants with sufficient energy throughout the year.

Question

The Danish scientists asked themselves the following question: What is the cheapest and easiest way to comply with the Paris Agreement? The objective of this agreement is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The energy transition is an important aspect of this. Among other things, the university investigated the results that could be achieved with the use of nuclear energy and energy from wind, solar and hydropower.  

In addition, they examined the following two scenarios:

  1. Start up energy transition en masse and then let it run steadily
  2. Slow start-up and as 2050 approaches, accelerate

Marta Victoria, assistant professor of Engineering and energy expert at Aarhus University, explains this further: "We looked at what energy transition we need to achieve the 2050 goal, using the carbon budget."

Carbon budget

One of the important aspects of the carbon budget is emissions trading. Emissions trading is emissions trading. These give the right to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases. Applicants and suppliers trade in allowances and thus a CO2 price is established. The permitted amount of emissions is gradually reduced. By 2020, emissions from sectors covered by the EU ETS (Emmission Trade System) should be 21% lower than in 2005. The European Commission has proposed that emissions should be reduced by 43% by 203. With this market instrument, the EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective way.

Conclusion

According to Victoria and her team, the model makes it clear that the sooner you start, the cheaper the solution eventually becomes. "Ambitious in the short term," says Marta Victoria. In addition, they see solar energy and wind on land and at sea as the cheapest building block to have a fully CO2 free energy system by 2050. They stress that over the next 30 years, considerable use is required on wind and solar energy.

Conditions for success

In order to achieve climate neutrality, a lot more solar and wind power plants will have to be built. In a few years, these plants will have to produce more than 100 gigawatts of clean energy to make the energy transition cheaper. In several places, however, wind and solar systems encounter resistance from municipalities and citizens. The implementation of new technologies and techniques will therefore have to make a significant contribution to accelerating the energy transition.

A short sprint gives you a head start

The research shows that a rapid and powerful switch to new technologies will save money of some €350 billion in the long term. The faster reduction of the available carbon budget can also make a positive contribution to accelerating the energy transition. Although the energy transition remains a major challenge, the commitment to an initial acceleration paints a positive picture for the future!

Want to know more about how AmperaPark contributes to the energy transition? Read more about our sustainable solutions such as our green charging station and the carport with solar panels.