Tuesday

25th Sep 2018

Opinion

The press aren't doing their homework on 'costly' renewables

  • The European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 has been hotly anticipated for months (Photo: European Community, 2005)

The European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 has been hotly anticipated for months. Within minutes of its finally being published today, press releases and news alerts were flying around.

What a shame that some reporters were so keen to put the news out that they apparently failed to read the roadmap they were reporting on.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Misinformed articles are being published about the “high costs” of decarbonisation and renewables, as purportedly shown in the roadmap. But in fact, the roadmap shows that all the 2050 energy scenarios, including the high-use-of-renewables scenario and the business-as-usual scenario, would have the same “overall system costs”.

On the other hand, perhaps those reporters are basing their claims on the finding that the high-use-of-renewables scenario has a higher electricity price than other decarbonisation scenarios after 2030.

However, until 2030, electricity prices are set to increase just as much under business-as-usual scenarios with a low penetration of renewables as they are in the decarbonised scenarios. It is not decarbonisation or renewables that will cause price rises, but the need to invest in replacing ageing power plants and grids.

The increase post-2030 in the high-use-of-renewables scenario is the result of far-fetched assumptions such as offshore wind costing the same in 2050 as today or running 50 nuclear power reactors at 50-percent capacity; but also oil prices dropping from over $100 per barrel today to $70 per barrel in 2050, and no gas or carbon-capture-and-storage infrastructure costs being accounted for in the next 40 years. Despite this, the overall costs of the high-use-of-renewables scenario are the same as the other scenarios. And the scenario with the lowest possible cost is missing: the one that would have combined high use of renewables and high energy efficiency.

Those who are trying to claim that decarbonisation is costly and that this is due to renewables are mistaken or, quite simply, have not done their homework.

Stephane Bourgeois is the head of regulatory affairs at the European Wind Energy Association.

Lithuania faces funding gap in dismantling Chernobyl-type plant

A precondition for Lithuania's EU membership, the closure of its Chernobyl-type nuclear plant in Ignalina is behind schedule and faces a funding gap of €1.5 billion, Lithuania's energy minister has said. But experts question the way money was spent.

Divisive gas pipeline launched under EU banner

The leaders of Germany, the Netherlands and Russia, the prime minister of France and an EU commissioner have celebrated the launch of a new gas pipeline that some fear could be used to divide the EU.

Focus

Wind energy in figures

Europe is the world's biggest fan of wind energy. But other parts of the world, notably China, are catching up fast.

No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected

Following the 2030 renewable target of 32 percent, chair of the European Parliament's environment committee Adina Valean argues in order to reach our climate and energy goals, we need both public and private investment over the next decade and beyond.

News in Brief

  1. UN chief: World suffering from 'trust deficit disorder'
  2. Stalemate in Sweden as parliament ousts prime minister
  3. Migrant rescue ship heading to French port
  4. EU angry at British tabloids on Brexit
  5. UK to allow EU flights in no-deal Brexit
  6. Greek reporters arrested after story on 'mishandled' EU funds
  7. Austrian minister urges police to out foreign sex offenders
  8. ECB's Draghi set to clarify role in secretive G30 group

Will the centre-right stand up for EU values?

Time for Christian Democrats in the EP to show where they stand on Hungary and on the EU's founding principles, say Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in a joint text.

Europe needs more modern leadership

If Europe wants to be a global leader, our political leadership has to change dramatically. Power needs a new face in Europe, and it needs to get legitimacy from the people, argues liberal MEP Sophie in 't Veld.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses
  2. Russian with Malta passport in money-laundering probe
  3. Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?
  4. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  5. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  6. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  7. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  8. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us