Private investors will be vital to electrifying Europe

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Ilaria Valtimora
September 28, 2018
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Private investors will be vital to electrifying Europe

Do you want to decarbonise Europe’s electricity system? As you’re a member of the A Word About Wind community then you’ll probably answer with a hearty ‘yes’.

And I’m sure you also know that renewables will play a vital role. We know a vested interest when we see one! This week, industry association WindEurope published a report, ‘Breaking New Ground’, in which is said that renewables-based electrification was key to decarbonising the energy used in Europe. The figures are exciting.

WindEurope argued that rolling out more wind and solar farms, supported by energy storage schemes, could increase the share of electricity used in industrial processes, transport and buildings, and cut Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions by 90% by 2050.

It added that the proportion of electricity in Europe’s energy mix could reach 62% by 2050, up from 24% now, with the right support. Impressive stuff.

But this would only happen if countries across the European Union put in place the policies to support the construction of renewables projects – and wind farms in particular. Well, this is a WindEurope report after all!

The report analyses two scenarios by which Europe could increase the share of electricity in energy: an “accelerated electrification scenario”, which only requires the implementation of current policies; and a “Paris-compatible scenario”, which would instead require governments to adopt more ambitious policies.

This second scenario would bring the share of electricity in the European energy mix to 62% in 2050, with over three-quarters (78%) of that 62% coming from renewables. As the International Energy Agency forecasts wind to be the leading source of power generation in Europe after 2030, wind farms are set to make up a major part of that.

Renewables-based electrification would also bring significant economic benefits to EU member states by decreasing the amount of imported energy, WindEurope said. Currently, 20% of all EU’s imports are energy-related and they account for 54% of all the energy that European countries consumes. This costs EU citizens over €1bn per day. Investments in renewables and electrification could bring huge savings.

This sounds great, but can member states achieve this?

Yes, said WindEurope, if they implement its proposed policy recommendations.

These include adjusting their tax regimes in order to incentivise the use of electricity; designing market rules to enable the use of electricity pricing contracts and time-responsive grid tariffs; investing in interconnectors, electric grid and vehicle-charging infrastructure; and defining electrification measures as part of their National Energy and Climate Plans to 2030, in particular for industrial processes and buildings.

This all makes sense, but we wonder whether it is really feasible. Countries including Norway, Germany, France and the UK are taking steps to promote electric vehicles and implement the grid infrastructure to support them, but the commitment of EU member states is mixed.

We would expect the commitment to a renewable-based electrification system to be very patch as well. We believe that the success of these initiatives mainly depends on investments from the private sector. In our view, technology development led by private companies usually moves far faster than government policy changes – and so, while we expect change, we believe the private sector must take the lead.

For example, the renewables boom in Europe has been mainly driven by private investors: renewable energy, including wind, has attracted them because they make business sense. An increase of the level of electrification in the EU can be possible only if investors believe in its commercial value. Thankfully, a growing number do.

Companies of every sectors, including Renault, Harley Davidson, BP and Iberdrola, have already demonstrated their interest for electric vehicles and battery storage, which would be key to kick off the electrification of Europe. This is a good start.

The support of the governments will be important to drive the change and attract investors, but it is the private sector that will ultimately drive the money and make it possible. Politicians must set the rules so that the private sector can do its thing.

Do you want to decarbonise Europe’s electricity system? As you’re a member of the A Word About Wind community then you’ll probably answer with a hearty ‘yes’.

And I’m sure you also know that renewables will play a vital role. We know a vested interest when we see one! This week, industry association WindEurope published a report, ‘Breaking New Ground’, in which is said that renewables-based electrification was key to decarbonising the energy used in Europe. The figures are exciting.

WindEurope argued that rolling out more wind and solar farms, supported by energy storage schemes, could increase the share of electricity used in industrial processes, transport and buildings, and cut Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions by 90% by 2050.

It added that the proportion of electricity in Europe’s energy mix could reach 62% by 2050, up from 24% now, with the right support. Impressive stuff.

But this would only happen if countries across the European Union put in place the policies to support the construction of renewables projects – and wind farms in particular. Well, this is a WindEurope report after all!

The report analyses two scenarios by which Europe could increase the share of electricity in energy: an “accelerated electrification scenario”, which only requires the implementation of current policies; and a “Paris-compatible scenario”, which would instead require governments to adopt more ambitious policies.

This second scenario would bring the share of electricity in the European energy mix to 62% in 2050, with over three-quarters (78%) of that 62% coming from renewables. As the International Energy Agency forecasts wind to be the leading source of power generation in Europe after 2030, wind farms are set to make up a major part of that.

Renewables-based electrification would also bring significant economic benefits to EU member states by decreasing the amount of imported energy, WindEurope said. Currently, 20% of all EU’s imports are energy-related and they account for 54% of all the energy that European countries consumes. This costs EU citizens over €1bn per day. Investments in renewables and electrification could bring huge savings.

This sounds great, but can member states achieve this?

Yes, said WindEurope, if they implement its proposed policy recommendations.

These include adjusting their tax regimes in order to incentivise the use of electricity; designing market rules to enable the use of electricity pricing contracts and time-responsive grid tariffs; investing in interconnectors, electric grid and vehicle-charging infrastructure; and defining electrification measures as part of their National Energy and Climate Plans to 2030, in particular for industrial processes and buildings.

This all makes sense, but we wonder whether it is really feasible. Countries including Norway, Germany, France and the UK are taking steps to promote electric vehicles and implement the grid infrastructure to support them, but the commitment of EU member states is mixed.

We would expect the commitment to a renewable-based electrification system to be very patch as well. We believe that the success of these initiatives mainly depends on investments from the private sector. In our view, technology development led by private companies usually moves far faster than government policy changes – and so, while we expect change, we believe the private sector must take the lead.

For example, the renewables boom in Europe has been mainly driven by private investors: renewable energy, including wind, has attracted them because they make business sense. An increase of the level of electrification in the EU can be possible only if investors believe in its commercial value. Thankfully, a growing number do.

Companies of every sectors, including Renault, Harley Davidson, BP and Iberdrola, have already demonstrated their interest for electric vehicles and battery storage, which would be key to kick off the electrification of Europe. This is a good start.

The support of the governments will be important to drive the change and attract investors, but it is the private sector that will ultimately drive the money and make it possible. Politicians must set the rules so that the private sector can do its thing.

Do you want to decarbonise Europe’s electricity system? As you’re a member of the A Word About Wind community then you’ll probably answer with a hearty ‘yes’.

And I’m sure you also know that renewables will play a vital role. We know a vested interest when we see one! This week, industry association WindEurope published a report, ‘Breaking New Ground’, in which is said that renewables-based electrification was key to decarbonising the energy used in Europe. The figures are exciting.

WindEurope argued that rolling out more wind and solar farms, supported by energy storage schemes, could increase the share of electricity used in industrial processes, transport and buildings, and cut Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions by 90% by 2050.

It added that the proportion of electricity in Europe’s energy mix could reach 62% by 2050, up from 24% now, with the right support. Impressive stuff.

But this would only happen if countries across the European Union put in place the policies to support the construction of renewables projects – and wind farms in particular. Well, this is a WindEurope report after all!

The report analyses two scenarios by which Europe could increase the share of electricity in energy: an “accelerated electrification scenario”, which only requires the implementation of current policies; and a “Paris-compatible scenario”, which would instead require governments to adopt more ambitious policies.

This second scenario would bring the share of electricity in the European energy mix to 62% in 2050, with over three-quarters (78%) of that 62% coming from renewables. As the International Energy Agency forecasts wind to be the leading source of power generation in Europe after 2030, wind farms are set to make up a major part of that.

Renewables-based electrification would also bring significant economic benefits to EU member states by decreasing the amount of imported energy, WindEurope said. Currently, 20% of all EU’s imports are energy-related and they account for 54% of all the energy that European countries consumes. This costs EU citizens over €1bn per day. Investments in renewables and electrification could bring huge savings.

This sounds great, but can member states achieve this?

Yes, said WindEurope, if they implement its proposed policy recommendations.

These include adjusting their tax regimes in order to incentivise the use of electricity; designing market rules to enable the use of electricity pricing contracts and time-responsive grid tariffs; investing in interconnectors, electric grid and vehicle-charging infrastructure; and defining electrification measures as part of their National Energy and Climate Plans to 2030, in particular for industrial processes and buildings.

This all makes sense, but we wonder whether it is really feasible. Countries including Norway, Germany, France and the UK are taking steps to promote electric vehicles and implement the grid infrastructure to support them, but the commitment of EU member states is mixed.

We would expect the commitment to a renewable-based electrification system to be very patch as well. We believe that the success of these initiatives mainly depends on investments from the private sector. In our view, technology development led by private companies usually moves far faster than government policy changes – and so, while we expect change, we believe the private sector must take the lead.

For example, the renewables boom in Europe has been mainly driven by private investors: renewable energy, including wind, has attracted them because they make business sense. An increase of the level of electrification in the EU can be possible only if investors believe in its commercial value. Thankfully, a growing number do.

Companies of every sectors, including Renault, Harley Davidson, BP and Iberdrola, have already demonstrated their interest for electric vehicles and battery storage, which would be key to kick off the electrification of Europe. This is a good start.

The support of the governments will be important to drive the change and attract investors, but it is the private sector that will ultimately drive the money and make it possible. Politicians must set the rules so that the private sector can do its thing.

Do you want to decarbonise Europe’s electricity system? As you’re a member of the A Word About Wind community then you’ll probably answer with a hearty ‘yes’.

And I’m sure you also know that renewables will play a vital role. We know a vested interest when we see one! This week, industry association WindEurope published a report, ‘Breaking New Ground’, in which is said that renewables-based electrification was key to decarbonising the energy used in Europe. The figures are exciting.

WindEurope argued that rolling out more wind and solar farms, supported by energy storage schemes, could increase the share of electricity used in industrial processes, transport and buildings, and cut Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions by 90% by 2050.

It added that the proportion of electricity in Europe’s energy mix could reach 62% by 2050, up from 24% now, with the right support. Impressive stuff.

But this would only happen if countries across the European Union put in place the policies to support the construction of renewables projects – and wind farms in particular. Well, this is a WindEurope report after all!

The report analyses two scenarios by which Europe could increase the share of electricity in energy: an “accelerated electrification scenario”, which only requires the implementation of current policies; and a “Paris-compatible scenario”, which would instead require governments to adopt more ambitious policies.

This second scenario would bring the share of electricity in the European energy mix to 62% in 2050, with over three-quarters (78%) of that 62% coming from renewables. As the International Energy Agency forecasts wind to be the leading source of power generation in Europe after 2030, wind farms are set to make up a major part of that.

Renewables-based electrification would also bring significant economic benefits to EU member states by decreasing the amount of imported energy, WindEurope said. Currently, 20% of all EU’s imports are energy-related and they account for 54% of all the energy that European countries consumes. This costs EU citizens over €1bn per day. Investments in renewables and electrification could bring huge savings.

This sounds great, but can member states achieve this?

Yes, said WindEurope, if they implement its proposed policy recommendations.

These include adjusting their tax regimes in order to incentivise the use of electricity; designing market rules to enable the use of electricity pricing contracts and time-responsive grid tariffs; investing in interconnectors, electric grid and vehicle-charging infrastructure; and defining electrification measures as part of their National Energy and Climate Plans to 2030, in particular for industrial processes and buildings.

This all makes sense, but we wonder whether it is really feasible. Countries including Norway, Germany, France and the UK are taking steps to promote electric vehicles and implement the grid infrastructure to support them, but the commitment of EU member states is mixed.

We would expect the commitment to a renewable-based electrification system to be very patch as well. We believe that the success of these initiatives mainly depends on investments from the private sector. In our view, technology development led by private companies usually moves far faster than government policy changes – and so, while we expect change, we believe the private sector must take the lead.

For example, the renewables boom in Europe has been mainly driven by private investors: renewable energy, including wind, has attracted them because they make business sense. An increase of the level of electrification in the EU can be possible only if investors believe in its commercial value. Thankfully, a growing number do.

Companies of every sectors, including Renault, Harley Davidson, BP and Iberdrola, have already demonstrated their interest for electric vehicles and battery storage, which would be key to kick off the electrification of Europe. This is a good start.

The support of the governments will be important to drive the change and attract investors, but it is the private sector that will ultimately drive the money and make it possible. Politicians must set the rules so that the private sector can do its thing.

Do you want to decarbonise Europe’s electricity system? As you’re a member of the A Word About Wind community then you’ll probably answer with a hearty ‘yes’.

And I’m sure you also know that renewables will play a vital role. We know a vested interest when we see one! This week, industry association WindEurope published a report, ‘Breaking New Ground’, in which is said that renewables-based electrification was key to decarbonising the energy used in Europe. The figures are exciting.

WindEurope argued that rolling out more wind and solar farms, supported by energy storage schemes, could increase the share of electricity used in industrial processes, transport and buildings, and cut Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions by 90% by 2050.

It added that the proportion of electricity in Europe’s energy mix could reach 62% by 2050, up from 24% now, with the right support. Impressive stuff.

But this would only happen if countries across the European Union put in place the policies to support the construction of renewables projects – and wind farms in particular. Well, this is a WindEurope report after all!

The report analyses two scenarios by which Europe could increase the share of electricity in energy: an “accelerated electrification scenario”, which only requires the implementation of current policies; and a “Paris-compatible scenario”, which would instead require governments to adopt more ambitious policies.

This second scenario would bring the share of electricity in the European energy mix to 62% in 2050, with over three-quarters (78%) of that 62% coming from renewables. As the International Energy Agency forecasts wind to be the leading source of power generation in Europe after 2030, wind farms are set to make up a major part of that.

Renewables-based electrification would also bring significant economic benefits to EU member states by decreasing the amount of imported energy, WindEurope said. Currently, 20% of all EU’s imports are energy-related and they account for 54% of all the energy that European countries consumes. This costs EU citizens over €1bn per day. Investments in renewables and electrification could bring huge savings.

This sounds great, but can member states achieve this?

Yes, said WindEurope, if they implement its proposed policy recommendations.

These include adjusting their tax regimes in order to incentivise the use of electricity; designing market rules to enable the use of electricity pricing contracts and time-responsive grid tariffs; investing in interconnectors, electric grid and vehicle-charging infrastructure; and defining electrification measures as part of their National Energy and Climate Plans to 2030, in particular for industrial processes and buildings.

This all makes sense, but we wonder whether it is really feasible. Countries including Norway, Germany, France and the UK are taking steps to promote electric vehicles and implement the grid infrastructure to support them, but the commitment of EU member states is mixed.

We would expect the commitment to a renewable-based electrification system to be very patch as well. We believe that the success of these initiatives mainly depends on investments from the private sector. In our view, technology development led by private companies usually moves far faster than government policy changes – and so, while we expect change, we believe the private sector must take the lead.

For example, the renewables boom in Europe has been mainly driven by private investors: renewable energy, including wind, has attracted them because they make business sense. An increase of the level of electrification in the EU can be possible only if investors believe in its commercial value. Thankfully, a growing number do.

Companies of every sectors, including Renault, Harley Davidson, BP and Iberdrola, have already demonstrated their interest for electric vehicles and battery storage, which would be key to kick off the electrification of Europe. This is a good start.

The support of the governments will be important to drive the change and attract investors, but it is the private sector that will ultimately drive the money and make it possible. Politicians must set the rules so that the private sector can do its thing.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.