Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy Final Report June 2011

Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy Final Report June 2011
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Topic 3
Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy
System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Final Report
June 2011
Project Leader: Research Coordinator: Research Team:
Manfred Hafner
Leonardo Meeus
Isabel Azevedo
Claudio Marcantonini
Jean-Michel Glachant
Project Advisors:
Christian von Hirschhausen
Pantelis Capros
THINK is financially supported by
the EU’s 7th framework programme
THINK is financially supported by the EU’s 7th framework programme
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
More information on the THINK Project is available on the Internet (http://think.eui.eu)
ISBN:978-92-9084-070-1
doi:10.2870/35290
© European University Institute, 2011
© Leonardo Meeus, Manfred Hafner, Isabel Azevedo, Claudio Marcantonini and Jean-Michel Glachant
This text may be downloaded only for personal research purposes. Any additional reproduction for other purposes, whether in hard copies or
electronically, requires the consent of the authors. Source should be acknowledged. If cited or quoted, reference should be made to the full name
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Contents
Acknowledgements..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... i
Executive Summary...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... iii
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1
1.
Stakeholder visions: what are the key 2050 policy challenges?......................................................................................................................................................... 4
1.1 The transition cost and benefits......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4
1.2 Key 2050 policy challenges.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 6
2.
Member state strategies: how are pioneers dealing with the key 2050 policy challenges? ................................................................................................... 9
2.1 Status of the political process............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 9
2.2 Strategies to deal with the key 2050 policy challenges............................................................................................................................................................ 11
3.
EU involvement: possible role of the EU in addressing the key 2050 policy challenges........................................................................................................... 14
3.1 Rationale for EU involvement............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 14
3.2 Three possible types of EU involvement......................................................................................................................................................................................... 15
3.3 The need for an integrated policy package................................................................................................................................................................................... 31
Recommendations for the DG Energy roadmap............................................................................................................................................................................................... 35
References........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 37
Annexes ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 53
ANNEX 1: Sector-specific objectives and GHG emissions reductions.............................................................................................................................................. 53
ANNEX 2: DG Move transport roadmap...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 54
ANNEX 3: Assumed fuel prices....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 55
ANNEX 4: List of Abbreviations...................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 55
ANNEX 5: industrial council meeting – summary of the discussion on the robustness of the preliminary project results in March....................... 56
ANNEX 6: comments by project advisors on preliminary version of the report in April........................................................................................................... 59
ANNEX 7: Conclusions of the public consultation based on a preliminary version of the report April - May................................................................... 63
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Acknowledgements
This work has been funded by the European Commission FP7 project THINK. This report has gone through
the THINK project quality process (http://think.eui.eu), but for the conclusions and remaining errors the authors of course take full responsibility.
The authors acknowledge the contributions by Pantelis Capros and Christian von Hirschhausen, who functioned as advisors and reviewers for this report.
Moreover, the authors also acknowledge the contributions by the chairmen and participants of the two meetings where drafts of this report were presented and discussed:
– The first milestone was the THINK expert hearing, where the robustness of the preliminary results were
tested (Annex 5). This meeting was held on the 15th of March 2011 in Brussels, chaired by Ronnie Belmans.
The authors benefited from comments by the meeting participants, including Cecilia Bladh, Christophe
Bonnery, Norela Constantinescu, Amine Dalibey, Edouard de Quatrebarbes, Emmanuel De Jaeger, Erik Delarue, Jef Dermaut, William D’haeseleer, Floriane Fesquet, Martin Finkelmann, Serge Galant, Erik Ghekiere,
Hubert Lemmens, Eric Momot, Mathias Normand, Luis Olmos, Pippo Ranci, Sophia Ruester, Jozef Sannen,
Martina Sartori, Claudia Squeglia. The authors especially thank the expert panel of the hearing, consisting
of Helen Donoghue, Adrian Gault and Peter Taylor.
– The second milestone was the scientific council meeting, where a first draft of the full report was discussed
(Annex 6). This meeting was held on the 27th of April 2011 in Brussels, chaired by William D’haeseleer. The
authors benefited from comments by the meeting participants, including Ronnie Belmans, Eduardo de Oliveira Fernandes, Mathias Finger, Dörte Fouquet, Serge Galant, Jean-Michel Glachant, Thomas Johansson,
Felix Kirsch, François Lévêque, Luis Olmos, Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga, Pippo Ranci, Sophia Ruester, Martina
Sartori, Jorge Vasconcelos and Nils-Henrik von der Fehr.
The authors also thank Serge Galant for organizing the public consultation (18th April to 16th May 2011), and
acknowledge the contributions by consultation respondents (Annex 7).
Finally, the authors have benefited from comments by Carlos Batlle, Andrea Bigano, Erik Delarue, Meg
Gottstein, Massimo Lombardini, Riccardo Mercuri, Giuseppe Sammarco, Stefania Santomauro, Claudia Squeglia, Simone Tagliapietra and Massimo Tavoni.
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i
Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Executive Summary
Following the European Council’s target to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95% below 1990 levels by 2050, the European Commission recently released a roadmap that already indicates what could
be the relative contributions of the different sectors,
which is setting the scene for new EU level policy actions. In the policy area of transport there is already
a follow up roadmap with envisaged priority actions,
and also in the area of energy such a policy roadmap
will be released this year, 2011. This report gives recommendations for this 2050 energy roadmap.
Chapter 1 introduces different studies in which stakeholders have presented visions of the low-carbon energy system they desire for 2050. We analyze the visions of the European electricity industry association,
representatives of the European gas industry, the European Climate Foundation, the intergovernmental
International Energy Agency and a non-governmental environmental organization in cooperation with
an association of the renewable energy industry. The
key policy challenges concerning the six main energy-related policy areas to achieve these visions are the
following: 1/ energy efficiency - to achieve ambitious
energy savings; 2/ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to go towards a nearly zero-carbon electricity sector;
3/ renewable energy - to achieve an ambitious renewable energy technologies penetration level; 4/ energy
infrastructure - to ensure electricity grid adequacy
through the expansion and smartening of the grid; 5/
internal energy market - to ensure electricity supply
security through timely investments and system flexibility; and 6/ technology innovation and R&D - to
guarantee sufficient technology development for the
achievement of the previous challenges.
Chapter 2 is dedicated to the analysis of pioneering
member states that have already started to address the
key 2050 policy challenges identified in the previous
chapter. We analyze Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland and UK. Even though the status of the
political process in these countries differs, the strategies that are emerging illustrate how the key 2050 policy challenges can be addressed. The analysis raises
some concern on potential risk of policy fragmentation, but also finds opportunities for cooperation and
EU added value.
Chapter 3 focuses on the possible role for the EU in
addressing the key 2050 policy challenges. We use
an analytical framework with three types of EU involvement to derive promising EU interventions to
deal with the challenges, which are summarized in
Table 1. The first type of EU involvement corresponds
to setting binding targets for member state actions.
The second type of involvement is about harmonizing the actions taken by member states to achieve a
certain target. The third type of EU involvement is to
establish an EU-wide instrument in order to create a
“level playing field”. At the end of the chapter, we also
discuss the need for an integrated policy package to
assure a least cost implementation path. Such a package would need to take into account different energy
policy interactions without forgetting the role of gas,
but also the interactions of energy policy with other
EU policy domains including external trade, regional
policies and external relations, employment and social affairs, economic and monetary affairs, research
and innovation as well as wealth distribution and
public support.
The main recommendations are that it will be crucial
to track progress during the transition to allow for
policy adaptation, which implies close monitoring of
investments and policy implementation, and the EU
can also add value to member states’ first steps on the
road towards 2050. The ten priority EU interventions
are: 1/ Make energy saving targets binding; 2/ Mobi-
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Final Report - June 2011
lize cities towards a low-carbon future; 3/ Strengthen
the carbon price signal; 4/ Integrate renewable energy technologies into the market; 5/ Create a level
playing field for renewable energy cooperation with
non-EU countries; 6/ Harmonize the regulation of
distribution and transmission grids; 7/ Design an EU
infrastructure cost recovery instrument; 8/ Create an
internal balancing market; 9/ Harmonize security of
electricity supply mechanisms; 10/ Complement the
Strategic Technology Plan (SET-Plan).
Table 1 – Promising EU interventions in the 2050 context
FIRST type of EU involvement
SECOND type of EU involvement
THIRD type of EU involvement
Effort sharing with binding
targets:
Harmonization with coherence
requirements:
Level playing field with EUlevel instruments:
Energy efficiency
– Energy savings for 2020 and
beyond
– Overall and sector specific energy
savings
– Measuring and reporting to facilitate
spreading of good practices
– Good practice forum or register
– Benchmarking of cities
GHG emissions
– Reduction of GHG emissions
beyond 2020
– More stringent and credible long
term caps
– Carbon pricing with renewable
energy targets
– Carbon market repository, platform, and authority for EU-ETS
– Carbon tax, at least for non-EUETS sectors
Renewable energy
– Renewable energy beyond 2020
– Minimum market conformity
requirements for national support
schemes
– Support scheme
– Decision bodies of Mediterranean regulators and transmission
companies
– Trade platform for the Mediterranean
Energy infrastructure
– Electricity grid adequacy
– Regulation of grids
– Grid operator and planner
– Infrastructure cost recovery
instrument
– smart grid technology standards
Internal energy market
– Reservation of balancing services
– Balancing markets
– Security of electricity supply mechanisms
– Balancing market codes
iv
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Introduction
We subsequently introduce the background and the
scope of this report, as well as the analytical framework used in this report and its structure.
oriented, while the DG Climate roadmap is mainly a
modeling exercise. Note that the transport policy priorities highlighted in the transport roadmap (Annex
2) interact with the energy policies discussed in this
report, which is especially the case for the envisaged
urban mobility plans and smart pricing and taxation.
Background to this report
Following the European Council’s target to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95% below 1990 levels by 2050 in order to keep climate change below
2ºC1, the European Commission (DG2 Climate) recently released a roadmap for a low carbon economy by 2050 (EC, 2011a). This DG Climate roadmap
communicates what could be the most cost-effective
pathway to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
by 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels, which would
imply domestic emission reductions of 93-99% in the
power sector, 54-67% in the transport sector, 88-91%
in the residential & tertiary sector, 83-87% in the industry sector, 42-49% in agriculture, and 70-78% in
other sectors (Figure 1).
The European Commission also started to think
about the possible role of the EU in these sectors. DG
Move already released a transport roadmap that proposes how the EU could guide the transition in the
transport sector (EC, 2011h), and DG Energy has announced presenting its energy roadmap by the end
of this year, 2011. These roadmaps are more policy1
Taking into account that total climate action from all
countries will allow a global reduction of 50% in emissions by
2050. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) has concluded that a reduction of 50% to 85% in global GHG emission by 2050 compared to the 2000 level is needed to limit the global temperature
rise to 2.0-2.4ºC with respect to the temperature in pre-industrial
times. According to more recent studies, a 50% GHG reduction
may not be enough to avoid dangerous temperature increases
(Allison at al, 2009). In this report we do not enter in the debate
over whether 80‐95% GHG reduction for the EU is too ambitious
or not ambitious enough to reach this temperature limit, or if the
2ºC target is enough to prevent climate disruption.
2
The European Commission is organized in several Directorate Generals, referred to as the DGs.
Scope of this report
The role of the EU in the transition towards a low carbon energy future is increasingly debated (Jones and
Glachant, 2010). This debate has been taking place in
a context where various visions of the path to follow
are presented by stakeholders, and several member
states have already started implementing policies to
guide the transition. The main contribution of this report is to first analyze this on-going process and then
identify promising EU interventions in energy policy,
based on the collected evidence. In the following we
further detail the scope of our analysis.
Visions
The visions analyzed within this report are recently
released energy roadmaps that include a quantitative
analysis for Europe3. They are from a diverse set of
stakeholders: a European electricity industry association (Eurelectric, 2010a), representatives of the European gas industry (EGAF, 2011), the European Climate Foundation (ECF, 2010), the intergovernmental
International Energy Agency (IEA, 2010) and a nongovernmental environmental organization in cooperation with an association of the renewable energy
industry (EREC/Greenpeace, 2010). We compare the
visions of these stakeholders with the DG Climate
roadmap (EC, 2011a), which presents the European
Commission’s vision of a low-carbon economy and
the most cost-effective pathway to achieve the desired
3
This explains why, for instance, WWF (2011) is not
considered, since it does not present a quantitative analysis for
Europe.
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Final Report - June 2011
Figure 1 – EU GHG emissions towards 80% domestic reduction (compared to 1990 levels) Source: EC, 2011a
goal.
Strategies
For what concerns the member states’ pioneering
strategies, we include in the analysis those member states that have low carbon energy policies with
specific 2050 targets in place, i.e. Denmark, France,
Finland, Ireland, Germany and the UK (for the remainder of this report, we refer to them as the “pioneering member states”).4 By analyzing these selected
visions and strategies, we identify the challenges that
policy makers will need to address at member state
and/or EU levels, and we also identify new risks of
member states moving in different directions (“policy
fragmentation”) and new opportunities for member
states’ cooperation and European added value.
EU
With this report, we are advising DG Energy in the
preparation of their roadmap. We focus on the first
4
Note that these are not necessarily today’s pioneers. For
instance, the UK during the last 10 years has only reached a share
of renewable energy of around 3% (NREAP, 2010) in their gross
consumption, while they need to reach 15% by 2020.
2
steps that should already be undertaken today at the
EU level. As a result, the report also takes today’s EU
institutional boundary conditions as given. In other
words, we are implicitly assuming that the EU is a
multilateral agreement that is fixed. Even though it
is out of the scope of this report, it is important to
also further explore what could and should be a more
ambitious approach to energy policy at the EU level.5
Energy policy
We consider the following six main energy-related
policy areas: energy efficiency, GHG emissions, renewable energy, energy infrastructure, internal energy market, and technology innovation and R&D.
Within these areas, we focus on the electricity sector
because, “electricity will play a central role in the low
carbon economy” (EC, 2011a). Even though this report does not cover the other important sectors, such
as the transport sector, included in the DG Climate
5
Some have argued that energy policy cannot be efficient and effective if sovereignty on energy policy in Europe is
kept at a national level Lévêque (2008). It has been advocated that
in addition to an internal energy market, the EU should aim to
create a common energy policy or, more audaciously, a European
energy community (Notre Europe, 2010).
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
roadmap (Annex 1), it does briefly reflect on the interactions between the transformations in these sectors and the transformation of the power sector.
Analytical framework applied in the report
We developed an analytical framework that distinguishes three different types of possible EU involvement (Figure 2).
– The first type of EU involvement corresponds to
setting (binding) targets for member state actions.
Member states still have total freedom to decide on
how to achieve the targets. The EU creates added
value by setting an objective for the EU as a whole,
and by sharing the effort among member states, for
instance, to ensure that every member state contributes to a European common interest.
– The second type of EU involvement is about framing the choice of measures taken by member states to
achieve a certain objective. Member states still decide
how to act or which instruments to use. The EU creates added value by harmonizing the approach taken
by member states, for instance, by setting coherence
requirements that member states need to comply
with when working towards their objectives.
– The third type of EU involvement corresponds
to the creation of an EU-wide instrument. Member
states then rely on the performance of an EU instrument to amplify the individual measures taken at the
member state level. The EU creates added value by
creating a level playing field, for instance, by introducing a European Emission Trading Scheme (EUETS).
We use this analytical framework with three types of
EU involvement to derive promising EU interventions to deal with the key 2050 policy challenges.
Structure of the report
The report is organized in three chapters. Chapter
1 introduces the different stakeholders’ visions and
derives from them the main energy-related policy
challenges. In Chapter 2, an overview is given on how
pioneering member states are dealing with these key
challenges and the risks of policy fragmentation; new
opportunities for member state cooperation and European added value are also identified. Chapter 3 is
Figure 2 – Different types of EU involvement
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Final Report - June 2011
Table 2 – Stakeholder visions
Stakeholder
Vision
GHG Target*
Fuel Prices
Eurelectric
Power Choices
75%
Low gas price
80%
High gas price
80%
Low gas price and constrained nuclear****
80%
BLUE Map
75%
Roadmap 40% RES
80%
Roadmap 60% RES
80%
Roadmap 80% RES
80%
Energy [R]evolution
80%
European Gas Advocacy Forum (EGAF)
International Energy
Agency (IEA)
European Climate
Forum (ECF)
EREC/ Greenpeace
Technologies Development
CCTS **
RES ***
Medium-High
2025
Low
Medium-Low*****
2030
Medium
Low
2015-2025
High
Medium-Low
2020
Medium
High
Not needed
Medium-High
* GHG emission reductions relative to 1990 levels
** Year when it is assumed to be commercially available
*** Learning rates (in qualitative terms)
**** Nuclear capacity constrained at 30GW by 2030
***** The fuel prices considered are the same as in the ECF report, except for gas, for which two different price scenarios (low and high) are
considered. The high gas price scenario is the one corresponding to ECF values.
dedicated to the understanding of the possible role of
the EU. Finally, the main recommendations deriving
from the analysis are presented.
1.
Stakeholder visions: what are
the key 2050 policy challenges?
The stakeholders’ visions on a low carbon energy system are introduced in this chapter. We report what
the visions mention regarding the transition costs and
benefits, and then continue with the identification of
key policy challenges necessary to achieve them.
1.1
The transition cost and benefits
Stakeholders have presented alternative pathways
towards a low carbon energy system in 2050 with
slightly different geographic scopes6 and GHG emis6
Eurelectric considers the EU 27, while both EGAF and
ECF consider all the countries from the EU 27 plus Switzerland
and Norway. The scope from IEA and EREC/Greenpeace reports
is OECD Europe which consists of 19 EU member states (Austria,
4
sions’ reduction targets. In what follows, we discuss
the differences in assumptions regarding: 1// fuel
prices; and 2// technology development (Table 2).7
For the assumed fuel prices (Annex 3), IEA presents
low fuel prices, based on the reference scenario of the
IEA World Energy Outlook (WEO) (IEA, 2009a); it
is assumed that fuel prices will decrease significantly
towards 2050 as a result of the decreasing fuel consumption. ECF fuel prices are slightly higher, based
on the low carbon scenario included in IEA WEO
Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
7
Note that regarding economic growth, the stakeholders have assumption of a slow and stable economic growth after
2030 in common. Because the values used to report are not the
same, it is not straightforward to compare assumptions. There is a
difference in currency and different indicators are used to quantify growth; ECF and EGAF studies only present an average annual
growth for the whole transition period, while the others present
the expected value for GDP or GDP per capita.
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
(IEA, 2009a).8 EGAF uses the same assumptions on
fuel prices as ECF, except for gas where two scenarios are considered: a high gas price scenario with the
same gas prices as ECF and a low gas price scenario
which assumes that gas prices remain low up to 2050.
The Eurelectric fuel prices, based on their own calculations using the Prometheus model, are higher than
in the reports above. EREC/Greenpeace has the highest assumed fuel prices based on the high price sensitivity scenario in IEA WEO (IEA, 2009a).
Looking at the assumed technology developments,
different stakeholders do not count on the same technologies, as they have different assumptions regarding the cost evolution of these technologies. For instance, IEA projects that Carbon Capture Transport
and Storage (CCTS) will be available between 2015
and 2025, depending on the support that this technology will receive; ECF considers that CCTS technologies will be commercially available from 2020 on;
Eurelectric considers these technologies from 2025
on, and EGAF from 2030. EREC/Greenpeace does
not believe in CCTS technologies. For renewable
energy technologies, stakeholders do not report the
same indicators. For instance, Eurelectric presents
levelized costs and EREC/Greenpeace the evolution
of investment and operation and maintenance costs,
while IEA, ECF and EGAF studies present the learning rates of the different technologies. Nonetheless,
Table 2 gives an indication of how these technologies
are projected to develop in the different visions.
Despite the differences in the assumptions among
the different visions, their outcomes concerning the
overall cost of the transition are considerably similar.
The visions have in common that they report that the
transition would increase the need for investments so
8
This low carbon scenario assumed the stabilization of
the concentration of GHG in the atmosphere at 450 ppm CO2-eq,
limiting the rise in global temperature by 20oC (IEA, 2009a).
that capital costs increase, while fuel costs decrease.
Note that the increase in capital costs depends on the
assumed technology development, while the fuel cost
savings depend on the assumed fuel prices.9 In Eurelectric’s vision, the fuel cost savings do not fully compensate the additional investment needed, compared
to their baseline scenario. In the IEA’s vision, the additional investments are lower than the cumulative
fuel savings, compared to their baseline scenario. In
ECF’s vision, the cost of energy is reported to decline
by 20-30% over the total period. EGAF however argues that the ECF pathways are costlier and riskier
than accounted for.10 The EREC/Greenpeace study
reports an annual cost of electricity supply that is below that of their baseline scenario. In other words, the
visions agree that investment goes up, and fuel costs
go down, but they do not fully agree on what will be
the net effect.
Some stakeholders have also argued that their findings are robust by showing that they also hold under
different assumptions. For instance, Eurelectric performed four sensitivity analyses in order to study the
impact of changing their main assumptions, including the delay on CCTS technologies development,
the change in nuclear phase out policies, the tighter
restrictions regarding on-shore wind installation and
the inexistence of additional energy efficiency policies. The overall result is that in general there are no
significant changes, neither on the target achieved
nor in the overall costs of the transition.11 IEA also
9
This is a simplification because, for instance, the development of technology also has an impact on the fuel costs as
more efficient conversion technologies can save fuel.
10
EGAF argues that a realistic and cost-efficient low
carbon European strategy should take in consideration the considerable stranded costs that are likely to derive from the abandonment of gas distribution and storage infrastructures and the
consequent economical and societal burdens connected with the
natural gas industry.
11
The inexistence of additional energy efficiency policies
is the one with the highest impact both on the targets and on the
costs, -7% and additional 3,552 billion Euros, respectively.
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Final Report - June 2011
performed some sensitivity analysis regarding assumptions in the different economic sectors (electricity, buildings, industry and transports) in order to
guarantee the robustness of their conclusions. Within
the ECF study there is a sensitivity analysis, but its
main goal has been to show that the power system
can sustain a high share of renewable energy sources,
even when considering extreme weather conditions
and/or reductions on interconnections (among other
changes in the system).
The DG Climate roadmap confirms the need for additional investments in order to ensure the transition,
which the roadmap considers to be about €270 billion12 annually during the period 2010-2050 (corresponding to 1.5% of GDP). The roadmap also states
that the net effect can be positive or negative depending on the fuel price developments, which are estimated to be about €175 to 320 billion annually during
the same period.
Note that the stakeholder studies included here assess
the policy costs mostly from an energy system analysis. Transformational policies such as those needed
to achieve a low carbon economy are likely however
to have impacts on various sectors of the economy
and on the trading balance of the EU, which can be
negative (e.g. reduced competitiveness of energy intensive industries) and/or positive (e.g. development
of low carbon businesses). The DG Climate roadmap
believes the net effect will be positive, considering the
additional investments in the EU economy that will
lead to an increase of competitiveness and jobs. Note
also that the stakeholder studies compare the costs of
the transition with a “business as usual” baseline scenario, which is actually not the correct way to discuss
whether or not we should follow the decarbonisation
12
The biggest share of this amount would be invested in
the transport sector (€150 billion), followed by the built environment (€75 billion) and the power sector (€30 billion).
6
path, we should rather be comparing the costs of climate change with the costs of the transition to mitigate climate change.
1.2
Key 2050 policy challenges
In this section, we identify the key policy challenges
concerning the achievement of the stakeholders’ visions. Throughout the identification, we demonstrate
that these challenges are in policy areas where the
EU is indeed already active in the 2020 context: 1//
energy efficiency; 2// GHG emissions; 3// renewable
energy; 4// energy infrastructure; 5// internal energy
markets; and 6// technology innovation and R&D
(Table 3).
First, in the policy area of energy efficiency, the key
challenge reported by stakeholders is to achieve ambitious energy savings. The ambition desired is not
always comparable among the different studies since
they do not present the necessary energy efficiency
improvements using the same indicators. Eurelectric and EREC/Greenpeace for instance report the
primary energy savings that need to be achieved in
their visions relative to a baseline, i.e. the reference
scenario in IEA WEO (IEA, 2009a), while the others
refer to the role of energy efficiency in terms of the
GHG emissions’ reductions that are projected to be
achieved with energy efficiency measures. The savings that need to be achieved in comparison with a
baseline scenario are 20% in the case of Eurelectric,
and 40% in the case of EREC/Greenpeace. In the
IEA report, energy efficiency improvements reduce
GHG emissions by 30%. ECF reports separate numbers for the building and the transport sectors, where
45% and 20% of GHG reductions are expected to be
achieved through energy efficiency improvements,
respectively. The visions are therefore difficult to
compare, but require a significant increase in efforts
in this area in comparison with previous years. The
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
DG Climate Roadmap further emphasizes the importance of energy efficiency by considering it as the single most important contribution to the achievement
of the objectives.
Second, in the policy area of GHG emissions, the
key challenge reported by stakeholders is to achieve a
nearly zero-carbon electricity sector.13 The vision is to
generate electricity mainly from low-carbon energy
technologies, i.e. using renewable energy sources, nuclear and/or fossil fuels equipped with CCTS so that
electricity can play an important role in decreasing
also the emissions of the transport and heating sectors. Eurelectric considers the highest level of electrification for both sectors, followed by the ECF visions,
while EREC/Greenpeace and IEA consider a higher
direct use of renewable energy sources14 and a lower
use of electricity. In the EGAF vision, a major contribution could come shifting from coal power plants
to gas with also an increased penetration of most efficient renewable technologies and the application
of combined cycles to biomass electricity generation
plants. Within the DG Climate Roadmap, electricity
is considered to play a crucial role in the low carbon
economy so that it also considers the decarbonisation
of the electricity sector as a top priority.
Third, in the policy area of renewable energy, the
key challenge reported by stakeholders is achieving
the ambitious renewable energy targets. There is an
agreement that the use of renewable energy sources
needs to continue to increase, both directly and indirectly (through the use of electricity and heat and
cooling generated from renewable energy sources).
Concerning the use of renewable sources in electric13
See also Delarue et al. (2011).
14
Some of the most important indirect uses of renewable
energy sources in these visions include solar thermal for domestic
hot water; passive solar for space heating purposes and free cooling through the use of mechanical ventilation, cooling towers,
etc.; use of biomass and geothermal for heating purposes.
ity generation, the share ranges from 30-34% (EGAF)
up to almost 100% (EREC/Greenpeace) of electricity
generation in 2050. ECF presents three different visions with different shares on the use of renewable
sources within the electricity sector, ranging from
40% to 80%. IEA envisages that 50% of the electricity
is produced from renewable energy sources. EGAF
suggests postponing the main increase of renewables
until after 2030.
Fourth, in the policy area of energy infrastructure,
the key challenge reported by stakeholders is ensuring electricity grid adequacy. The importance of the
electricity grid, and especially the expansion of transmission across borders, is emphasized in all visions.
The expansion of interconnections that needs to be
achieved in the different studies ranges from a 40%
to more than 90% increase compared to today’s capacities. Note however that the focus on electricity
transmission expansion, as opposed to smarter grids
(which apply to both transmission and distribution
grids) with more demand flexibility and storage, can
be partly explained by the fact that today’s models are
limited in how they represent smart grid technologies. Nonetheless, some of the visions already alert for
the importance of not just expanding but also smartening the grid; for instance, ECF shows the potential benefits of using demand flexibility and EREC/
Greenpeace refers to the need of a EU super-grid.15
Moreover, the need to expand and smarten electricity
grids is also highlighted in the DG Climate Roadmap.
Fifth, in the policy area of the internal energy market,
the key challenge reported by almost all stakeholders
15
EREC/Greenpeace also released a more detailed study
on the infrastructure needed to support the functioning of a European power sector almost 100% fuelled by renewable energy
sources (EREC/Greenpeace, 2009) where they mention the need
for a new political framework to implement the necessary infrastructure. This study has recently also been updated (Greenpeace,
2011).
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7
Final Report - June 2011
is to ensure electricity supply security. Depending on
the visions, the increase in generation capacity ranges
from 50% (Eurelectric) to 164% (ECF 80% RES) of
today’s generation capacity. This raises concerns for
timely investments, which is especially the case for
investments in system flexibility. As emphasized by
all the studies, matching supply and demand, i.e. balancing, will become increasingly challenging with the
increased penetration of renewable energy sources.
ECF for instance reports that, even if the electricity
transmission grid is expanded to reduce the need for
back-up, the back-up capacity needs to be significantly increased compared to today’s values, i.e. between
170 to 270 GW of back-up capacity (equivalent to 22
and 35% of the today’s installed capacity) in its visions with 40% up to 80% electricity generation based
on renewable energy sources. EGAF reports a generation portfolio with more CCTS so that less back-up
capacity is needed. As the amount of back-up capacity that will be needed is uncertain, depending on the
generation mix and the electricity transmission grid
expansion, there are concerns that the market will
not deliver in time or will not provide enough system
flexibility.
if there is not an explicit challenge mentioned in the
different visions, all of them assume certain technology developments in order to allow the achievement
of the intended goal. Indeed, technology innovation
is a pre-condition for most of the challenges in the
other policy areas: achievement of highly ambitious
savings requires the use of technologies which are
still not commercially available; the almost full decarbonisation of the electricity sector also relies on the
increased efficiency of most renewable energy technologies for electricity generation and the development of CCTS technologies; and research on smart
grids and super grids. Within the recently released
roadmap, the EC also shows a concern about guaranteeing the necessary investment in R&D, demonstration and early deployment of different technologies to
ensure their cost-effective and large-scale penetration
later-on.
The key 2050 policy challenges identified in this chapter, as summarized in Table 3, are electricity focused.
With the exception of the EGAF vision, the role of
natural gas in the transition towards 2050 is not always
fully clear, and not always explicitly discussed in the
visions. We will come back to this issue in chapter 3.
Sixth, within technology innovation and R&D, even
Table 3 – Key 2050 policy challenges
Energy efficiency
Ambitious energy savings
GHG emissions
Decarbonising the electricity sector
Renewable energy
Ambitious renewable energy penetration levels
Energy infrastructure
Electricity grid adequacy (expansion and smartening of the grid)
Internal energy market
Electricity supply security (timely investments and system flexibility)
Technology innovation and R&D
Technology development is a precondition for most of the above challenges
8
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
2.
Member state strategies: how
are pioneers dealing with the key
2050 policy challenges?
In this chapter, we explore the low carbon energy policies with a view to 2050 that are emerging in pioneering EU member states. We do not assess the status
of the member states policy towards the 2020 target,
we only focus on the member states that have started
actions with a longer term target. We first compare
the status of the 2050 policy production process, and
then compare what these member states are doing in
order to identify new risks of policy fragmentation
and new opportunities for member states’ cooperation and EU added value.
2.1
Status of the political process
In what follows, we discuss the status of the political
process of member states already mobilized towards
a low-carbon energy future for 2050 in terms of 1//
exploring policy options; 2// legal commitment; and
3// implementation (Table 4).
The first step corresponds to exploring policy options.
– The Danish government established the Commission on Climate Change Policy in 2008 to develop
proposals to decarbonise and to become independent
of fossil fuels. This commission, which consisted of
10 independent experts, published their recommendations in 2010 (DCCCP, 2010) and, based on these
recommendations, the Danish government recently
released a strategic roadmap to achieve independence from coal, oil and gas and to significantly reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (TDG, 2011).
– In Finland, the government approved the “Longterm Climate and Energy Strategy” (GOF, 2008) in
2008 with detailed proposals on climate and energy
policy measures up to 2020, and suggestions up to
2050. In 2009, the government has published the
“Foresight Report on Long-term Climate and Energy
Policy” (PMO, 2009) to supplement the 2008 strategy,
setting GHG targets up to 2050 and outlining longerterm climate policies; this report is based on a set of
studies commissioned by the government to expert
groups and on public consultations of stakeholders,
experts and citizens.
– In France, the government initiated a debate with
different stakeholders (including local authorities,
trade unions, business, NGOs) on ecological and sustainable development in 2007, i.e. the “Grenelle de
l’environnement”, which has resulted in a set of recommendations (Tuot, 2007).
– The German government has developed its low
carbon energy policy, i.e. “Energiekonzept” (FMET,
2010) based on a study that models different scenarios on the future of the German energy sector (Prognos et al., 2010).
– In Ireland, the previous government released a
Climate Change Bill in 2010 with the goal of legally
establishing a target of 80% GHG reduction by 2050
(MEHLG, 2010). The bill also foresees the creation of
an Expert Advisory Body that, with the support of the
Irish Environmental Protection Agency, would give
the Minister of the Environment the political, economic and technological advice necessary to define
the specific policy measures to reach the target.
– In the UK, the climate policy with a 2050 target
started with the previous government that established
the Committee on Climate Change (CCC, 2008) and
used its advice to develop a low carbon energy system
transition plan (HMG, 2009).
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Final Report - June 2011
Table 4 – Status of the political process of member states’ climate policies for 2050
Member state
Exploring policy options
Legal commitment
Implementation
/
/
Denmark
– Committee on Climate
Change
– Energy Strategy 2050 (TGD,
2011)
– In 2009 the parliament
endorsed the Long-term
Climate and Energy
Strategy
– Expected report by government
Finland
– Long-term Climate and
Energy Strategy(GOF, 2008)
– Foresight Report on Longterm Climate and Energy
Policy (PMO, 2009)
– Grenelle de l’environnement
– Grenelle law I 2009
– Grenelle law II 2010
– 201 pending decrees
– Annual status report by government
Germany
– Energieszenarien für ein
Energiekonzept der Bundesregierung (Prognos et al.,
2010)
– Energiekonzept law
will not be voted on, as
strategy changed
– Expected status report by government every 3
years
Ireland
– Expert Advisory Body*
/
– Annual report by the Expert Advisory Body
UK
– Committee on Climate
Change
– Electricity Market Reform
Project (EMR, 2010)
– Climate Change Act 2008
Energy Act 2010
– Additional legislation
foreseen in 2011
– Annual Progress report by the Commission on
Climate Change
– Carbon budget update every 5 years
– Annual status report by government
France
* Defined in the Climate Change Bill 2010, which has not yet been enacted (MEHLG, 2010).
Secondly, there is the need for a legal commitment.
This step has not yet been achieved by all the member
states referred to in this paper.
giekonzept” was supposed to be voted on in 2011. After the recent events in Japan, Germany is however
reconsidering its strategy.
– In Denmark, the government will launch a review
of current legislation in several areas such as electricity supply and regulation, energy efficiency, use of biogas, etc.
– In Ireland, the Climate Change bill is still pending.16
– In Finland, the “Long-term Climate and Energy
Strategy 2008” was endorsed by the Parliament on
June 2009 and the government is considering the possibility of supporting a Climate Change Act similar to
the UK Act 2008 (UK, 2008).
– In France, the “Grenelle de l’environnement” initiative has already led to two legal commitments, i.e.
“Grenelle I”, enacted in 2009, that sets the general policy without practical implementation or funding, and
“Grenelle II”, released in 2010, which defines specific
targets and actions.
– In Germany, the law corresponding to the “Ener-
10
– In the UK, a first legislative action has already been
taken in 2008 with the Climate Change Act (UK,
2008), mandating to cut GHG emissions with 80% by
2050 relative to 1990 levels.17,18 Furthermore, an ad16
In Ireland, after the elections in February 2011, a new coalition leads the government, and it had not yet defined its climate policy at
the time of our analysis, which is why Ireland is not discussed in the next
section.
17
This act also officially established the Committee on
Climate Change as an independent advisory body.
18
According to the Climate Act, the Committee on Climate Change recommends to the government the level of carbon
budget (which is the maximum level of GHG allowed in the UK)
in a five-year period. The government in turn must propose a
budget before Parliament. In the first report in 2008 (CCC, 2008)
the Committee on Climate Change recommended the level of the
first three budgets, covering the period up to 2022 and the parliament subsequently legislated in line with its recommendations
(HMG, 2011). In December 2010, the Committee on Climate
Change published recommendations for the fourth budget (CCC,
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
ditional law, the Energy Act 2010 (HMG, 2010b), was
voted on in April 2010 in order to implement part of
the transition plan prepared by the government. New
legislative proposals are expected in 2011.19
The third step is the implementation of the defined
measures/policies.
– In Denmark, the roadmap by the government has
only been released very recently so the envisaged initiatives for 2050 have not yet been implemented.
– In Finland, an initial report on the implementation
of the new measures defined in the Foresight Report
will be drawn up by the current government.
– In France, 201 decrees need to be implemented for
the laws to become effective (CDD, 2010), which is
foreseen for 2012. According to the Grenelle laws, the
French government will need to report on the status
of the implementation of this policy on a yearly basis.
– Similarly, in Germany this step has also not been
accomplished but it is foreseen that the government
will need to monitor and report on progress every
three years.
– In Ireland, if the Climate Change Bill passes, the
Expert Advisory Body shall prepare an annual report
to the government on the progress towards the implementation of the low carbon policies.
2010b), covering the years 2023-27, based on which the government will propose further legislation in spring 2011.
19
After the election in May 2010, the government
changed, but the new conservative-liberal coalition also has a
set of measures on its agenda to fulfill the ambitious low carbon
targets put in place under the previous government. The measures seem to be largely in line with the policies of the previous
government (HMG, 2010a), but there are also new elements. The
new government has started a series of consultations for a wide
reform of the electricity market in the context of climate change.
See: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/emr/
emr.aspx.
– In the UK, the Committee on Climate Change, in
addition to the carbon budget recommendations, is
realizing yearly progress reports and it has already
published the first two (CCC, 2009; CCC, 2010a), advocating that even stronger measures need to be taken, such as the introduction of a carbon floor price.
In addition, the Energy Act 2010 requires the government to present regular reports on the progress of decarbonisation policies.
2.2 Strategies to deal with the key
2050 policy challenges
We now analyze how member states deal with the
policy challenges identified in the previous chapter:
1// achieving ambitious energy savings; 2// decarbonising the electricity sector; 3// achieving the ambitious
renewable energy levels; 4// ensuring electricity grid
adequacy; 5// ensuring electricity supply security;
6// technology innovation and R&D. Can we already
identify in these climate policies new risks of policy
fragmentation and new opportunities for member
states’ cooperation and European added value?
To achieve ambitious energy savings (i.e. key challenge identified in chapter 1 for the energy efficiency
policy area), all countries consider the building sector to be the one with the highest potential for reductions, and they all propose important policy changes
in order to lever the efficiency improvements in this
sector. The Danish strategy focuses on renovation of
buildings, which will be financed via grid tariffs. In
Finland, after 2012, energy standards for new building will be amended to facilitate a gradual transition
to passive houses. In France, the increase of building efficiency is considered as the measure with the
highest potential, even when considering other policy
areas. Indeed, the French target is to achieve a 38%
reduction of the overall energy consumption within
the building sector by 2020 and, in order to achieve
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11
Final Report - June 2011
this, they intend to develop stricter building regulations for both new and refurbished buildings, defining minimum performance standards and minimum
annual refurbishment rates. In Germany, the target is
to reduce the overall energy consumption by 20% by
2020 and by 50% by 2050 relative to 2008 levels. This
strategy relies on the establishment of a special fund
to subsidize a wide range of measures for consumers, industries and local communities to increase energy efficiency, including in buildings. As in France,
the intention in Germany is also to develop stricter
building regulations for both new and existing buildings. Also in the UK, the priority regarding energy
savings is to improve energy efficiency in homes,
businesses and public buildings. The UK government
has launched the “Green Deal”, a plan to provide upfront financing of energy efficiency improvements
which the consumer pays back through their energy
bills (DECC, 2010). In other words, we do see that the
building sector20 is strongly targeted by low-carbon
energy policies at the member state level, but the approaches seem to diverge substantially.
Regarding decarbonisation of the electricity sector
(i.e. key challenge identified in chapter 1 for the GHG
emissions policy area), all the countries have in common that they only consider low-carbon electricity
generation technologies for 2050. Nonetheless, the
technology strategies are quite different from country to country. For instance, Denmark and Germany
(after the Fukushima accident) do not consider nuclear as an option, while in France a large share of its
electricity generation is still expected to come from
nuclear power plants. The French electricity sector is
expected to be already almost decarbonised by 2020,
20
Besides improving building efficiency, the member
states analyzed also consider relevant the increase of energy efficiency in other sectors, such as transport. Germany has a target to
reduce energy consumption in transportation of 10% by 2020 and
of 50% by 2050. France wants to expand public transportation in
order to reduce energy consumption within the sector.
12
assuming that it achieves the 20% national renewable
energy target for 2020. Now that Germany decided to
phase out nuclear by 2020, natural gas is likely to play
a role as a bridging technology in Germany. In the
case of the UK, the government wants to push CCTS
and nuclear is also considered a valid low carbon option.21 In the case of Finland, the government supports all low carbon technologies, including nuclear
with the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant currently
under construction. In other words, there are diverging strategies in terms of the generation mix, which
creates new risks for policy fragmentation. A first illustration of policy fragmentation is the decision of
the UK government to introduce a carbon floor for
electricity generation from 2013 on (HMT, 2011).
Concerning the achievement of the ambitious renewable energy levels (i.e. key challenge identified in
chapter 1 for the renewable energy policy area), countries have different views of the strategic technologies
they intend to develop by 2050, and renewable energy technologies are not the only strategic ones considered to be supported. In Denmark, biomass and
wind-power are the ones that need to be pushed, and
the government has planned to expand renewable energy continuing to levy costs on electricity consumers through the use of Public Service Obligations. In
Germany, the original Energiekonzept strategy was to
use renewable energy for 50% of the electricity consumed in 2030, going up to 65% in 2040, and 80%
in 2050, but these numbers might change now that
nuclear will not anymore be the bridging technology
in Germany. In any case, the Germany strategy relies
on the national support scheme to push its strategic
21
About nuclear, there has been a change of emphasis
in UK policy. While the previous government supported nuclear
technology, in the new government the Liberal Democrats have
long opposed any new nuclear construction. According to the
program of the new government new nuclear power plants will
be possible but without public subsidy for construction (HMG,
2010a).
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
renewable energy technologies. Finland and the UK
fully support renewable energy technologies but do
not have long term targets for them because they are
also open to developing other low carbon technologies, namely CCTS and nuclear. In other words, also
regarding renewable energy policies, there are new
risks of policy fragmentation.
Regarding electricity grid adequacy (i.e. key challenge identified in chapter 1 for the energy infrastructure policy area), important actions are foreseen in
the different countries. The Danish strategy is based
on further integration of its electricity grid into Europe and especially into the northern European grid.
Also the German strategy is to take the initiative of
developing an integrated Europe-wide grid. In addition to cross border infrastructure, the member
states’ climate policies recognize that it is fundamental to extend and develop the internal grid. The German government is developing a long-term plan for
2050 to develop and extend the national electricity
network, especially focused to connect offshore wind
farms, and it is creating the legal and financial conditions for a rapid expansion through easier licensing
procedures and better investment mechanisms. The
German government will also support the installation of smart meters. In the UK, in order to develop
a national grid that can accommodate a large share
of low-carbon technologies, the Energy Act 2010
(HMG, 2010b) redefines the role of the regulator who
must now officially help the government to tackle climate change.22 In Denmark the Commission on Cli22
In 2010, the national regulatory authority for electricity and gas, OFGEM, defined a new regulatory framework designed to promote grid smartness, i.e. the so-called RIIO model,
replacing the RPI-X model (OFGEM, 2010). OFGEM also allocated £500m over 5 years for the Low Carbon Networks Fund
to support smart grid trials and, in collaboration with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has established a new
regulatory regime for offshore transmission networks to secure
the connection of offshore wind. In addition to that, the UK government and OFGEM are collaborating to roll out smart meters
in every home by 2019 (DECC, 2011).
mate Change recommends the government to define
a specific plan for developing an intelligent energy
network in collaboration with the national TSO and
the electricity grid distribution companies. In other
words, there are new opportunities to cooperation in
the development of electricity grids, and pioneering
member states seem to be willing to further integrate
their electricity transmission grids to enable their
low-carbon energy strategies.
To ensure electricity supply security (i.e. key challenge identified in chapter 1 for the internal energy
market policy area), one of the strategies considered
by member states is to further integrate the national
electricity markets. The Danish policy is based on a
further integration of its electricity market into Europe and especially into the northern European region. Also the German strategy is to support integration of the electricity (and gas) markets. In the UK
low-carbon energy policies have triggered an electricity market reform process. The study that supports the
ongoing public consultation (EMF, 2010) argues that
an electricity generation capacity mechanism needs
to be reintroduced in the UK to mitigate the security
of supply risk. The study considers two options, i.e. a
capacity payment for all, or a targeted capacity tender.
Both would increase capacity margins and reduce
risks to security of supply, but the study suggests that
the tendering is the most appropriate option; one of
the main reasons is that the alternative would imply a
radical change that may create obstacles for the future
integration of the UK market with the rest of Europe.
Also in France, a market reform process is ongoing,
and similar to the discussions in the UK, the intention is to introduce a generation capacity mechanism
(Lévêque, 2011). The cases of France and the UK illustrate that generation capacity mechanisms are increasingly considered at the member state level, and
because these mechanisms are currently national in
scope, there is a new risk of electricity market frag-
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13
Final Report - June 2011
mentation in Europe.
Regarding technology development (i.e. the key challenge identified in chapter 1 for the technology innovation and R&D policy area), pioneering member state
envisage action at the national as well as the EU level.
– National level. In Germany, funding for R&D will
be increased from 2011 onwards and an Energy Research Program will be defined before the end of this
year with specific actions up to 2020 and an outline
of central priorities for the period thereafter. It will
mainly focus on RES, energy efficiency and energy
storage. In the UK, the Department of Energy and
Climate Change is supporting low carbon energy research, and it is funding demonstration and pre-commercial deployment projects through the Environmental Transformation Fund and the Low Carbon
Investment Funding. Specific on CCTS, the Energy
Act 2010 has introduced incentives to support the
construction of four commercial-scale demonstration projects, and the new government wants to establish an emissions performance standard to build
new coal-fired power plants equipped with sufficient
CCTS to meet the emissions performance standard.
Also in Finland, the government plans to develop
and test CCTS. In Denmark, the R&D sector has a
key role in the low carbon climate policy especially
regarding wind power. In the context of the strategic
roadmap for 2050, the Danish government will undertake a review of the public support for R&D in
order to better coordinate all the government actions
and to focus the efforts towards areas where support
for research would have the greatest societal value.
Moreover the Danish government wants to involve
the business community more in this sector also entering into partnerships with private enterprises, and
plans to actively support larger pilot tests like the
wind turbine test centre at Østerild.
14
– EU level. The German government will support the
implementation of the Strategic Energy Technology
Plan (SET Plan) and in this context two CCTS demonstration projects eligible for EU funding are expected to be built by 2020; these tests will be important for
the government to decide on future implementation
of this technology. Denmark will support a doubling
of the EU future funds for R&D up to 2020 in the
energy and climate change areas. In France, public
funding for the R&D in the energy sector has always
been largely focused on nuclear energy. Following the
Grenelle debate, the French government has decided
to allocate more than a billion Euros up until 2012 in
research for energy efficiency, for low carbon transportation and especially for renewable energy and
CCTS, making the public support for these technologies comparable with the support for nuclear.
3.
EU involvement: possible role
of the EU in addressing the key 2050
policy challenges
In this chapter, we first discuss why the EU has a role
to play in addressing the key 2050 policy challenges
we have identified in the previous chapters (“Rationale for EU involvement”), to then use our analytical
framework to derive policy options that are promising to address these challenges (“Three types of EU
involvement”). Finally, the chapter illustrates the
need for an integrated policy package.
3.1
Rationale for EU involvement
In 2006, the European Commission published the
Green Paper “A European Strategy for Sustainable,
Competitive and Secure Energy” that calls for a common European energy policy. This then led to the
“third energy liberalisation package”23 to complete
23
The third package (EU, 2009f) consists of five legislative texts: (1) a Directive revisiting the internal market for elec-
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
the liberalization process in Europe, and the “climate
and energy package”24 with the so-called “20-20-20”
targets for 2020:
level. The targets have been fixed according to the
wealth and existing mitigation opportunities of each
country.
– 20% reduction in primary energy use compared
to projected levels for 2020, to be achieved by improving energy efficiency;
– 20% reduction in EU GHG emission below 1990
levels;
– 20% of final EU energy consumption from renewable resources.
Second issue is internalizing externalities. National
measures often have implications for other member states, which can be both positive and/or negative. The EU involvement can then also be justified
by potential externalities resulting from member
state actions as well as by fairness and equity issues.
As internal energy markets and grids will be increasingly interdependent in the transition towards a low
carbon future, the EU has an important role to play
in addressing these externalities (e.g. grid adequacy,
electricity supply security, etc).
From the legal point of view (Lisbon Treaty), environment and energy are among the areas where there
is a shared competence between the EU and member
states (Conference, 2007). From the economic point
of view, the rationale for the EU involvement is about
1// assuring commitment; 2// internalizing externalities; and 3// reducing costs.
First issue is assuring commitment. The transition requires massive investments, while the path towards
a low carbon energy system in 2050 is long and full
of uncertainties. This implies that a political commitment is needed to give the necessary confidence to
investors. For instance, within the 2020 climate and
energy package, member states have legally committed to reduce GHG emission and increase renewable
energy through binding targets defined at the EU
tricity; (2) a Directive revisiting the internal market for natural
gas; (3) a Regulation on conditions for access to the natural gas
transmission networks; (4) a Regulation revisiting the conditions
for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity; (5) a Regulation establishing an Agency for the Cooperation
of Energy Regulators.
24
The climate and energy package consists of four legislative texts: (1) a Directive revising the EU ETS; (2) an “effortsharing” Decision setting binding national targets for emissions
from sectors not covered by the EU ETS; (3) a Directive setting
binding national targets for increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix; and (4) a Directive creating a legal
framework for the safe and environmentally sound use of carbon
capture and storage technologies.
Third issue is reducing costs. Some actions can be
more effective if they are defined and organized at the
EU level. This is the case for the EU ETS scheme for
example, which is a successful instrument that works
well on the European scale, which would probably
not have worked on the national scale.
In other words, the EU has a role to play in addressing the key 2050 policy challenges we have identified
in the previous chapters. The economic rationale for
EU involvement in energy policy today, i.e. assuring
commitment, internalizing externalities and reducing costs, is becoming even more important in the
2050 context.
3.2 Three possible types of EU
involvement
In this section, we use our analytical framework to
derive policy options that are promising to address
the key 2050 policy challenges in the six main energy
policy areas. We first discuss this with a case-by-case
approach, to then apply the approach to the six policy
areas.
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15
Final Report - June 2011
3.2.1 Case-by-case approach
A case-by-case approach is necessary because the
framework only suggests the different types of EU involvement to consider in each policy area. In some
policy areas, a combination of the three types of EU
involvement can be promising, while in other policy
areas it can be more appropriate to have only one or
no type of EU involvement (Figure 2).
– The first type of EU involvement (“effort sharing”
by setting binding targets for member state action)
can create EU added value when there is a common
European interest that will not be pursued or that will
be achieved too slowly/costly if not all member states
contribute.
– The second type of EU involvement (“harmonization” by framing the choice of measures taken by
member states) can create EU added value when
there is policy fragmentation and this situation is
costly due to incoherence.
– The third type of EU involvement (“level playing
field” by creating an EU-wide instrument) can create
EU added value when a harmonized approach is beneficial, and there is strong enough agreement among
member states on what the most appropriate instrument to be applied is.
Note also that some policies are simply better addressed at the member state level because, for instance, this allows for policy experimentation in an
area where it is unclear what the target should be and
what the most appropriate policy instrument to use to
achieve the target is.
3.2.2 Energy efficiency
In what follows, we identify promising interventions
16
to address the key energy efficiency policy challenge
in the 2050 context, i.e. to achieve ambitious energy
savings.
First type of EU involvement: “effort sharing”
Binding energy savings targets for 2020 and beyond,
i.e. overall targets as well as sector specific targets.
This is a promising EU intervention because of three
main reasons: 1// affordability of the transition; 2//
history of indicative energy saving targets not being
achieved; 3// increased risk of locking-in into energy
inefficient technologies and assets with a long lifetime.
First reason is the affordability of the transition. The
visions discussed in chapter 1 indeed indicate that the
transition cost is sensitive to achievement of energy
saving ambitions so that not achieving these ambitions can endanger the affordability of the transition.
Second reason is the history of indicative energy
saving targets not being achieved. The current (and
previous) lack of progress towards indicative targets
suggests that binding national targets are needed for
2020 (Ecofys and Fraunhofer, 2010). The target of
20% reduction of the EU primary energy consumption in 2020 compared to a baseline scenario will indeed not be met with the existing policy (Figure 3)
(EC, 2011b).
Third reason is the increased risk of locking-in into
energy inefficient technologies and assets with a long
lifetime. This is especially the case for buildings and
transport infrastructures. The existing proposal to
require public authorities to refurbish at least 3% of
their buildings each year (EC, 2011b) would already
be a step in this direction, but the member state strategies discussed in chapter 2 indicate that even more
ambitious targets may be needed for buildings in the
2050 context.
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Figure 3 – Development and projection of primary energy use for the EU by 2020
Source: EC, 2011i
currently exists at the city level (Box 1), and argued
that it needs to be addressed at the EU level with a
harmonization of measuring and reporting tools for
energy saving measures.
Second type of EU involvement: “harmonization”
Coherence requirements for measuring and reporting
tools for energy saving measures
This is a promising EU intervention because of two
main reasons: 1// local character of many energy saving measures; 2// reporting failure.
First reason is the local character of many energy saving measures. Local characteristics can be cultural
and social (mobility patterns, average dwelling size,
etc.), natural (climate, local topography, etc.) and/or
economic (average income per household, main local economic activities, etc.). Because of these local
characteristics, it is not necessarily opportune to harmonize member state approaches, but measuring and
reporting tools will need to be harmonized anyway to
facilitate the spreading of the good practices.
Second reason is reporting failure. The previous
THINK report on “Smart cities: fostering a quick
transition towards sustainable local energy systems”
(THINK, 2011b) identified the reporting failure that
The EU has already been successful in voluntarily committing city authorities to reduce their CO2
emissions with at least 20% by 2020 (Covenant of
Mayors). In the context of the Covenant, a methodological framework has been developed to help signatories to elaborate their baseline emissions inventory
and their so-called Sustainable Energy Action Plans
(SEAP). It is also mandatory for Covenant signatories to produce a report every second year to monitor
progress.
The SEAP template already requires city authorities
to set targets, and list a set of actions to reach the
targets, with the built environment, the local energy
networks, and the urban transport systems integrated
in one plan. Cities however often use different approaches in defining what sectors to include in their
reporting, in establishing the geographic boundaries
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17
Final Report - June 2011
Box 1. City level “reporting failure” (THINK, 2011b)
The EU has already been successful in voluntarily com-
operability between the existing methods could be
mitting city authorities to reduce their CO2 emissions
improved so that cities can be compared even if they
with at least 20% by 2020 (Covenant of Mayors). In the
do not use the same reporting methodology (CEPS,
context of the Covenant, a methodological framework
2010).
has been developed to help signatories to elaborate
their baseline emissions inventory and their so-called
The framework could also account for a context to
Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP). It is also man-
improve comparison between groups of cities. It is for
datory for Covenant signatories to produce a report
instance important to measure the effect of the plans
every second year to monitor progress.
against a “likely future without a plan” rather than
against the present. This issue is particularly relevant
The SEAP template already requires city authorities to
to filter out the on-going changes at the higher pol-
set targets, and list a set of actions to reach the targets,
icy levels that have an impact on the performance of
with the built environment, the local energy networks,
the local level, such national policies that impact the
and the urban transport systems integrated in one
generation mix in a certain country and therefore the
plan. Cities however often use different approaches
emissions associated with consuming electricity on
in defining what sectors to include in their reporting,
the local level.
in establishing the geographic boundaries of the area
included (i.e. what is a “city”), as well as in aggregat-
The reporting and monitoring framework should also
ing data (Croci et al., 2010; OECD, 2010; CEPS, 2010),
enter into the project level, while the Covenant stays
and the Covenant also allows cities to use different
at a more aggregated level. Cities could for instance
accounting methodologies, for both CO2 emissions
be asked to present a curve with the abatement costs
and energy consumption. It is therefore necessary
of all proposed measures, allowing a better under-
to evolve towards a more uniform methodological
standing of the cost-effectiveness of the different op-
framework for smart cities. Alternatively, the inter-
tions (CEPS, 2010).
of the area included (i.e. what is a “city”), as well as
in aggregating data (Croci et al., 2010; OECD, 2010;
CEPS, 2010), and the Covenant also allows cities to
use different accounting methodologies, for both
CO2 emissions and energy consumption. It is therefore necessary to evolve towards a more uniform
methodological framework for smart cities. Alternatively, the interoperability between the existing methods could be improved so that cities can be compared
even if they do not use the same reporting methodology (CEPS, 2010).
18
The framework could also account for a context to
improve comparison between groups of cities. It is
for instance important to measure the effect of the
plans against a “likely future without a plan” rather
than against the present. This issue is particularly relevant to filter out the on-going changes at the higher
policy levels that have an impact on the performance
of the local level, such national policies that impact
the generation mix in a certain country and therefore
the emissions associated with consuming electricity
on the local level.
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Table 6 – Promising interventions in the energy efficiency policy area
First type of EU involvement
“effort sharing”
Second type of EU involvement
“harmonization”
Third type of EU involvement
“level playing field”
Binding targets for
Coherence requirements for
EU
– Energy savings beyond 2020
– Overall and sector specific energy savings
– Measuring and reporting to facilitate spreading
of good practices
- Good practice forum or register
- Benchmarking of cities
The reporting and monitoring framework should also
enter into the project level, while the Covenant stays
at a more aggregated level. Cities could for instance
be asked to present a curve with the abatement costs
of all proposed measures, allowing a better understanding of the cost-effectiveness of the different options (CEPS, 2010).
promising intervention would be to require cities to
report about their progress or lack of progress. This
information could then be used to do an EU level
benchmark report to better identify cities that have
the capacity to act with the potential for a significant
impact, but are not yet moving towards a local sustainable energy system (THINK, 2011b).
Third type of EU involvement: “level playing field”
To sum up, Table 6 lists the most promising interventions in the energy efficiency policy area. Note that
the recent Energy Efficiency Action Plan25 is already a
step in the right direction.
EU good practice forum or register
This is a promising EU intervention because it would
support the spreading of good practices. The harmonization of measuring and reporting tools for
energy saving measures (second type of EU involvement) will have a bigger impact if supported by an
EU-instrument (third type of EU involvement) that
registers the proven records and actively disseminates
them.
3.2.3 Greenhouse gas emissions
In what follows, we identify promising interventions
to address the key greenhouse gas emissions policy
challenge in the 2050 context, i.e. to decarbonize the
electricity sector.
Third type of EU involvement:
First type of EU involvement: “effort sharing”
“EU level playing field”
Binding GHG reduction targets beyond 2020, i.e. more
EU benchmarking of cities
stringent and credible long term caps.
This is a promising EU intervention because it could
mobilize cities towards a low carbon future. Cities are
home to about 80% of Europeans and are responsible for about the same share of total primary energy
use and carbon dioxide emissions (Eurostat, 2009). A
global solution for climate change, even if achievable,
would rely on the willingness of these citizens to cooperate so it is essential to have policies at multiple
levels, including at the city level (Ostrom, 2009). A
This is a promising EU intervention because the transition to 2050 requires a long term steep decarbonisation, which requires a credible long term carbon price
signal. In the 2009 revision of the EU ETS, it was
25
The plan EC (2011b) is focused on reinforcing the existing
Directives by proposing more stringent standards (for the industry sector e.g., through energy efficiency requirements for industrial equipment)
and pushing energy efficiency to be a priority within the different sectors
(e.g. it promotes the exemplary role of the public sector, by increasing the
refurbishment rate of public buildings and introducing energy efficiency
criteria in public spending).
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19
Final Report - June 2011
agreed to introduce an EU-wide cap from 2013 on for
the EU ETS sectors,26 replacing the existing national
caps. The EU-cap will decrease yearly by 1.74% of the
average annual total quantity of allowances issued by
the member states in years 2008-2012. As a result, the
number of allowances available to EU ETS sectors in
2020 will be 21% below the 2005 level (EC 2010a, EC
2010b), which is in line with the binding 2020 target.
Note also that this linear path to decrease the EU-cap
does not stop in 2020, implying that the EU already
started defining emission caps beyond 2020 (EU,
2009c), but it could be important to launch a stronger
signal to the investors that the EU is committed to
continue its climate policy beyond 2020, that these
caps are reliable and that they will become stronger
in time.
The “harmonization” of carbon pricing with the renewable energy targets is a promising additional
EU intervention because it would be about addressing the concern that renewable energy policies are
depressing the carbon price. Experts have indeed
pointed out that carbon prices are low due to a lack of
coordination between the renewable policy and the
GHG emissions policy.30 The EU renewable target for
2020 is indeed pushing low carbon energy in the market, independently from the EU ETS, and the support
schemes for renewables are much stronger incentives
to invest in low-carbon technologies than the carbon
price (Newbery, 2011; Traber and Kemfert, 2009;
Morthorst, 2003).
Third type of EU involvement: “level playing field”
EU carbon market repository, platform, and authority
for EU-ETS
Second type of EU involvement: “harmonization”
Coherence between carbon pricing and renewable
energy targets
The approach of member states to reducing the GHG
emissions of the electricity sector is already harmonized. Indeed, there is the EU-ETS to trade allowances, and from 2013 the initial allocation of allowances will also be harmonized with the introduction
of auctioning27 as the default method for the electricity sector.28,29
26
The EU ETS is one of the pillars of the EU policy to combat
climate change in the context of the 2020 package. It is the largest multinational emissions trading scheme in the world, it covers around 40% of
the GHG emissions in the EU, including sectors as power generation, iron
and steel, glass, cement, pottery and bricks.
27
Starting in 2013, the share of auctioning will gradually increase. Particularly in the electricity sector, free allocations have led to
wind-fall profits (EC, 2008b; Keppler and Cruciani, 2010; Lévêque et al.,
2009). Due to risk of carbon leakage, certain energy-intensive sectors can
however continue to get all their allowances for free.
28
The Directive 2009/29/EC (EU, 2009c) allows an exception to this rule that is available to 10 member states: Bulgaria,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
Malta, Poland and Romania. They may allocate a limited number
of free allowances to the electricity sector but only for a transitional period.
29
20
Note also that the auctioning of the carbon emissions
With the EU-ETS, the EU succeeded in establishing
a well-functioning carbon market that poses a cap on
the total European carbon emissions (Ellerman et al.,
2010). A voluntary EU- auction platform has now
also been created that provides a centralized auctioning process with standardized electronic contracts
(EU, 2010b). Except Germany, Poland and the UK,
all the other member states have opted for participating in the common platform (Delbeke, 2011), and in
reaction to security concerns regarding the national
registers, the EU will also offer an EU-register that
member states can voluntarily subscribe to.
An additional EU intervention to introduce a carbon
market authority is promising because it would introduce independent oversight (de Perthuis, 2011).
will become a source of revenue for member states that can be
used to finance low carbon policies in other sectors.
30
The low carbon prices of today could also be explained
by the recent economic downturn that reduced demand for energy; that would imply that the price may go up along with the
recovery of the economy and especially after 2013 when a stricter
cap will be applied (Mercuri and Clô, 2010).
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Table 7 – Promising interventions in the GHG policy area
First type of EU involvement
“effort sharing”
Binding targets for
- Reduction of GHG emissions beyond 2020
- More stringent and credible long term caps
Second type of EU involvement
“harmonization”
Coherence requirement
- Carbon pricing with renewable energy
targets
Third type of EU involvement
“level playing field”
EU
- Carbon market repository, platform, and
authority for EU-ETS
- Carbon tax, at least for non-EU-ETS sectors
It could help to address the concern that the carbon
price is not high enough.31 This authority could then
have the power to assess the carbon price when the
price would be considered inadequate to support the
EU climate and energy policy.
penetration levels that are much more ambitious than
the current objectives.
Third type of EU involvement: “level playing field”
This is a promising EU intervention because such
binding targets have been a successful way to organize
effort-sharing among member states to develop renewable energy technologies. The 2020 climate and energy
package includes the target to use renewable energy
sources for 20% of energy consumption encompassing
the three main energy consuming sectors, i.e. electricity, transport, and heating and cooling (EU, 2009e).32
EU member states share the burden to achieve this
overall target with binding national targets that have
been set at EU level. Beyond this general target, there is
a specific target for transportation: in each country at
least 10% of transport fuel in 2020 must come from bio
fuels or other renewable energy sources.33
EU carbon tax, at least for non-EU-ETS sectors
To guide the transition process, what matters is to
have a carbon price that is a strong signal for investment, which can also come from a carbon tax. In fact,
several economists have argued in favour of tax, also
for EU-ETS sectors (Notre Europe, 2009). Such a tax
could at least be considered as a promising EU intervention for non EU-ETS sectors. The European Commission has already taken a first step in this direction
by proposing a new directive (EC, 2011j) to amend
the 2003 directive on fossil fuel taxation (EU, 2003d).
The proposal includes a minimum energy taxation
based on CO2 content to tax GHG emissions to nonETS sectors, as a complement to the EU-ETS.
To sum up, Table 7 lists the most promising interventions in the GHG policy area.
3.2.4 Renewable energy
In what follows, we identify promising interventions
to address the key renewable energy policy challenge
in the 2050 context, i.e. to achieve renewable energy
31
The UK government has for instance announced that it
will introduce a carbon floor price for the power sector from 2013
(HMT, 2011).
First type of EU involvement: “effort sharing”
Binding renewable energy targets beyond 2020
Projections show that renewable energy in all member states will grow faster than in the past years. EU
countries are underway to reach their 2020 targets
32
Targets for renewable energy were first defined at the
EU level by the Directive 2001/77/EC (EU, 2001) with the aim to
increase the share of RES to 21% in the electricity sector and to
5.57% in transportation by 2010. But these targets were not binding and only a few member states were expected to achieve them
by 2010. The failure to reach the agreed targets and the need for
all member states to support renewable energy led to the new RES
policy defined by the Renewable Energy Directive in 2009 (EU,
2009e).
33
The biofuels must be produced in a sustainable way,
do not undermine food production or lead to deforestation or
biodiversity loss (EU, 2009e).
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21
Final Report - June 2011
and almost half of the counties are planning to exceed
their binding quota. If all member states implement
the National Renewable Energy Action Plans they
have recently submitted to the European Commission (EC, 2011d), the EU will exceed the 20% target in
2020. EU energy consumption in 2020 is projected to
be 95% of the 2005 level and energy from renewable
energy source is expected to more than double from
103 Mtoe in 2005 to 217 Mtoe in 2020. The electricity
sector will account for 45% of this increase (especially
wind power will significantly increase in importance,
see Figure 4), heating 37% and transport 18%.
Continuing the targets beyond 2020 is a promising intervention because the costs of these technologies are
not expected to reach competitive cost levels by 2020
(EU, 2009e), with perhaps a few exceptions, while the
transition towards a low carbon future heavily relies
on the development of these technologies.
Second type of EU involvement: “harmonization”
Market conformity requirements for national support
schemes
This is a promising EU intervention as member states
will continue their policies to push renewable energy
technologies into the market with national support
schemes. This massive deployment of renewable energy will have a major impact on the electricity market, also due to the fact that this market will be more
and more European.
As renewable energy technologies reach significant
penetration levels, it will be important to integrate
them into the market (Egenhofer and Jansen, 2006;
Hiroux and Saguan, 2010). A harmonization of national support schemes for renewable energy could
therefore include the requirement that these technologies participate in the wholesale and balancing
electricity markets, so that at least part of their profits
22
depend on their performance in these markets. This
could be done by introducing “market conformity”
requirements for these national support schemes.
Third type of EU involvement: “level playing field”
EU support scheme
This is a promising EU intervention because today most
member states continue to focus on national renewable energy resources to achieve their 2020 target (EC,
2011d), while the European Commission has estimated
that up to 10 billion Euro could be saved if the existing
cooperation mechanisms were used inside the EU.34
An important exception is given to Sweden and Norway as have recently announced to create a joint green
certificate support scheme that will start in 2012. Note
that the European Commission tried to introduce a
tradable green certificate scheme, which has been unsuccessful (Box 2), but a promising EU intervention
would be to promote the voluntary participation of
other member states to this type of member state cooperation initiatives.
Third type of EU involvement: “level playing field”
EU decision bodies of Mediterranean regulators and
transmission companies; and EU trade platform for the
Mediterranean
This is a promising EU intervention because the massive renewable energy sources just outside EU borders
in the Mediterranean area are attractive to develop in
34
Note that renewable energy directive established three
different mechanisms by which member states can work together
to develop renewable energy: with “statistical transfers” a member
state can transfer a virtual quantity of renewable energy produced
to another member state for target compliance purposes; a “joint
project” is a project that is financed by several member states; and
in “joint support schemes” two or more member states can join
or coordinate their national support schemes (Klessmann et al.
(2010) and Ahner (2011).
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Figure 4 – EU development of renewable energy in electricity
Source: EC, 2011d
Table 8 – Promising interventions in the renewable energy policy area
First type of EU involvement
“effort sharing”
Binding targets for
– Renewable energy beyond 2020
Second type of EU involvement
“harmonization”
Coherence requirement
– Market conformity requirements for national support schemes
the 2050 context.35 Creating a level playing field for
cooperation with these non-EU countries would help
progress these multilateral projects.
The Mediterranean Solar Plan initiative can already
be part of the solution. The EU launched this initiative
in 2008 as one of the main projects of the Union for
the Mediterranean and aims to develop 20 GW of renewable electricity capacity on the South Shore of the
Mediterranean. Note that there is also an industry-led
initiative called DESERTEC that has the ambition to
35
Note however that only the EREC/Greenpeace vision
relies on 60 GW of renewable energy to be developed outside the
EU. The other visions in chapter 1 assume that the development
will only take place inside the EU.
Third type of EU involvement
“level playing field”
EU
– Support scheme
- Decision bodies of Mediterranean regulators and transmission companies
- Trade platform for the Mediterranean
have concentrated solar power systems, photovoltaic
systems and wind parks in the Sahara desert. A super
grid would then connect this electricity production
with consumers in European and African countries.
EU-instruments that can help create a level playing
field could include adapting EU-decision bodies, such
as ACER, ENTSO-E and ERGEG to Mediterranean
countries, or to create their Mediterranean counterparts. It could also be opportune to create a trading
platform (e.g. “power exchange”) for the Mediterranean (Glachant, 2011).
To sum up, Table 8 lists the most promising interventions in the renewable energy policy area.
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23
Final Report - June 2011
Box 2. Unsuccessful proposal for an EU tradable green certificate scheme
The European Commission tried to introduce an EU
a certificate scheme would be successful at the EU
tradable green certificate scheme because it was con-
level. For an overview of this debate, see for instance
sidered to be more in line with the integration of the
EC (2008f ), Fouquet and Johansson (2008), Frondel et
EU electricity market (EC, 2005b). Member states did
al. (2010), Haas et al. (2011a and 2011b), IEA (2009b),
not want it for two main reasons.
Johansson and Turkenburg (2004), Klessmann et al.
(2008), Re-Shaping (2011) and Verbruggen and Lau-
First, the alternative scheme, referred to as feed-in tar-
ber (2009).
iffs/premiums, has proven to be successful in member
states such as Denmark, Germany and Spain, where it
Second, member states tend to prefer developing
supported an impressive growth of renewable energy
renewable resources with national support schemes,
generation. In the European context, it is considered
also at higher costs, because it allows them to capture
by many to be the most efficient and effective mech-
local benefits such as green jobs and renewable tech-
anism, but there is no consensus on what would be
nology industry development (del Río, 2005; Lund,
the best EU-scheme, as some continue to argue that
2009; Wiser et al., 2007; Yin and Powers, 2010).
3.2.5 Energy infrastructure
In what follows, we identify promising interventions
to address the key energy infrastructure challenge
in the 2050 context, i.e. to ensure electricity grid adequacy, which includes expanding the transmission
grid across borders and also the smartening of transmission and distribution grids.
ensure that every member state contributes to the
development of a European grid. Ambitious binding
targets would however need to be more sophisticated
than the indicative Barcelona targets, for instance,
because “import capacity” is difficult to define and
measure.
Second type of EU involvement: “harmonization”
Coherence requirements for the regulation of distribu-
First type of EU involvement: “effort sharing”
tion and transmission grids
Binding targets for electricity grid adequacy
This is a promising EU intervention because there is a
history of not achieving indicative targets. The heads
of government agreed at the Barcelona Council in
2002 (EC, 2002b). Following these Barcelona targets,
each member state should have had enough interconnections to allow the import of at least 10% of its installed generation capacity by 2005. As indicated in
red in Figure 5, several countries are not complying
with these targets (indicated in red in Figure 5).
In the 2050 context, binding targets could therefore
24
This is a promising EU intervention because smart grids
need smart regulation (Bauknecht et al., 2007; Connor and Mitchell, 2002; Meeus et al, 2010; Meeus and
Saguan, 2011; Pérez-Arriaga, 2010). The conventional
regulatory framework that has been successful at incentivizing grid companies to provide value for money
grid services in the liberalization context, has its shortcomings in the current context where grid innovation is
needed to allow Europe to achieve its ambitious energy
policy targets. The main shortcomings of the conventional regulatory framework are that grid companies
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Figure 5 – Import capacity % installed generation capacity
Source: EC, 2007b
have disincentives to innovate, and if they do innovate,
they are confronted with grid users that have disincentives to participate in the ongoing innovation.
The harmonization of regulation of distribution and
transmission grids could introduce coherence requirements for the economic regulation of grids.
Regulators could also be mandated to enable the transition (e.g. supporting the innovation an Europeanization process) rather than being only responsible for
improving the cost efficiency of grids.
Note that smart markets are also an essential part of
smart grids (CPI, 2011). There is still room to make
better use of existing infrastructure by further integrating electricity markets (ERGEG, 2010). Progress
has been made by coupling markets at the day-ahead
stage, but this has not yet been done on all borders.36
36
Meeus (2011): “Cross-border capacities have been
underpriced (Newbery and McDaniel, 2002; Neuhoff, 2003;
Purchala et al., 2004), underused, and even frequently misused
increasing price spreads instead of reducing them (Creti et al.,
Several borders are still closed one day before delivery
so that intra-day and real time trade is only national
in the countries concerned. This is an ongoing process
(ERGEG, 2010), and the third package includes several
opportunities to make further progress, for instance
via the introduction of market codes and grid code.
Third type of EU involvement: “level playing field”
EU grid operator and planner
This is a promising EU intervention because of two
main reasons: 1// development of off-shore grids; 2//
grid operation in a system with high penetration of
variable renewable energy.
First reason is the development of off-shore grids. As
illustrated in the case of Kriegers Flak (Box 3), tap2010; CRE, 2009; Frontier economics and Consentec, 2004; Kristiansen, 2007; and Turvey, 2006), resulting in a lack of day-ahead
hourly price convergence in Europe (Zachmann, 2008).” Furthermore, as evidenced by the experience on the Kontek Cable, it is
not enough to implement market coupling, it has to be implemented properly (Meeus, 2011).
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25
Final Report - June 2011
Box 3. Kriegers Flak
Kriegers Flak is a project that envisions the develop-
Despite the recognition of benefits for the whole re-
ment of three wind farms (for a total capacity of 1.6 GW),
gion and the priority attributed to this project from
within German, Swedish and Danish waters, linked by a
the Commission, the stakeholders in this project are
combined offshore grid connection which would also
subjected to national regulatory regimes that are not
serve as an interconnection between the three coun-
aligned. This can partly explain that the Swedish TSO
tries (Energinet.dk, 2009). Three different TSOs are in-
left the project (note however that the technology
volved (50-Hertz, Energinet.dk and Svenska Kraftnätt),
used allows them to anyway step into the join solu-
as well as two market systems and two synchronous
tion at a later stage), the German TSO could not wait
zones, posing a huge challenge regarding regulation
to pursue a separate solution for one of its wind farms,
of cross-border infrastructure. The feasibility study,
and the ambitions of the Danish TSO have been re-
published in a joint report of the three TSOs, concluded
duced as the Danish wind developer downscaled its
that the combined solution would generate positive
project (Meeus and Saguan, 2011).
net benefits compared to the separate solution.
ping into large scale renewable energy sources requires coordination between national transmission
companies, renewable energy developers, and technology providers, which could be partly internalized
by an EU grid operator and planner.
Second reason is grid operation in a system with high
penetration of variable renewable energy. In the 2050
context, coordination between TSOs will be increasingly important for the operation of transmission
grids that will be increasingly interdependent with
increasing penetration of variable renewable energy.
Note that in November 2006, 15 million people lost
their electricity supply due to a lack of coordination
between TSOs inside Germany. This has already led
to a regional initiative called Coreso, which currently
includes Belgium (Elia), France (RTE), part of Germany (50Hertz), Italy (Terna), and the UK (National
Grid) and the aim is to help European TSOs enhance
the level of security of supply by giving them a common analysis of electricity flows complementary to
their national analysis.
26
Promising, but institutionally difficult to establish,
would be to have an EU Independent System Operator (EU-ISO) to operate and plan the European layer
of grid.37 This EU-ISO could then develop EU planning tools to complement the EU planning procedures that have been introduced in the third package
(Ten Year Network Development Plan).38 An alternative could be to push the integration of grid operation and planning on a regional basis by supporting
initiatives such as Coreso.
37
Friends of the Supergrid, which is a group of companies and organizations with a mutual interest in promoting the
policy agenda for a European supergrid, have recently released a
position paper where a possible policy and regulatory framework
for the supergrid is presented, which includes: a single planner,
a single grid code and a single European regulator. According to
them, “ENTSO-E should also commence considering establishing an ISO (Independent System Operator) among the TSOs of
the North Sea region involved. This ISO would then enlarge its
operational powers to involve the other TSOs while the Supergrid
enlarges to the rest of the EU” (FOSG, 2010).
38
Note that these EU planning procedures are a bottomup approach to make a top-down plan. Indeed, these TYNDPs
will be made by ENTSO-E in interaction with ACER, which are
the EU-level decision bodies consisting of national transmission
companies (TSOs) and regulators (NRAs) that have been created
by the third package (EU, 2009f).
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
mon European interest and has also given limited
support to the construction of these projects, but this
support is marginal in comparison with the scale of
the investments that are needed.
Third type of EU involvement: “level playing field”
EU infrastructure cost recovery instrument
This is a promising EU intervention because the
existing cost recovery instruments are inadequate
(Glachant and Kalfallah, 2011), they are: 1// nationally regulated tariffs and congestion revenues; 2// InterTSO Compensation (ITC); 3// EU funding.
First type of instrument is nationally regulatory tariffs
and congestion revenues. Due to lumpiness of infrastructure investments, the allocation of cross-border
capacities will not generate enough revenue to pay for
adequate grids (Pérez-Arriaga et al., 1995). Nationally
regulated tariffs are appropriate tools for increasing
projects of national interest, but they do not give incentives for efficient cross-border infrastructure projects. There is a fundamental problem that countries
expected to expand their transmission grids do not
necessarily benefit from it, while third countries can
be important beneficiaries.
Second type of instrument is the Inter-TSO Compensation (ITC). ITC mechanism defines the compensation rules between TSOs whose grid users cause transits and TSOs that incur costs due to transits (FSR,
2005; Olmos, 2007). The compensation however only
covers operation costs of existing infrastructure, such
as losses, and the compensation is ex-post based on
the actual usage of the infrastructure. In other words,
it has not been designed to incentivize investment in
new infrastructure.
Third type of instrument is EU funding. Examples of
EU funding are the Trans-European Network program (EU, 2003b; EU, 2004b; EU, 2009f), the European Economic Recovery Program (EC, 2008e) and
the European Investment Bank. EU funding has been
used to finance feasibility studies for project of com-
Promising, but institutionally difficult to implement,
would be to have an EU regulated asset base paid
by an EU tariff component. An alternative could be
to implement an EU infrastructure investment cost
compensation scheme. Contrary to the inter-TSO
compensation mechanism, this investment cost compensation scheme would however need to be an exante scheme because it is about incentivizing new
infrastructure. The experience with the inter-TSO
scheme also suggests that this investment cost compensation scheme will need to be set at the EU level
because as it is too difficult for European stakeholders
to find a consensus among them.
Third type of EU involvement:
“level playing field”
EU smart grid technology standards
This is a promising EU intervention to ensure interoperability in the electricity grid. The EU already started
playing a key role in setting standards for smart grid
technologies. In line with the Directive 2004/22/EC
(EU, 2004c) and the Directive 2006/32/EC (EU, 2006c),
the Commission for instance issued a mandate to the
European Standardization Organizations (ESOs) in
2009 to define EU standards for smart utility meters.
In March 2011, the Commission issued an additional
mandate to ESOs to develop standards to facilitate the
implementation of smart grid (EC, 2009c).
To sum up, Table 9 lists the most promising interventions in the energy infrastructure area. Note that
the announced infrastructure package can already be
part of the solution. The intention is to create regional
cooperation platforms, following the example of the
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Final Report - June 2011
Table 9 – Promising interventions in the energy infrastructure policy area
First type of EU involvement
“effort sharing”
Binding targets for
- Electricity grid adequacy
Second type of EU involvement
“harmonization”
Coherence requirements for
- Regulation of grids
Baltic Energy Interconnection Plan and the North
Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative; better and
faster permit granting procedures; guidelines or a legislative proposal to address cost allocation for crossborders projects (EC, 2010c).
3.2.6 Internal energy market
In what follows, we identify promising interventions
to address the key energy market challenge in the
2050 context, i.e. to ensure electricity supply security,
which includes making sure that there are timely investments, especially concerning system flexibility.
Third type of EU involvement
“level playing field”
EU
- Grid operator and planner
- Infrastructure cost recovery instrument
- Smart grid technology standards
2011; Pérez-Arriaga, 2011). The problem of system
flexibility is addressed in balancing markets in which
TSOs are the single buyers of balancing services. TSOs
are also responsible for allocating the costs of these services to the parties that are responsible for the system
imbalances, and for reserving capacity to ensure the
availability of balancing services (Frunt, 2011; Vandezande et al., 2010; Vandezande, 2011).
balancing market codes
Second reason is that today’s balancing markets are
mainly national. These markets are organized very
differently in most countries, including: how the services are defined, the contractual arrangements, time
of procurement, and the allocation of costs.39 This was
already a concern from the internal market point of
view (EC, 2007b), but the new element is that the reliability of the system will now also increasingly depend on the functioning of balancing markets and
the availability of balancing services.
This is a promising EU intervention because of three
main reasons: 1// system flexibility is addressed in
balancing markets; 2// today’s balancing markets are
mainly national; 3// visions assume an internal balancing market.
Third reason is that the 2050 visions assume an internal balancing market. Indeed, the visions in chapter
1 have in common that they project ambitious grid
expansions across borders, which reduces the need
for back-up capacity.
First reason is that system flexibility is addressed in
balancing markets. The experience in countries with
a large penetration of renewable energy technologies
is indeed increasingly evidencing that the reliability of
the system will depend on having enough flexibility to
balance wind and solar power (IEA, 2011; Gottstein,
A first step towards an internal balancing market
First, second and third type of EU involvement
Creation of an internal balancing market with binding
targets for reservation of balancing services, harmonization of national balancing markets, and an EU
28
39
Exceptions include Nordic countries that have an integrated balancing market. Other exceptions are arrangements that
are specific to the synchronous system a country belongs to, such
as the UCTE solidarity mechanism for dealing with the first reaction to a system disturbances (Tractebel Engineering and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2009).
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Table 10 – Promising interventions in the internal energy market policy area
First type of EU involvement
“effort sharing”
Binding targets for
– Reservation of balancing services
Second type of EU involvement
“harmonization”
Harmonization of
– Balancing markets
– Security of electricity supply mechanisms
could be regional balancing markets, which has been
a relatively successful approach to integrate wholesale
markets (Everis and Mercados, 2010). The EU involvement in balancing markets could lead eventually
to EU balancing market codes to create a level playing field by defining EU-balancing services. In such
an internal balancing market, the reservation costs
of these services will also need to be shared, which
could be organized as a burden sharing with binding
national reservation targets.
Second type of EU involvement: “harmonization”
Harmonization of security of
electricity supply mechanisms
This is a promising intervention to avoid that these
mechanisms work against the decarbonisation process.
The vision of the liberalization process has been that
market opening40 and the creation of an internal wholesale market leads to timely investments, but member
states have been given a lot of freedom in the market by
the security of supply directive (EU, 2006b).41 Regulators
have already expressed concerns that these measures are
40
The EU involvement in the energy market policy area
started in 1985 with the objective of creating an EU internal
market by 1992. The opening of the energy sector was achieved
much later than in other sectors and the final step was to require
member states to open their household markets by July 2007 (EU,
2003c).
41
The intervention can be explicit or implicit. Explicit
means that there is a generation capacity mechanism (e.g. capacity markets or capacity payments), which is for instance the case
in Ireland, Italy, Spain and Greece. Implicit interventions are for
instance long-term contracting of energy and/or reserves by the
regulator or the system operator, which is for instance the case
with “strategic reserves” in the Nordic countries.
Third type of EU involvement
“level playing field”
EU
– Balancing market codes
still mainly national in scope and therefore possible external effects on neighbouring countries and markets
are often not considered (CEER, 2009).
There is also an on going debate on whether or not
such interventions are necessary, and on what the best
way to intervene is (Box 5). Fact is, that the conventional long-term security of supply mechanisms used
to intervene have been designed to generate additional revenue for power plants that can be available during peak hours when the reliability of the system is
at stake, while the new challenge in the 2050 context
is system flexibility. Furthermore, these conventional
mechanisms can also extend the lifetime of high carbon power plants and, if not properly designed, they
also tend to favour generation side solutions.
The few experiences with long term security of supply mechanisms that also foster demand side participation, have been positive (Gottstein and Schwartz,
2010). Harmonization could therefore, for instance,
include the requirement that demand resources be
able to participate in these mechanisms on equal
footing with generation.
To sum up, Table 10 lists the most promising interventions in the energy infrastructure area. The recent
European Council decision can already be part of the
solution (EC, 2011f): “The internal market should be
completed by 2014 so as to allow gas and electricity
to flow freely. This requires in particular that in cooperation with ACER national regulators and transmission system operators step up their work on market
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29
Final Report - June 2011
Box 5. Long-term security of supply mechanisms
Battle and Rodilla (2010): “Since the very beginning
tors will electrify (demand side uncertainty) or low
of the power systems reform process, one of the key
carbon technologies will be pushed (supply side
questions posed has been whether the market, of its
uncertainty). As discussed in chapter 2, the UK and
own accord, is able to provide satisfactory security of
France have recently started a market reform pro-
supply at the power generation level, see for instance
cess motivated by increasing electricity supply se-
Perez-Arriaga (2001), Stoft (2002), Hogan (2005),
curity concerns.
Joskow (2007) or Finon and Pignon (2008), or if some
additional regulatory mechanism needs to be intro-
Battle and Rodilla (2010) observe a certain conver-
duced, and in the latter case, which is the most suit-
gence in long-term security of supply mechanisms
able approach to tackle the problem. The previous
design criteria worldwide, but conclude that we
authors have contributed to this debate by claiming
are still far from obtaining a definite consensus on
that, in a number of different contexts, and for a va-
the subject. They find that the reason is that each
riety of reasons, there is a market failure. This market
market’s particularities make it difficult to export
failure poses the regulatory need to provide the incen-
a successful design. Joskow (2008) reports about
tives the market is not providing so as to ensure an ef-
the deficiencies of the original capacity payment
ficient security of supply level. This translates in prac-
mechanisms that have been used in the US and
tice into providing generators with an extra income
argues in favour of a forward capacity obligation
and/or hedge instruments in exchange for a product
in combination with a centralized auction for ca-
(e.g. installed capacity or long-term energy contracts)
pacity. Similarly designed capacity markets are
aimed to enhance security of supply.”
discussed and proposed, for instance in Cramton
and Stoft (2008) and Finon and Pignon (2008). Bat-
In the 2050 context, the main concern is policy un-
tle and Pérez-Arriaga (2008) also reviewed the main
certainty. Only part of the investment will respond
criteria to be taken into consideration in the design
to market prices, and this part is very unsure. It is
of a regulatory mechanism of this nature.
for instance unclear how strong and fast other sec-
coupling and guidelines on network codes applicable
across European networks.”
Third type of EU involvement: “level playing field
3.2.7 Technology innovation and R&D
Complement the Strategic Energy Technology Plan
Improving currently known technologies and developing new ones is a crucial energy and climate objective. Several studies have argued that an ambitious
clean energy R&D program is both effective and efficient, but that it would require an increase of R&D
30
expenditures to several times the recent levels (Bosetti et. Al, 2009; EC, 2009a; IEA, 2010).
(SET-Plan).
The policy area of technology innovation and R&D
has been covered in the previous THINK report on
“Public support for the financing of RD&D activities
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Figure 6 – Energy policy interactions
in new clean energy technologies” (THINK, 2011a).
This THINK report identified the Strategic Energy
Technology Plan (SET-Plan) as the state-of-the-art
instrument used at the EU level to prioritize innovation projects in low carbon technologies (EC, 2009a).
policy areas that we have discussed individually in the
previous sections. It also comes from wider interactions between these energy policy areas with other
EU policy domains in the 2050 context.
The report concluded that this EU instrument could
be improved to ensure that public support will go
to a balanced portfolio of innovation projects. Currently, the SET-Plan is industry focused and bottom
up, which needs to be complemented by a more top
down approach that can prioritize projects proposed
by different industries and also improves the balance
between early innovation to create new options and
later stage innovation to push the most promising options into market (i.e. third type of EU involvement).
3.3.1 The interactions between the six energy
policy areas
3.3 The need for an integrated policy
package
The need for an integrated policy package comes
from the many interactions between the six energy
The DG Climate roadmap (EC, 2011a) indicates that
by achieving the energy efficiency target in 2020,
the GHG emission reduction target would be overachieved. It is just one of many examples of how energy
policy areas interact. These interactions as well as the
resulting need to make an integrated policy package
have also been one of reasons to call for an integrated
climate and energy policy package for 2020 (Capros
et al., 2008).
Figure 6 illustrates these interactions, i.e. they include
technology innovation that is a precondition for most
of the challenges in the other areas, the interaction
between GHG emission targets and RES targets, en-
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Final Report - June 2011
Figure 7 – Interactions of energy policy with other EU policy domains
ergy savings that have implications for the size of the
internal energy market and infrastructure, renewable
energy development that will drive the need for electricity transmission grid expansion and distribution
grid smartening, etc.
In the 2050 context, the above interactions are extremely important, and together with the European
ambitions, the importance of these interactions is
also increasing. There are also new interactions to
consider, including 1// the possible impact of the decarbonisation of the transport and heating and cooling sectors on the electricity load profile, and 2// the
likely impact of the decarbonisation policies on the
role of natural gas infrastructure and the natural gas
market.
First is the impact of the decarbonisation of the transport and heating and cooling sectors on the electricity
load profile. In the 2050 context, the size of the electricity system will depend on how quick and to what
extent there will be a high level of electrification in
32
the transport and heating and cooling sectors. This is
a challenge, but also an opportunity for the electricity sector (Ekman, 2011; Lund and Kempton, 2008;
Kempton and Tomić, 2005). For instance, a massive
penetration of electric vehicles would be a challenge
because it would significantly change the load curve,
while electric vehicles could also help to manage the
variable output of renewable energy sources. It is
therefore important to ensure consistency between
the initiatives proposed in the transport roadmap and
what should be included in the energy roadmap. It
could therefore be opportune to have an integrated
“energy and transport” policy package.
Second is the impact of the decarbonisation policies
on the role of natural gas infrastructure and the natural gas market. Gas could be the bridging fuel of the
first part of the 21st century, while R&D work to find
efficient and effective solutions to climate change.
Gas, indeed, is an option immediately available to
reduce GHG emissions, by displacing coal and oil in
power generation and other sectors until renewables
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
can compete on a large scale and CCS has passed its
test period and is commercially viable. Most decarbonisation pathways assume a decreasing gas demand, but gas continues to play a key role in the balancing of the energy system. Note also that even if gas
might no longer be the fuel of choice, it could become
the fuel of consequence anyway in case some other
options do not materialise in the timeframe planned
(e.g. the recent events with nuclear or the growing
cost of subsidizing solar). Moreover, gas could be a
no-regret option. Firstly, CCGTs have a considerably
lower capital costs compared to coal, nuclear and renewables. Secondly, gas power plants can provide the
system flexibility that is needed to deal with massive
penetration of variable renewable energy. However,
there is uncertainty regarding the role of natural gas,
which may lead to underinvestment both inside and
outside the EU, which may also lead to security of
supply issues (SECURE, 2010).42 Even though it is out
of the scope of this report, it is important to revisit
the role of the EU regarding natural gas in the 2050
context.
3.3.2 Interactions of energy policy with other
EU policy domains
Figure 7 illustrates some of the many interactions of
energy policies with other EU policy domains in the
2050 context. The “other EU policy domains” in the
illustration follow the terminology used by the EU
when dividing policy into domains.
The above EU policy domains can be grouped into
1// international issues (regional policy and external
42
Furthermore, despite the possibility of no longer being
the fuel of choice, natural gas can become the fuel of consequence
anyway in case some other options do not materialize in the timeframe planned (e.g. the recent events with nuclear). For instance,
after the recent events in Japan, Germany decided to quit the option of using nuclear as a bridging technology which might lead
to a larger use of natural gas than the one predicted.
relations); 2// economic issues (employment and social affairs, economic and monetary affairs, research
and innovation, external trade); 3// and social issues
(public health and human rights). Below we highlight
a few of these interactions because addressing these
issues will be crucial to gain public support for the
transition towards a low carbon energy system.
First are international issues. Without a coordinated
global action, the EU policy alone will not avoid climate change by 2050 and EU should keep incentivizing other countries to develop low carbon energy policies. The EU ETS can play an important role. First, as
the largest carbon price scheme, it set an important
example that could be followed; second it could be
extended to non-EU countries that are interested to
join it.43 Furthermore, the EU also needs to pursue its
transition to a low carbon economy in a cooperative
partnership with its main fossil fuel suppliers, especially gas suppliers (SECURE, 2010). Finally, the EU
has also made an effort to lift people out of poverty,
which includes the increase of people’s access to energy. Universal access can go hand in hand with fighting climate change, but only if sustainable growth is
promoted based on the development of a sustainable
energy system (EC, 2010d).
Second are economic issues. The transition to a lowcarbon economy for 2050 requires massive investments. As highlighted by the DG Climate Roadmap,
this could spur economic growth in the manufacturing
sectors and environmental services in Europe with potentially opportunities of new business and jobs (EC,
2011a). There is however also a concern that low carbon energy policies could also lead to the loss of competitiveness of energy-intensive industrial activities.
This is something that should be considered by the
EU when designing its energy policy, since there is the
43
The EU ETS is already extended to non-member states:
Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein joined the scheme in 2007.
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Final Report - June 2011
need to promote measures that help these industries
to mitigate the transition. This so-called carbon leakage issue has to be addressed in a cooperative approach
with other major economic blocks using for instance
sector approaches. Another important aspect to consider is the impact that the climate policy will have on
public budgets of the member states. THINK has also
been asked by DG Energy to make a report on the impact of climate and energy policies on member state
budgets. This report will be finalized by the end of May
2011, together with this report.
Third are social issues. Low carbon energy policies
will have an impact on the distribution of wealth because it includes radical changes within the economy
and for the society in general and comprehends a significant cost for the society (at least in the short-term).
The EU recognized fuel poverty as a relevant issue in
the third energy market liberalisation package,44 but
it will also be important to anticipate possible redistribution effects; for instance, when designing energy
efficiency and renewable energy support schemes it
is important to avoid or remedy that poor people pay
for the support via higher grid tariffs, but do not benefit from it as they are not able to afford the upfront
investment that is anyway required (so-called “reverse Robin-hood effect”). Furthermore, it is fundamental that people are aware of the importance of low
carbon energy policies. For instance, because many
new infrastructures will be needed in the next future
and local resistance to these projects could constitute
a serious barrier to their achievement (Wüstenhagena
et al, 2007; Zoellner et al., 2008; Create Acceptance,
2007), but also because all EU citizens are called to
change their behaviour as energy users and this will
inevitably enter into their everyday life.
44
From the Directive 2009/72/EC for the internal market
in electricity and the Directive 2009/73/EC for the internal market in natural gas (EU, 2009f): “Member States should ensure the
necessary energy supply for vulnerable customers”.
34
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Recommendations for the DG Energy
roadmap
Track progress
The path towards 2050 is long and full of uncertainties with strong and complex interactions. It will
therefore be crucial to track progress during the transition to allow for many policy adaptations, with 2030
and 2040 as important milestones. This implies close
monitorization of investments and choices made by
private actors, as well as policy implementation by
policy makers, as several pioneering member states
already started doing at the national level.
Ten priority EU-interventions to add value to member states’ first steps on the
road towards 2050
Energy efficiency
1) Make energy saving targets binding. We cannot
afford not reaching our energy savings ambitions,
and locking ourselves into energy inefficient technologies and assets, such as energy consuming
buildings and transport infrastructures.
2) Mobilize cities towards a low carbon future. It
implies going beyond the Covenant of Mayors,
which is a successful voluntary initiative that
should be complemented by an organized mapping of cities with an EU reporting methodology
to allow good practices to be identified and spread.
Greenhouse gas emissions
3) Strengthen the carbon price signal. This could
be done with a more ambitious emission reduction targets and credible longer term cap for the
EU-ETS and/or the introduction of a carbon tax.
Renewable energy
4) Integrate renewable energy technologies into
the market. Renewable energy technologies need
to be pushed into the market as long as necessary,
but they should also be integrated into the market,
for instance, by requiring them to participate in
wholesale and balancing electricity markets.
5) Create a level playing field for renewable energy cooperation with non-EU countries. This
implies adapting EU-instruments, such as ACER,
ERGEG, ENTSO-E to Mediterranean countries,
or to create their Mediterranean counterparts.
Energy infrastructure
6) Harmonize the regulation of distribution and
transmission grids. Smart grids need smart regulation. Harmonization of the economic regulation
of distribution and transmission grids is needed
to ensure that grid regulation will not hamper the
smartening of grids.
7) Design an EU infrastructure cost recovery instrument. The existing cost recovery instruments
for infrastructure are inadequate to support the
European grid expansion that will enable the transition towards a low carbon energy system.
Internal energy market
8) Create an internal balancing market. Market integration has to be completed and extended to the real
time. System flexibility is crucial to keep the lights
on in a low carbon electricity system. It requires the
creation of an internal balancing market with regional balancing markets as a possible intermediate
step. This implies to organize a burden sharing for
the reservation costs of balancing services.
9) Harmonize electricity supply security mechanisms. These mechanisms can be justified by na-
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35
Final Report - June 2011
tional system specificities, but they should at least
comply with minimum requirements to avoid that
they work against the decarbonisation process.
Technology innovation and R&D
10) Complement the Strategic Energy Technology
Plan (SET-Plan). The SET-Plan is industry focused
36
and bottom up, which should be complemented by a
more top down approach that can prioritize projects
proposed by different industries and that improves
the balance between early innovation to create new
options and later stage innovation to push the most
promising options into the market.
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Annexes
Annex 1: Sector-specific objectives and GHG emissions reductions
Table A.1 – Sector-specific objectives and GHG emission reductions within the DG Climate Roadmap
Sector
Power
GHG emissions’ reduction
93 to 99%
Sector-specific objectives
Almost fully decarbonised by 2050
Electricity might partially replace fossil fuels in transport and heating; however,
electricity demand continues to increase at historic growth rates, due to continuous
improvements in efficiency
The share of low-carbon technologies is estimated to increase from 45% today to
around 60% in 2020, to between 75 and 80% by 2030, and nearly 100% in 2050
54 to 67%
Technological innovation can help in the transition to a more efficient and sustainable energy system, through:
1 increase of vehicle efficiency (new engines, material and design)
2 cleaner energy use (new fuels and propulsion systems)
3 better use of networks and safer and more secure operation (ICT)
Residential and
services
88 to 91%
This sector provides low-cost and short-term opportunities to reduce emissions
(mainly through the improvement of energy performance of buildings)
The refurbishment of the existing building stock is the greatest challenge within the
sector
Industry
83 to 87%
The deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies at a larger scale might
be necessary after 2035
Agriculture
42 to 49%
Improved agricultural and forestry practices can increase the capacity of the sector to
preserve and sequester carbon in soils and forests
Other
70 to 78%
-
Transport
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Final Report - June 2011
Annex 2: DG Move transport roadmap
Table A.2 – Highlights of what needs to be done according to this roadmap
An efficient and integrated mobility system
1. A single European transport area
A true internal market for rail services; Completion of the single European sky; Capacity and quality of airports; A maritime “Blue Belt” and
market access to ports; A suitable framework for inland navigation; Road freight; Multimodal transport of goods: e-Freight
2. Promoting quality jobs and working conditions
Social code for mobile road transport workers; A social agenda for maritime transport; A socially responsible aviation sector; An evaluation of
the EU approach to jobs and working conditions across transport modes
3. Secure transport
Cargo security; High levels of passenger security with minimum hassle; Land transport security; “End-to-end” security
4. Acting on transport safety: saving thousands of lives
Towards a “zero-vision” on road safety; A European strategy for civil aviation safety; Safer shipping; Rail safety; Transport of dangerous goods
5. Service quality and reliability
Passenger’s rights; Seamless door-to-door mobility; Mobility continuity plans
Innovating for the future: technology and behaviour
1. A European Transport Research and Innovation policy
A technology roadmap; An innovation and deployment strategy; A regulatory framework for innovative transport
2. Promoting more sustainable behaviour
Travel information; Vehicle labelling for CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency; Carbon footprint calculators; Eco-driving and speed limits
3. Integrated urban mobility
Urban mobility plans; An EU framework for urban road user charging; A strategy for near “zero-emission urban logistics”2030
Modern infrastructure and smart funding
1. Transport infrastructure: territorial cohesion and economic growth
A core network of strategic European infrastructure – A European mobility network; Multimodal freight corridors for sustainable transport
networks; Ex-ante project evaluation criteria
2. A coherent funding framework
A new funding framework for transport infrastructure; Private sector engagement
3. Getting prices right and avoiding distortions
Smart pricing and taxation
The external dimension
Transport in the World: the external dimension
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Annex 3: Assumed fuel prices
Table A.2 – Assumptions regarding fuel prices from the different stakeholders’ visions (US$ 2008)
Coal (US$/ton)
Gas (US$/GJ)
Oil (US$/bbl)
EGAF
Low Gas Price
Scen. *
IEA-WEO
Reference Scen.
Eurelectric
Power Choices
Year
Price
Year
Price
Year
2009
59
2008
97.2
2015
87
2020
100
2030
115
2030
2040
115
2050
115
2010
7.9
2015
7.9
2030
2040
IEA-ETP
BLUE Map
ECF
Low Carbon Scen.
Price
Year
Price
Year
Price
2010
71.9
2008
2020
88.4
2020
97
2009
-
2015
115
2030
105.9
2030
90
2040
-
2040
116.2
2050
-
2050
126.8
2040
2050
2008
10.3
2010
2020
12.1
2020
8.12
2008
10.7
2020
7.9
2030
14.2
2030
7.9
2040
-
2040
13.2
14.96
2050
7.9
2050
-
2050
16.94
2009
70
2010
120.6
2010
95.5
2015
91
2020
104.2
2020
129.8
2030
109
2030
109.0
2030
141.8
2040
109
2040
-
2040
141.2
2050
109
2050
-
2050
146.1
Greenpeace
E[R]
Year
Price
59
2015
110.6
87
2020
130
2030
115
2030
150
-
2040
115
2040
150
70
2050
115
2050
150
10.9
2009
9.39
2010
11.0
-
2015
11.1
2020
16.6
2030
11.6
2030
15.0
2030
19.3
2040
-
2040
15.0
2040
22
2050
9.1
2050
15.0
2050
26.0
2008
121
2009
70
2010
120.6
2020
-
2015
91
2020
135.4
2030
65
2030
109
2030
142.7
2040
-
2040
109
2040
160
2050
58
2050
109
2050
172.3
*For the high gas price scenario, the gas prices are the same than in ECF
Annex 4: List of Abbreviations
CCTS
Carbon capture transport and storage
DG
Director General
ECCP
European Climate Change Programme
ECF
European Climate Foundation
EGAF
European Gas Advocacy Forum
EREC
European Renewable Energy Council
EU
European Union
EU ETS
European Union Emission Trading Scheme
GHG
Greenhouse gas
IEA
International Energy Agency
ISO
Independent system operator
RES
Renewable energy sources
SET-Plan
Strategic Energy Technology Plan
TSO
Transmission system operators
TYNDP
Ten Year Network Development Plan
WEO
World Energy Outlook
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Final Report - June 2011
Annex 5: industrial council meeting –
summary of the discussion on the robustness of the preliminary project results in March
– Recall, in the introductory section the changes of
mind set, which are needed to address 2050 orientations and 2030 targets45.
Responsible: Serge GALANT, Technofi
Submission date: March 2011
The question to be answered
What role for the EU in the design and implementation of 2050 low carbon energy policies?
The tentative answer
– There are several options available for the EU,
which may cover standardizing technologies, regulating markets, harmonizing coordination between network operators, pricing network tariffs to account for
their progressive reengineering, enforcing existing or
future Directives more stringently, etc…
– At any rate, there is a prerequisite for future low
carbon energy policies: all member states will have
to go for more interdependence in order to send and
reach the future 2050 orientations.
Clarity improvements proposed for the report
next version
– Indicate right up front the role of the THINK report
at EC level, given an already complex background in
the energy sector (FP7, FP8, FP9…), the role of the
SET Plan. In other words, the report ambition should
be properly tuned.
– Emphasize, within a dedicated section, the paradoxical situation where Europe will be more and more
– there are drivers for more interdependence (for
instance TSOs have initiated CORESO and TSC
for regional coordination of operations)
– there are drivers for more fragmentation (for
56
instance regional renewable policies)
– and attempt to list the drivers that support either one of the opposite attitudes.
– The three pillars of European policy must be revisited, thanks to changes in mind set. For instance,
which are the right market designs that lead to the
proper capacity investment able to support an improved security of supply?
– Detail the future expected market failures which
will require public support: this will help in getting
public acceptance on such public support schemes,
both as energy consumers and energy savers.
– The harmonizing orientation should be further
digged into, providing new clues beyond what has
been or is being done.
– Be careful about the interpretation of IEA roadmaps in the future report. They do not recommend
what the EU role could or should be in moving forward according to 2050 orientations. Rather, they
provide quantitative scenarios to position EU within
a world perspective, leaving EU players the only ones
responsible for the choice of 2050 orientations and
the action plan implementation to move forward according to such orientations.
Completeness improvements proposed for the
report next version
45
See for instance the work performed in France on 2050
targets
–Feuille de route « Electricité photovoltaïque», Version finale,
Juin 2010
– Feuille de route « Solaire Thermodynamique», Version finale,
Juin 2010
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
– Beyond policy marking is policy implementation.
One can lean from the 2020 targets, analyzing possible shifts in implementation, which are allowed by
the Treaty. For instance, new policies could be implemented by a subset of pioneer players like in the recent European patent example.
– When addressing the challenges that underpin the
choice of policy orientations, it is needed to detail
– challenge areas where there is consensus
(which does not mean that everybody is right!)
– challenge areas where there is dissent (and
where there is a higher probability of innovative ideas to be implemented)
– When addressing the energy sectors, the full coverage of all activities must be provided (electricity,
residential, tertiary, industry, transport)
– Going toward less and less carbon releases will cost
more and more, unless interdependences are more and
more implemented. Higher investment costs might
mean higher difficulties in raising the interest of investors (including non energy investors). This will require
stable and robust returns on investments, which are
easier for regulated monopoly players (network operators), than for free market players which are undergoing strong competition at generation and retail level.
Only innovative business models will help, but with
rate of returns that can be hampered by the inherent
more risky position of the innovative business players.
– Underline the still existing risks of CCTS (where T
stands for transport): the performance of CCTS cannot be taken for granted on the long term and requires
long term knowledge acquisition to ascertain the final
CO2 capture performance (technical and economical). As a matter of fact, the coupling of CCTS with
industrial activities must be underlined as a possible
route which has not been to be studied so far.
- Complete the good lessons learnt from policy implementation in the mentioned targeted countries
(France, Germany, UK) for 2020 and beyond policies.
For instance, in the UK:
– legislative budget to make the transition happen,
– annual report to the Parliament with indications able to pinpoint critical under or over
achievement,
– investment monitoring to make sure that the
financial market can respond to the investment
needs
– Implement a section on the gas market and gas
vector impacts onto the 2050 policy orientations, in
view of the recent Japanese accident that could lead
to a shift back to more carbonated fuels.
– In the major Member States where energy policy
shifts were implemented in the past, a strong connection between energy policy and industrial policy was
the basis for arbitrations between several optional
routes. One of the roles of the EU would be to do the
same, especially for better addressing the challenges
of interdependence (for instance new technologies
for electric transmission networks).
Coherence improvements proposed for the report next version
– Whereas final prices are quoted as a critical parameter to support or to inhibit the transition, much less
is said about the impact of CO2 pricing on the tentative routes. Please expand on this parameter too.
– There is no clear assumption about the cross relationships between a strong/weak Euro and 2050
policy choices. What is the optimal Euro profile to
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Final Report - June 2011
support the future investments to implement the
transition according to the 2050 orientations?
– As a consequence, can the EU be also in a position to structure capital markets, which would ease
the above investments making them more attractive
than the ones addressing similar low carbon issues in
the USA, China or India?
– Can a section be introduced to address the impacts
of the possible routes towards 2050 on trade within
and outside EU27?
– Does it make sense to address the robustness of
this policy recommendation using a “what/if ” approach in a final section?
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Annex 6: comments by project advisors
on preliminary version of the report in
April
Project Advisor: Pantelis CAPROS,
Professor at NTUA – E3MLab/ICCS
Submission date: April 2011
The report is a very good effort to make a synthesis
on a difficult topic. Good ideas about the EU role. Remarks for improvement:
List of stakeholders visions
Probably there is now time to include the Roadmap
2050 published recently by DG CLIMA. This would
be important.
Levels of EU involvement
The report proposes three roles for the EU: setting
targets, harmonization regarding measures to be chosen by MS, ensuring level playing field by introducing
EU-wide instrument.
These are valid roles for the EU, but there should be
probably two additional roles: a) making effective the
building of common infrastructure which will facilitate sharing of resources to be employed towards
decarbonisation (e.g. highway and other interconnections for sharing RES, common balancing for electricity at multiple countries level, common balancing for
gas and arrangements to ensure flexibility in gas use
and affordability as gas has a major reliability role to
play in the future structure of power generation, common CO2 transport system for sharing storage areas,
etc.); b) setting common standards for new technologies (appliances, equipment, car battery recharging
infrastructure, etc.) in order to maximize interoperability in the EU and increase efficiency through
economies of scale in technology manufacturing at
the EU level.
Probably the second role could be added to harmonization role. But the first role should be shown separately as it is important and cannot be categorized in
the other roles.
Although the report mentions an EU-wide instrument, such an instrument is not identified and is not
discussed further.
Energy efficiency: challenge of achieving ambitious energy savings and setting of binding national targets
There is agreement on the great contribution of energy efficiency improvement in the emission cuts.
For this purpose, the European Union has set up a
long series of Directives and Regulations. The main
problem however is the weakness of endorsement
mechanisms in the European legislation, especially in
the domain of Buildings, Energy Service Companies
and obligations of energy utilities to show energy saving performance at the level of their customers. The
enforcement mechanisms have to be concrete, direct,
flexible and efficient, so as to need limited recourse to
European Court procedures. Introducing binding national targets may help but the usual approach of setting binding targets without true (and market-based)
enforcement mechanisms is very inefficient. It would
be better to have binding targets specifically for the
buildings sector and market-based mechanisms for
ESCOs and energy utility obligations. An example is
the white certificate system which could become the
equivalent of ETS for the energy efficiency domain.
Based on this, I recommend that the report puts emphasis on endorsement mechanisms and the establishment of market-based instruments for delivering
the energy efficiency objectives, rather than on the
setting of (vague) national binding targets. By the
way, imposing the 20% as binding target for 2020 is
a controversial issue, because it would be very ambi-
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Final Report - June 2011
tious to achieve and monitoring would be questionable. Many of the regulations for energy efficiency are
still pending.
Remarks for the EURELECTRIC study
In the main scenario, the assumption taken for CCS is
that it would be mature by 2025 (not 2030 as stated)
but technology learning curve will continue after that
date.
In this study, the total cost of decarbonisation is similar to the reference scenario (which is strong in policies such as ETS but does not deliver the decarbonisation). Costs are significantly higher than a baseline
(business as usual). The report states lower costs relative to a baseline, which is not correct.
On carbon prices
It is not true that Eurelectric study recommends applying a uniform carbon price to all sectors as the
only means driving decarbonisation. The modeling
of the scenarios has used uniform carbon prices applying on all sectors and countries (as cost-efficiency
would suggest), but its interpretation from a policy
perspective is not that carbon prices (taxes or ETS
type of pricing) should be introduced to non ETS
sectors. The carbon price for the non ETS is just a
shadow price inciting decarbonisation without being
a tax or auction payment (no direct income reducing
effect). Exactly the same approach was taken in the
DG CLIMA Roadmap 2050.
The shadow price of carbon (applicable to non ETS)
is a proxy of the marginal cost of a great variety of
bottom-up measures (not identified explicitly a priori, but only their effects on consumption as resulted
from the model simulations) that would be employed
for decarbonisation purposes in the non ETS sectors.
For example a shadow carbon price would incite energy efficiency but in reality this would be the result
60
of specific energy efficiency measures. Similarly, the
carbon shadow price would motivate electro-mobility but this would be in reality the result of for example
strict CO2 car regulation measures. Also, it is not true
that the carbon pricing is proposed by Eurelectric as
the only driver. It will be the ultimate driver on top
of a large series of bottom up measures in all sectors.
Anyway it would be important to expand on the role
of carbon prices as an instrument beyond EU ETS (or
expand EU ETS to other sectors). Carbon taxes are an
option? This will be a major EU role which fits in the
category about an EU-wide instrument, which is not
sufficiently expanded in the report.
Transport sector
A major omission of the report is about decarbonisation in the transport sector and especially the electrification in road transportation and the extensive
use of biofuels. Transport is a very inflexible sector
from a decarbonisation perspective, if the structure
and fuel mix was to remain similar to present situation. Change of fuel-technology paradigm is necessary (all studies show this). Zero emissions in power
generation allows for such a change in paradigm, but
this is not enough, and important transportation sectors can only have recourse to biofuels to decarbonise
(aviation, maritime, trucks). There are differences in
the studies about the biofuels (e.g. high biofuels in
German studies, much lower in others).
Electrification in road transportation (at a massive
scale) is a challenge for EU policies and a great opportunity for car manufacturing. The EU should ensure
common and harmonized development of recharging infrastructure in a timely manner, and common
standards for the entire chain. Smart metering and
common market rules should ensure charging at baseload hours and keeping a level playing field regarding
competition in the new market segment. Many other
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
common transport policies should be identified, as
for example for rail freight, etc. (see Whiter paper on
transports just released by DG MOVE).
Renewables
Harmonizing the RES supporting policies is not sufficiently expanded in the report. Abandoning current
system of subsidies is discussed everywhere in Europe, but the replacement of this system is not identified and in any case it should be harmonized at EU
wide level and compatible with market competition
especially in future conditions with stochastic RES
contributing by more than 40% in power generation.
This is a great EU role to play.
Also for RES, the least common denominator of all
studies is the importance of RES facilitation policies:
grids, interconnections, building codes and other
measures (incl. smart grids) for high development of
very small scale RES, back-up, storage, common balancing, licensing and easiness of access to new sites
(incl. remote offshore areas). EU contribution should
be identified and mentioned for this policy area.
Affordability
The EU can play a role in addressing adverse effects
of decarbonisation costs (and higher requirements
for investment) regarding poverty and affordability,
by shaping harmonized rules for more extended public service obligations (beyond electricity). This topic
should be also mentioned.
Gas market
Area to be mentioned with emphasis on great EU role
as gas will have a strategic contribution and a key role
in balancing: common EU market, flexibility, security
of supply, affordability for small players, etc.
Project Advisor: Christian von HIRSCHHAUSEN,
Professor at TU Berlin, DIW Berlin
Submission date: June 2011
As one of the scientific advisors to Think on the report
„Transition towards a low carbon energy system by
2050: what role for the EU“ I have participated both
in the experts meeting and in the Scientific Committee. In the following I summarize the issues raised live
at these meetings
The objective of the report is “to structure the debate
on the role of the EU to guide the transition towards
a low-carbon energy system by 2050, based on visions presented by different stakeholders and existing
Member States’ strategies to achieve the transition”
(p. 1). The report consists of two parts:
- Descriptive “tale” of stakeholder/Member States’ approach to 2050
- Discussion about “possible role of the EU” (“y penser toujours, en parler jamais”)
The latter is later highlighted in 5 fields of action. In
general, one senses a very significant competence on
two of the “really important” issues: 4/ infrastructure,
and 5/ energy market, whereas the others are dealt
with in more general terms. The paper also derives
some suggestions and recommendations have been
given by the stakeholders, but it is less clear what
could or should be the role of the EU.
My basic point is that the objective of 2050, i.e. a 8095% reduction of CO2 with respect to 1990, should
guide the question “what needs to be done (at European level) to attain this goal IN EACH SECTOR”. We
are mostly energy/electricity people, but this question
can not be answered without looking at the transportation sector, and the industrial sector (off course the
household sector as well). Consequently, we should
organize a competence in these sectors, if we want to
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Final Report - June 2011
be compatible with the 3 2050 roadmaps that are upcoming (ENER, MOVE, CLIM).
I think by just comparing studies that tackle the issue
from today’s perspective, with a focus on the energy/
electricity sector, we are missing important issues,
and my two favorites are:
a) Decarbonizing the transportation sector, with a
particular focus on biofuels (I would love to believe in
the scenarios on electromobility, but it is one scenario
amongst many, and not a very realistic one); here I
think a serious discussion of BIOFUELS, in connection with BIOMASS in general, is crucial. We have so
far avoided detailed analysis of the sector, but need to
engage into it.
b) The industry sector is a major CO2 emitter, both
from energy uses, and process heat uses; the latter are
sometimes not avoidable, as in metal/steel, cement/
klinker, ammoniak, hydrogen, petrochemicals, etc.
Unless processes that are “cleaner” are found, there
is no way to maintain these sectors in the European
62
industrial landscape, and meet the targets.
I would therefore have liked to see an in-depth treatment of these issues, and a focus of one (or two?) researchers in these fields that we are usually not very
interested in… With respect to energy efficiency, the
report may have included an analytical discussion
what the “market failure” is all about, and how it can
be remedied. Also, I have the impression that energy
efficiency policies need to be different, and to a certain degree decentralized, e.g. to distinguish policies
in Spain vs. Estonia.
Section 3.3: suggests to treat CCTS (carbon capture,
transportation, and storage) as a “bridging technology”. I think this is unrealistic in the European energy
sector. In particular I do not see any reason to treat
CCTS as a substitute for renewables. No other technology has received such focused support, and not
yet delivered; one also observes that the focus is moving form electricity to industrial applications (steel,
cement).
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Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Annex 7: Conclusions of the public consultation based on a preliminary version
of the report April - May46
Responsible: Serge GALANT, Technofi
Submission date: June 2011
Giving sense to the “EU involvement” concept
The report should address very early the definition of
the concept of “EU involvement”. Indeed, there might
be confusion about the meaning of “EU”. Is it
– The Council with specific political initiatives approved at the majority of the Member States?
– The Parliament with specific measures?
– The European Commission with dedicated RD&D
activities?
– All three like in the building of Directives?
It is proposed to recall the European Added Value of
measures in the energy sector which were decided in
the past to give a precise sense to what is understood
as “EU involvement” in this report.
Fighting against further national policy fragmentation
The report identifies a major fear in setting and reaching 2050 targets: the fragmentation of policy measures that make this goal unrealistic.
The report proposal
The present report rightly addresses the issue of national policy fragmentation to cope with climate
change challenges. It proposes routes in section 3.2
which raises even more issues than it could help solving as mentioned in the EWEA comments for electricity generation capacity mechanisms. A European
46
With written comments either in the initial drat report
or in a specific paper coming from Greenovate !Europe, GERG,
EWEA. ENTSO-E was not in a position under such a short notice
to propose an answer.
capacity payment mechanism has distortive effects.
National experiences already show that design and
implementation of such capacity payments is complex and may lead to investment distortions as it dis
incentivizes demand-side participation as well as
investments in interconnections and storage capacity. As a matter of fact, capacity payments might be
considered as a temporary regulatory tool to relieve
occasional tightness in generation adequacy and ensure security of supply in weakly interconnected or
isolated power systems. Yet, in an interconnected
system like continental Europe, capacity payments
should follow the foreseen improvements in current
electricity markets, i.e. implementing European-wide
market coupling by 2014 as targeted by the European
Commission, establishing and integrating intra-day
markets, enhancing market-based demand-side participation, increased transmission capacity, etc.
Recommendations
The report should keep away from specifying dedicated measures to fight policy fragmentation but rather
propose routes for policy improvements in view of
meeting 2050 decarbonization goals (see below the
interdependence theme).
Future levels of EU involvement: avoid being
technology prescriptive
There are two generic mistakes in this document
which may lead to very strange conclusions in connection with CCS.
– CCS is not an energy source: it is an end-of-pipe
technology. There is nothing in the renewables legislation that impacts the possible development of CCS.
– “Renewable energy technology” is not one single
technology: it means 10 to 15 different technologies
with no “dominant technology”, although wind and
biomass are expected to make the largest contribu-
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63
Final Report - June 2011
tions up to 2020, just as they did between 2000 and
2010. The EU policy approach has, so far, encouraged
competition between all these renewable energy technologies which means that the lowest cost options wind and biomass - will be the largest contributors to
the targets.
Hence, the argument made in the report for CCS
could just as easily be made for the majority of renewable energy sources, e.g. geothermal, tidal, wave,
offshore wind energy, CSP etc. These are all being
deployed due to national efforts, the Directive being
technology neutral.
As a matter of fact, a technology-prescriptive effort
at EU level for CCS would require addressing all
the other - currently less competitive - technologies,
which are not assisted under current EU renewables
legislation.
Towards a fourth level of EU involvement:
stressing the needs for more interdependence
to reach the 2050 goals
One way of fighting the increased fragmentation
of national energy policy is to give the EC a role in
showing the impacts of more interdependence at regional, national and European level. A fourth level
of involvement should be created in order to design
public incentives that would correct for future fragmentation by encouraging for positive interdependence. Increasing interdependence between organizations has indeed both pros and cons:
– maximizing interdependence may lead to a lack
of system reliability beyond a certain critical level:
if one critical energy provider experiences an internal failure (for instance, lack of waste heat towards
downstream end users due to a breakdown of its own
industrial process), many other players may also face
a loss of reliability which also could impact their business activities.
There are technical, legal, regulatory, social and economic challenges at promoting interdependence
between energy players in Europe at all levels. It is
believed that interdependence will become a generic
driving factor to decarbonize our energy system in
Europe. The involvement of EU players (Council,
European Commission and Parliament) will be necessary to promote optimal levels of interdependence
as a mean to reinforce the credibility of the upcoming 2050 decarbonization goals. The recent decision
of the German Government to phase out of nuclear
electricity production illustrates the role of interdependence in future EU 27 energy policies.
The natural gas energy vector
There is a major flaw in the work: the natural gas issue, with related comments on the hydrogen economy, should be included in the report. Natural gas will
be very critical in a post Fukushima assessment of
the 2050 decarbonization goals, The involvement of
EU27 will go much beyond the Third Energy package
where gas and electricity networks were at stake.
– maximizing interdependence will lead to extra
investment costs (for instance in networks interconnecting organizations) which can be recovered either
by savings on the energy needs to run a business and/
or by getting revenues from carbon credits, a tool
which will be deployed at European level to drive a
low carbon economy
64
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Final Report - June 2011
THINK
THINK is a project funded by the 7th Framework Programme. It provides knowledge support to policy making
by the European Commission in the context of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan. The project is organized
around a multidisciplinary group of 23 experts from 14 countries covering five dimensions of energy policy:
science and technology, market and network economics, regulation, law, and policy implementation. Each semester, the permanent research team based in Florence works on two reports, going through the quality process
of the THINK Tank. This includes an Expert Hearing to test the robustness of the work, a discussion meeting
with the Scientific Council of the THINK Tank, and a Public Consultation to test the public acceptance of different policy options by involving the broader community.
EC project officers: Sven Dammann and Norela Constantinescu (DG ENER; Energy Technologies & Research
Coordination Unit; Head of Unit Christof Schoser)
Project coordination: Jean-Michel Glachant and Leonardo Meeus
Steering board: Ronnie Belmans, William D’haeseleer, Jean-Michel Glachant, Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga
Advisory board: Chaired by Pippo Ranci
Coordinating Institution
European University Institute
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies
Florence School of Regulation
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies
Partner Institutions
KU Leuven
Belgium
Comillas University Madrid
Spain
Technofi
France
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
Italy
Technical University of Berlin
Germany
Inst. of Communication and
Computer Systems - Greece
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale
Lausanne - Switzerland
Potsdam Institute for Climate
Impact Research - Germany
University of Porto
Portugal
University of Bocconi
Italy
Becker Büttner Held
Germany/Belgium
Lund University
Sweden
University of Budapest
Hungary
University of Oslo
Norway
Ricerca sul Sistema Elettrico SpA
Italy
Technical University of Lodz
Poland
66
http://think.eui.eu
Transition Towards a Low Carbon Energy System by 2050: What Role for the EU?
Contact
THINK
Advising the EC (DG ENERGY) on Energy Policy
http://think.eui.eu
FSR coordinator: [email protected]
Florence School of Regulation
RSCAS – European University Institute
Villa Malafrasca
Via Boccaccio 151
50133 Firenze
Italy
http://think.eui.eu
67
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QM-31-11-488-EN-N
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