Etp 2010

EUR 3.25 trillion

EUR 2.9 trillion

USD 4 trillion (~EUR 2.8 trillion)

* Scenario with 60% electricity generated from renewable sources. Sources: Eurelectric, 2010; European Climate Foundation, 2010; IEA, 2010a.

* Scenario with 60% electricity generated from renewable sources. Sources: Eurelectric, 2010; European Climate Foundation, 2010; IEA, 2010a.

Power Choices reflects one view on potential future capacity developments in Europe, e.g. by assuming the phase-out of nuclear energy in Germany and Belgium. Roadmap 2050 follows many of the fram ewo rk assumptions of WEO 2010, and envisions three scenarios with 40%, 60% or 80% of total electricity output being supplied by renewables, with much emphasis on the critical role of electricity transmission to smooth the effects of supply variability from the significant wind and solar capacities.2

2. An additional scenario explores the possibility of relying on solar resources in the northern Sahara Desert.

Additional transmission could allow Europe to fully exploit its renewable energy potential: using wind resources when solar output is low, and vice versa, both on an annual or daily basis. In the Roadmap 2050 scenario with a 60% share of renewables, 102 gigawatts (GW) of additional transmission capacity would be required by 2050 - compared with 2 GW in their baseline scenario. 240 to 325 GW of thermal capacity would be required for balancing and back-up in the same scenario, in contrast with about 200 GW in Energy Technology Perspectives and Power Choices, largely explained by these scenarios' lower reliance on renewables (55% and 40% respectively).3 A higher reliance on renewables must be accompanied by increased investment in transmission and extra backup capacity.

As in many long-term projections, some main assumptions differ: while Roadmap 2050 and Power Choices foresee a sustained growth in power demand, ETP 2010 BLUE Map scenario projects a rather modest 19% growth in electricity demand between 2007 and 2050, the result of massive efforts in end-use efficiency; under the ETP 2010 Baseline scenario, electricity demand would grow by 57%, to 4 800 TWh. The difference is also explained by the growth in electricity demand from the transport scenario, driven by different technology assumptions in these three studies. Roadmap 2050 chooses a high penetration of 'pure' electric vehicles, whereas ETP 2010 assumes a larger contribution of so-called plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which also run on fossil fuels. The Eurelectric Power Choices scenario also assumes a large penetration of electric vehicles: by 2050, the total electricity demand from transport would be equivalent to half of Europe's electricity output today (Table 2).

Table 2

Final electricity demand in 2050 for Europe under three low-carbon scenarios

Table 2

Final electricity demand in 2050 for Europe under three low-carbon scenarios

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