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Europe’s power supply will be carbon neutral ‘well before’ 2050, pledges Eurelectric

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Eurelectric has pledged to reach carbon neutrality within Europe’s power supply “well before” the year 2050.

The trade body, which represents 3,500 power companies throughout Europe, has announced a new long-term vision for Europe’s electricity industry, crucially agreeing on a ‘Vision Declaration’ that will see the sector seek to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources.

Its stated aim is to now achieve a “competitive reliable carbon-neutral electricity mix” throughout the EU well before 2050.

Francesco Starace, Eurelectric president and CEO at Enel, said that Europe’s power industry saw “great opportunity” in decarbonised energy.

“Electricity is playing a growing role in making this vision happen and Eurelectric will lead this transformation. Today’s announcement shows how together we are determined to accelerate the energy transition through a progressive electrification of Europe’s energy consumption while making the European power sector carbon-neutral well before mid-century,” he said.

Meanwhile the group has placed digital solutions and decentralised generation technologies at the centre of its most recent discussions, tallying with broader efforts seen throughout Europe to recognise the role digitalised, decentralised power will play in the future energy mix.

A published series of commitments include pledged investment in ‘transition-enabling solutions’ and to innovate with newly emerging business models and breakthrough technologies.

Alistair Philips-Davies, vice president at Eurelectric and CEO of SSE, which is currently discussing a merger with innogy unit npower, added: “The investment required in clean electricity and transition-enabling technologies is huge. This statement reflects our full commitment to invest in innovation, to build new cross-sector business models, and ensure that electricity keeps creating value in decades to come.”

The body is not without its demands, though. It has called upon Europe’s policymakers to promote a cost-effective energy transition through a “strong carbon market that delivers a meaningful price” and to accelerate electrification in crucial areas, namely heating and cooling.

“The commitment and ambition expressed in this vision are challenging, especially for regions which depend on high carbon value chains. We therefore call on policymakers to do their utmost to ensure a fair and responsible transition, both socially and geographically, and provide the necessary support and funding to address any socio-economic impacts,” Eurelectric secretary general Kristian Ruby, said. 

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