By ramping up cost-effective investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency the European Union can cut its dependency on natural gas imports in half, according to new analysis released yesterday. Carbon reductions of 49% or more could be achieved below the 1990 level by 2030 – far more than currently proposed. The analysis arrives just days before the European Council meets to set new climate change targets.
The study Increasing the EU’s Energy Independence: A No-Regrets Strategy for Energy Security and Climate Change was written by international consultants Ecofys as part of the Open Climate Network (OCN), a global network of independent research institutes and civil society groups for which World Resources Institute (WRI) serves as secretariat. It finds that natural gas consumption can be halved overall by implementing cost-effective measures that accelerate the use of renewable energy and efficiency improvements in industry, buildings and energy supply.
Relative to current projections, these measures can achieve
- 58% reduction in gas consumption from buildings (equal to 23% of all natural gas presently consumed by EU);
- 20% reduction in gas consumption from industry (equal to 5% of all natural gas presently consumed by EU); and
- 63% reduction in gas consumption from power generation (equal to 19% of all natural gas presently consumed by EU).
Replacing natural gas imports with clean alternatives will enhance Europe’s stability in energy supply, increasing resilience to possible interruption from unstable suppliers.
“Contrary to popular belief, Europe can be energy independent,” said Jennifer Morgan, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at WRI. “This analysis shows that the EU can cut natural gas imports in half without raising costs for consumers. This is a win-win approach for the EU, increasing its energy security and raising the bar for climate action.”
(Reprinted from materials provided by Ecofys)