The figure below illustrates the gap between the current (2016) energy supply mix and an extrapolation to the future (2050).
- The red slice represents potential ‘missing energy’, if conventional fossil fuel generation has to be phased out. The green part represents renewable energy production, assuming the same growth rate for wind and solar of recent years is maintained until 2050.
- The yellow part represents ‘nuclear’, which could fill the gap. However, as nuclear energy is under political pressure in some EU countries, it could also remain constant or even reduce, further widening the gap.
Options to lower CO2 emissions
There is a range of technological, policy and energy infrastructure options available, each with technical and economic advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the options:
Managing electricity supply is complex, and needs to strike a balance between reducing the environmental impact, delivering at competitive prices and safeguarding reliability.
Realistically the future will combine different options, with additional benefits delivered through technical innovation, improved interconnection, energy storage and consumption management.
Whatever the future brings, European industry needs sustainable, reliable and competitively priced electricity.
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