A short overview of some of the sessions involving DecarbEurope partners
Transitioning towards 100% renewables and the role of system flexibility
Myriam Castanié from REScoopEU stressed the importance of addressing the specific challenges of islands, which are strongly affected by climate change and are often dependent on the mainland for energy. She pointed out that islands are often blocked by regulations on the mainland that prevent them from obtaining renewable technologies such as heat pumps.
Moreover, bringing renewables into local economies creates value and strengthens local economies. However, the energy transition depends on citizen engagement; the good news is that islanders are increasingly becoming actors in energy markets.
Hans-Josef Fell, President from the Energy Watch Network gave a stark warning that with the “business as usual” scenario, the world population will be extinct by 2050. “We have to change our politics all over the world. Net zero by 2050 is not sufficient. Zero emission by 2030 is needed.”
Mark van Stiphout, Moderator: “I hope you leave this room worried, inspired and triggered to take action. One small action idea: how can we make all Brussels office buildings 100% renewable?”
Delivering clean energy on EU islands
According to Patrick Clerens from EASE, there are strong business cases not only for the incremental implementation of renewables on islands, but for the economically attractive reduction of CO2 emissions.
Moreover, he said that implementation of renewables on islands can only be incremental, and depends heavily on the existing energy system and the characteristics of the island. Longer term revenue is necessary if you want to develop energy storage. However, balancing services are limited to one year ahead. This hampers long-term investment.
A competitive future for decarbonised EU industries?
- Hybrid systems switching between electricity and gas
- Look at carbon first before efficiency
- Hydrogen is not the only gas
- Value-chains cooperation rather than passing the buck
Sectoral integration: shaping EU’s climate-neutral future integration
“The energy transition in Europe is going to be ‘made in Europe’. 300,000 people work in wind energy in Europe today,” pointed out WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson
How will digitalisation transform the energy system?
The 3E’s to modernise energy efficiency through digitalisation: Ensuring end use efficiency; Enabling system efficiency; Enhancing policy efficiency.
According to Jutta Paulus, European Parliament, everyone speaks of sector coupling but an appropriate regulatory framework simply does not exist.
Frauke Thies, SmartEN: “For the system to work we need to secure interoperability and also ensure customer trust so that consumers know their data is safe and secure and that cybercrime will not be a major problem in the energy system.”
She also remarked that the priority is not another digitalization policy, it’s to create efficient market design with open access to all technologies and service providers.
Launch event: REN21 Renewables Global Status Report 2019
Some negative conclusions from the report
- Renewables in heating and cooling are increasing very slowly with a lack of policy support in this sector
- Only 25% of the electricity driving electric vehicles comes from renewables
- Only one country has a target for 100% renewables in total final energy (Denmark)
- Only 20 countries in the world have heating and cooling regulatory policies
- Fossil fuel subsidies are widespread in 115 countries to a total of USD 300 billion; an 11% increase from the year before and about double the estimated support for renewable power generation.
The good news
- Cities are setting more ambition policies than their national governments
- 1000+ organisations totalling USD 8 trillion of managed assets have committed to divesting from fossil fuels
- The private sector has doubled its investment in sourcing renewable power.
Feedback from DecarbEurope partners on the report
Paul Voss, Euroheat & Power: The heating and cooling sector has been a niche sector for too long and it’s currently totally dominated by fossil fuels. District heating can run on renewables but we have a job to do to remove coal, oil and gas from the markets. Unfortunately fossil fuels are heavily and unfairly subsidized. I urge colleagues at the European level to keep refining the framework. Heating & cooling is a very local business too, and the cities have clear ideas of the way forward.
Laura Buffet, Energy Director, Transport & Environment: Biodiesel and palm oil biofuels are just as bad or worse than fossil fuel oil for transport applications. The good news is that electric vehicles are becoming more popular, but for significant EV uptake there needs to be smart charging and smart pricing, which at the moment is not in place. Decarbonisation of the aviation sector is crucial. New fuels such as electrofuels could be important here but there is little or no incentive to develop them.
Bruce Douglas, Deputy CEO, SolarPower Europe: The cost competitiveness of solar is a major opportunity, but there has to be greater social acceptance of renewables through better engaging and educating consumers. Consumer surveys indicated that renewables are the most popular power source. However, there is still a “NIMBY” point of view. If we are to move forward to reach the targets, we have to increase awareness of the link between renewables and the solution to the climate crisis. Corporates on the other hand have a great appetite for solar.
Dusan Jakovljevic, Director for Policy & Communications, Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes: Heat is a key factor in the decarbonisation of industrial processes. Low temperature heat can be provided via heat pumps and solar heating. High temperature heat for industrial processes is more demanding, but proven technologies exist such as induction heating, infrared heating and electromagnetic processing. There is also huge potential to use waste heat from small and large industrial plants as a source of district heating. We need a regulatory framework that can incentivize companies to help them bring this to the market.
How much do you know about energy storage?
EASE ran a fascinating quiz to test your knowledge on energy storage. It’s not too late to try your hand (luck?). The winner gets a prize!
Ecodesign and energy labelling
Paolo Falcioni, Director General, APPLIA Europe, pointed out that emerging economies need access to the latest energy efficient products and gave India as an example where air conditioners and TVs are in increasing demand.
Moreover, “the industry strongly supports product lifetime and encourages repair. When it comes to the #EPREL database, this the first time the EC has to deliver within a deadline, so welcome to the challenge!”
He said that standards are the foundations of Ecodesign and energy labelling but the appliances industry and market surveillance authorities need certainty to design and test products in the same conditions and are fully against delays in standards coming out.
Finally … Heat pumps stimulate EATING & COOLING!
Watch this space for a review of Day Three at EUSEW19!