Europe’s power sector could be decarbonised by 2045


That’s according to a new report by international services giant EY, provided there is substantial investment, smart grid innovation, and improvements in electricity distribution networks.

The report suggests that by this point, electrification could reach 63% of the European economy, with additional load borne from the transport, industrial and heating sectors.

The scenario portrayed relies on onshore wind capacity tripling from current levels to more than 640GW. Offhshore wind is predicted to expand to 470GW and solar capacity is foreseen to increase seven-fold to 950GW. As a result of this growth, EY predicts that renewable generation would provide in excess of 80% of Europe’s energy requirements.

The report states that this intermittent generation would be supported by up to 150GW of demand-side flexibility by 2045, supplied from industrial, commercial and residential consumers.

The report also predicts that the increasing affordability of battery storage technology, and accessibility of charging outlets will lead to a larger share of market for electric vehicles, growing from 2% in 2018, to a third of new car sales by 2030.

The company stresses the importance of distribution systems operators as crucial in connecting additional capacity to the grid as it is needed, along with bolstered system resilience. It suggests distributed energy generation and digital technologies as key to effective regulation of power flows and increased flexibility.