Press Release: Is our electricity clean?
Today, only 30% of the electricity that we generate comes from renewable sources. Never mind the gloomy warnings of Paris, IPCC et alia: nearly 70% of our electricity is still produced by non-renewable sources. In the last 20 years, we may have managed to gradually decrease the contribution of oil and coal to our electricity production, but the one of gas has more than doubled. Several Member States want to phase out nuclear – but a quick glance at the figures tells us we’re not there yet.
Now, can we really say all of Europe’s electricity is clean? Can we liberally electrify our transport and heating sectors so to provide a solution to lower emissions and slow down climate change? In a very near future, our energy mix needs to be 100% renewable if we are to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. Even earlier: Commissioner Juncker thinks we should be focusing on our less far-fetched 2030 climate policies.
Let’s straighten this up: there’s some good news. In the last decade, the contribution of renewables to the electricity mix has in fact increased considerably but it has been mainly due to an increasing contribution of variable renewable sources such as wind and sun - that is, depending on external factors and therefore not always readily available.
We shall then focus on readily available renewable technologies and, most importantly, resources; we need to invest and reinforce solutions that, thanks to their flexibility, cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency, can help us decarbonizing the electricity we produce. Welcome bioenergy. Biomass can provide an alternative solution to generate flexible and dispatchable clean electricity to complement other sources when the wind’s not blowing or the sun’s not shining.
In order to better understand our electricity system, Bioenergy Europe launches today its 2019 Report on Bioelectricity, diving into these and more issues, providing the reader with data on electricity, renewable electricity and bioelectricity – electricity produced from biomass; but also: which fuels do we use? How intense are the CO2 emissions from electricity generation in different countries? What role do different renewables play? Most of the figures are filtered by country, helping policy makers and investors to better calibrate their decision-making.
For those who don’t have time to dive into detailed figures, a short policy brief has also been made available. The two-pager includes highlights and a selection of graphs, providing an overview of the current dynamics of our electricity system at a glance.
About the report. For the first time since its launch in 2007, the 2019 Statistical Report will be split in 7 different publications, each one covering a different aspect of bioenergy. They will all be made available online for free. Stay tuned for the next release in June on Biomass Supply, covering forest resources, energy crops, land management and much more. For more information, visit www.bioenergyeurope.org.
Market Intelligence Director
Senior Communications Advisor