How Europe Can Win the Energy Crisis: 5 Steps to a Sustainable Future

How Europe can win the energy crisis: 5 steps to a sustainable future

The EU has decided to cut the use of fossil fuels and boost the development of renewable energy sources to achieve its climate objectives by 2030, with a binding target of 27% of its total energy consumption from renewable sources. 

However, as recent data suggests Europe is not on track to reach its goals, it's time for EU policymakers to seriously consider new ways to tackle the energy challenge in light of the global shift toward sustainable growth. Here are 5 steps to a sustainable future.

1) The most significant risks of an energy crisis

Due to investments in renewable generation, many power plants are no longer profitable. This means that some power plants will be retired prematurely, while others may not be built at all. On top of this, transmission and distribution systems will also need updating to accommodate higher shares of renewables on the grid. 

All these will cost billions of dollars and take many years before implementation, as governments need help justifying new investments when consumers pay low electricity prices. 

While there is an increased awareness about climate change, current consumer behavior does not make addressing climate change a priority. Some measures, such as smart meters or efficiency labels for cars or fridges, might help, but more is needed. Consumers would need to actively switch away from fossil fuels and increase their support for renewables. 

The recent introduction of emissions trading schemes such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) should help achieve this goal by linking emission reductions to economic growth. 

One problem with carbon pricing is that taxes only affect individuals who consume goods made from fossil fuels directly; taxation doesn't influence those who don't use fossil fuels now but do emit greenhouse gases indirectly, such as through deforestation or cement production.

2) The best chance for Europe to take advantage

No matter how we slice it, Western Europe will be in trouble if current trends continue. Luckily, they have an opportunity. 

If they take this opportunity, they could not only manage the decline but actually thrive and develop a genuinely unique and renewable economy that sets them apart from their international competitors.

3) What you need to know about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

One hydrogen fuel cell vehicle costs about half as much as a battery electric vehicle and provides three times the range of just one tank of hydrogen, which takes only five minutes to fill. 

Furthermore, hydrogen cars emit only water vapor by using an electric motor powered by electricity from a fuel cell stack instead of burning gasoline. That's a significant improvement over today's internal combustion engines, which spew pollutants into the air. 

The problem is that there still needs to be more hydrogen fueling stations for widespread use in North America or Europe.

4) How will we power our cities in 2030?

The US Energy Information Administration predicts that European consumption of fossil fuels will more than double by 2030, reaching 116 mbd. The International Energy Agency estimates that if such development continues, Europeans could be at risk of an extra 900 kilotonnes of CO2 being emitted annually. 

If we are serious about fulfilling our Paris Agreement obligations and combating climate change, we must start exploring how we can power our cities in 2030 with renewables or nuclear energy.

Many people do not realize that electric cars already outnumber gasoline cars on EU roads - it's just that they need to be charged by renewable energy sources. Moreover, as prices for solar panels and wind turbines continue to drop rapidly, these technologies have become increasingly competitive with coal and natural gas. 

With solar now cheaper than coal in some countries, it makes economic sense for utilities to switch from conventional fuel-based plants to cleaner alternatives. Governments across Europe should therefore provide subsidies for clean electricity generation while imposing strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, agriculture, and other sectors of the economy. 

To help them succeed even further, European governments should commit their populations to regular recycling efforts and increase access to public transport so that citizens can work towards sustainable lifestyles.

5) The future of energy is here

Europe has experienced one of the most significant changes in its energy landscape since its birth. Solar, wind, and other renewable technologies replace oil, gas, and coal. With more of these technologies coming onto European markets, their prices are becoming more competitive with fossil fuels. 

Moreover, Europeans have been experiencing fewer blackouts and price spikes from renewable technologies than traditional ones.

Previous Post Next Post