Industry groups representing sectors as varied as wind and solar power, fuel cell batteries, copper and heat pumps, have clubbed together to launch the Electrification Alliance, with the hope that electricity will be recognised as the main energy carrier in Europe’s decarbonisation drive.
Electric vehicles could revolutionise Europe’s electricity system, but an outmoded network regulation could hamper progress, according to Laszlo Varro, chief economist at the International Energy Agency.
The emergence of household batteries, along with small-scale solar photovoltaic and plug-in electric cars, is slated to transform electricity storage, according to a new state-of-the-art report by European science academies. But experts claim storage is not actually fundamentally needed.
Cutting wasteful energy use in buildings is at the centre of EU efforts to decarbonise its economy and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports. However, there is still vast untapped potential in modernising heating, cooling and ventilation equipment known as technical building systems, research has shown.
As Europe’s electricity system undergoes a major transformation, consumers may be expected to change some of their habits. But this will only happen if consumers have something to gain from these changes and they are given a proper choice, says Monique Goyens.
In just over a decade, we will be able to build a new electricity system around renewable energy that is cleaner, produces almost no carbon emissions, costs less than a system built around natural gas, and is just as reliable, writes David Nelson.
Although formal negotiations over a market design proposal are just beginning, a conference involving industry leaders and senior policymakers this week showed which way the winds of change are blowing in the electricity sector as the need to integrate intermittent wind and solar power increases.
The European Commission's Winter Package of Energy Union laws will be a turning point for clean energy, writes Maroš Šefčovič. But the spirit of the package goes further than clean energy or tackling climate change – it’s also about economic transformation, he argues.
The Energy Union is an unparalleled opportunity for the EU to boost energy its efficiency, cut imports and create consumers money. To achieve this, we must unlock the potential of smart systems and embrace digitalisation, writes Anton Koller.
Digitalisation opens up new avenues for us in many areas and modern technologies make our lives easier and more enjoyable. The EU’s pursuit of progress is admirable but constantly setting new targets is not always the best way to promote innovation, writes Herbert Reul.
The move towards autonomous vehicles, driven by the progressive electrification of transport, and backed up by road pricing schemes, all carry the potential of radically cleaning up Europe's transport system, writes Greg Archer.
The next wave of digital innovation – and disruption – in the electricity sector will rely on artificial intelligence and Blockchain technology, according to the new boss of the European power grid operators association, ENTSO-E, who is drafting an IT roadmap for publication later this year.
While standards for toasters, fridges and TV sets have so far grabbed most attention, the biggest potential for power savings actually lies in integrating industries and small businesses to the electricity system, a senior EU official has said.
EU regulators will unveil reforms on Wednesday (30 November) to promote a greater share of renewables in Europe's grid by 2030, with plans to cut energy use by 30%, phase out subsidies for coal-fired plants and enforce greater cross-border trade.
From nuclear plants in the UK and Hungary to coal-fired power stations in Germany, member states always manage to forge ahead with their energy projects, according to Georg Zachmann, who calls on EU leaders to sit down and seriously discuss the Energy Union’s governance.
If European Union leaders don’t believe markets can work, then there’s no point having a carbon price to encourage renewable energies. And the energy market will always be “orchestrated” by national governments keeping fossil fuels subsidised, says Hans Ten Berge.
Data has been transmitted across a national electricity grid for the first time, in what could be a significant step towards the creation of virtual power stations, where many thousands of homes and businesses combine to manage electricity use more smartly.
The “active participation” of citizens and local communities in the supply and demand of electricity will be “the leitmotiv” of new energy proposals the European Commission is preparing for the end of the year, according to a senior EU official who ruled out harmonisation of national support schemes for renewables at this stage.