WWF: 40 per cent renewables by 2030 is feasible

More than 40 per cent energy generated by renewables and 38 per cent less energy use compared to business as usual by 2030, leading to a reduction in greenhouse gases by 50 per cent compared to 1990 – these are the main features of a new energy scenario by WWF. The report is a contribution to the ongoing debate on EU targets for energy and greenhouse gases beyond 2020.

“Improving on Europe’s 2020 climate and energy targets by introducing an ambitious package of post-2020 measures is a win-win situation for everyone. It would not only help reduce the impact of climate change, including huge health and environmental costs, but it would also help to generate up to five million jobs, significantly boosting the economy,” said Jason Anderson, Head of Climate & Energy at WWF European Policy Office.
The report considers it possible to reduce energy intensity (energy needed per unit of product), in industries such as aluminium, cement, steel and paper production, by 30–40 per cent compared to 2000 by 2030, through increased recycling of materials, refurbishment of existing plants and more stringent requirements to use the best available technology (BAT). For other industrial sectors (e.g. food and chemicals) it is estimated that energy efficiency improvements of two per cent a year can be achieved.

By retrofitting 45 per cent of the existing building stock and ensuring passive house standard for all new buildings it will be possible to decrease energy intensity for buildings by 50–60 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030. Electricity intensity for commercial buildings can be reduced by 10 per cent, however electricity intensity for residential buildings must increase by 20 per cent due to increased cooling demand.

Energy intensity in transport can also be reduced by 30–40 per cent compared to 2000 levels, through efficiency technologies and electrification of the vehicle fleet.

The production of energy from renewable sources could quadruple by 2030 compared to 2005. For electricity generation the largest contribution would come from solar and wind. An increase in solar thermal and geothermal heating will bring up the share of renewables in the building sector. However WWF envisage a reduction in the use of biofuels for heating, in order to release that resource for industry and transport, where other renewable options are few.

Source: WWF report, Putting the EU on track for 100% renewable energy. 

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