Europe Must Double Grid Spending to Meet Net-Zero Goals, Says Eurelectric
22 May 2024

Europe Must Double Grid Spending to Meet Net-Zero Goals, Says Eurelectric

Introduction

The Brussels-based group highlighted that annual spending on the distribution network, which delivers electricity to homes and businesses, needs to rise from the current €33 billion to an average of €67 billion per year.

Investment Urgency

The necessity to modernise grids is driven by various factors, including cyber threats, extreme weather conditions, and the rapid expansion of renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Upgrading the power grid infrastructure is essential to reducing carbon emissions and transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Economic and Environmental Impact

Eurelectric President Leonhard Birnbaum, who is also the CEO of German utility E.On SE, emphasized the importance of attractive returns for investors to finance the necessary upgrades. He also underscored the role of technology and rapid electrification in managing distribution fees. The report pointed out that the required €67 billion per year investment represents about 20% of the European Union’s spending on fossil-fuel imports in 2023. Without this investment, the connection of electric vehicles, heat pumps, and renewable energy sources could face significant delays, hampering the EU's efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Global Context

Countries worldwide are under pressure to modernize their power grids to accommodate new renewable energy sources and ensure resilience against various threats. The investment in the grid is not just a regional issue but a global necessity to achieve climate goals and ensure a sustainable energy future.

Conclusion

Europe's path to net-zero emissions by 2050 hinges on doubling its power-distribution grid investment. Ensuring adequate funding and rapid technological advancements will be crucial in meeting these ambitious climate targets and supporting the broader shift away from fossil fuels.


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