An international team of energy and climate experts has recently come to an encouraging conclusion: all of Europe and North Africa could realistically be powered by renewable energy by 2050, pending the development of two green ‘Super Grids.’
The study–a collaboration between PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the European Climate Forum (ECF)–forms the first comprehensive policy road map towards the 2050 goal, calling for the development of concentrated solar energy in southern Europe and the North Africa deserts, hydro-electricity from Scandinavia and the European alps, onshore and offshore wind farms in the Baltic and North Sea, biomass generation across Europe and ocean tidal and wave power off the continent’s coasts.
In projecting this best-case scenario, the researchers studied the policy, markets, investments and infrastructure leadership necessary to achieve this ambitious goal in terms of financial, infrastructure and government milestones for policy makers and business. They also recognized other routes to achieving a low carbon future, including the expansion of nuclear power and the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) for the continued burning of fossil fuels.
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