New Study Claims Europe Could Wean Itself Off Fossil Fuels With $2.1 Trillion
A study commissioned by a low-carbon investment company has claimed Europe can wean itself off oil, gas, and coal and go full wind and solar for a total price of some $2.1 trillion, equal to 2 trillion euros.
According to the authors, led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany, the annual investment would come in at some 140 billion euros between now and 2030, and 100 billion euros after 2030.
The company that commissioned the study is Aquila Capital, which, according to its website, is “an investment and asset development company focused on generating and managing essential assets on behalf of its clients. By investing in clean energy and sustainable infrastructure, Aquila Group contributes to the global energy transition and strengthens the world’s infrastructure backbone.”
Reuters reports that, according to the report, most of the $2.1 trillion estimated to be needed for Europe’s shift would go into building more wind and solar power generation capacity, as well as hydrogen production capacity and the development of geothermal resources.
“These figures are considerable, but it is important to remember that the European countries are estimated to have spent an additional 792 billion euros in the last year just on the status quo system to protect consumers from the effects of the energy crisis introduced by the Russian invasion into Ukraine,” the authors wrote.
The study probably hypothesizes continued low costs for wind and solar but in reality, this has not been the case, especially in wind. Several projects have been canceled because they no longer make economic sense in the current price environment and Europe’s total new additions in the first half came in at just 2.1 GW. That’s compared with 11 GW that need to be added every year by 2030 to hit transition targets, WindEurope said.
In solar, problems are rearing their heads as well. European solar component producers are complaining about competition from China but solar installers are warning against tariffs because these would wreck their business.