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Offshore wind energy in Europe

30-10-2020

Offshore wind is a highly promising renewable energy source (RES) that could make a major contribution to global and European efforts to decarbonise the economy by 2050 and keep global warming to around 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The European Commission expects the EU to produce at least 240 gigawatts (GW) of global offshore wind power capacity by 2050, while international organisations specialising in the energy field are even more optimistic ...

Offshore wind is a highly promising renewable energy source (RES) that could make a major contribution to global and European efforts to decarbonise the economy by 2050 and keep global warming to around 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The European Commission expects the EU to produce at least 240 gigawatts (GW) of global offshore wind power capacity by 2050, while international organisations specialising in the energy field are even more optimistic about the prospects of this energy source. Europe accounts for 80 % of global offshore wind capacity and is the dominant region in terms of technologies and manufacturing. Offshore wind accounts for 210 000 jobs in Europe (over half of all jobs in wind energy), and this number should increase further with greater investment. Wind is the only offshore RES that is currently deployable on a commercial scale and there is vast untapped potential in the world's oceans and seas, even if only some potential sites can be developed. Offshore wind has a higher capacity and more consistent output than other variable RES, with the International Energy Agency describing it as a unique 'variable baseload' technology that could help to integrate the decarbonised energy systems of the future. A major constraint on offshore wind has been the difficulty of building fixed constructions in depths greater than 60 metres. Floating bases for offshore wind turbines could then prove to be a game changing technology, allowing much wider exploitation of wind resources. Many of the leading projects for commercialising these floating technologies are based in Europe. Hybrid projects linking offshore wind to other uses – such as hydrogen production or battery storage – represent another important avenue for offshore wind to contribute more widely to our energy systems. The Commission is expected to adopt a new strategy for offshore RES in 2020, proposing further EU action to scale up deployment of offshore wind and invest in its underlying technologies. Some EU Member States have set their own indicative targets for offshore wind deployment by 2030, accompanied by a range of support schemes. The European Parliament has been supportive of offshore wind energy, in particular the potential for a North Sea offshore grid (energy hub).

Energy storage and sector coupling: Towards an integrated, decarbonised energy system

24-06-2019

In order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the European energy system will need to become carbon-neutral by the second half of this century. However, while renewable sources of energy are key to achieving this, some of the most important renewables are variable: the output of solar and wind power depends on the time of day, the seasons and the weather. As the share of variable renewables increases, energy storage is playing an increasingly important role in bridging the ...

In order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the European energy system will need to become carbon-neutral by the second half of this century. However, while renewable sources of energy are key to achieving this, some of the most important renewables are variable: the output of solar and wind power depends on the time of day, the seasons and the weather. As the share of variable renewables increases, energy storage is playing an increasingly important role in bridging the gap in time between energy production and energy consumption. While the share of renewable energy in the electricity sector is growing continually, other sectors, such as transport, buildings and industry, still depend largely on fossil fuels. To decarbonise these sectors, they can either be electrified or the fossil fuels can be substituted by renewable gases such as hydrogen or renewable liquid fuels. Transformation from electricity to gases and vice versa can add further storage capacity and flexibility to the energy system. Research indicates that coupling different sectors in this way would lower the overall cost of decarbonising the energy system. The EU has reformed its electricity markets to facilitate the participation of storage in managing supply and demand, and revised the renewable energy directive to include renewable gases. When it comes to industrial policy, the EU supports initiatives for batteries and hydrogen. The debate about the pathways towards a carbon-neutral economy is ongoing, and is based on the Commission's clean planet strategy. The outcome of this debate will influence EU policies in various fields and inform the EU's low greenhouse gas emission development strategy under the Paris Agreement, which must be submitted in 2020.

Energía limpia en la Unión Europea

11-01-2018

En noviembre de 2016, la Comisión adoptó el paquete sobre energía limpia, consistente en ocho propuestas legislativas sobre la eficiencia energética, las energías renovables, los mercados de la electricidad y la gobernanza. En la sesión plenaria de enero, el Parlamento someterá a votación tres informes relativos a las siguientes propuestas: la Directiva revisada sobre la eficiencia energética, la Directiva refundida sobre el fomento de las fuentes de energía renovables y un nuevo Reglamento sobre ...

En noviembre de 2016, la Comisión adoptó el paquete sobre energía limpia, consistente en ocho propuestas legislativas sobre la eficiencia energética, las energías renovables, los mercados de la electricidad y la gobernanza. En la sesión plenaria de enero, el Parlamento someterá a votación tres informes relativos a las siguientes propuestas: la Directiva revisada sobre la eficiencia energética, la Directiva refundida sobre el fomento de las fuentes de energía renovables y un nuevo Reglamento sobre la gobernanza de la Unión de la Energía. El objetivo es obtener un mandato para las negociaciones tripartitas correspondientes.

Research for REGI Committee - Financial instruments for energy efficiency and renewable energy

01-09-2017

This study analyses ESIF financial instruments for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and their implementation. The results suggest that, because implementation is highly context-dependent, transferability of lessons and good practice is limited. EE and RES FIs require specialist support and are constrained by operational programme lifecycles. More could be done to measure the impact of EE and RES FIs, though assessing the performance of both low carbon policies and financial instruments ...

This study analyses ESIF financial instruments for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and their implementation. The results suggest that, because implementation is highly context-dependent, transferability of lessons and good practice is limited. EE and RES FIs require specialist support and are constrained by operational programme lifecycles. More could be done to measure the impact of EE and RES FIs, though assessing the performance of both low carbon policies and financial instruments is highly challenging.

Autor externo

Fiona Wishlade, Rona Michie, Phil Vernon

Diez tecnologías más que podrían cambiarnos la vida

14-07-2017

En 2015, la Dirección General de Servicios de Estudios Parlamentarios (DG EPRS) del Parlamento Europeo abrió nuevos horizontes con su publicación Diez tecnologías que podrían cambiarnos la vida: impactos potenciales e implicaciones políticas, en la cual cada capítulo destacaba una tecnología concreta, junto con sus promesas y sus posibles consecuencias negativas, así como el papel que el Parlamento Europeo podría y debería desempeñar en la configuración de estos avances. Este nuevo estudio prosigue ...

En 2015, la Dirección General de Servicios de Estudios Parlamentarios (DG EPRS) del Parlamento Europeo abrió nuevos horizontes con su publicación Diez tecnologías que podrían cambiarnos la vida: impactos potenciales e implicaciones políticas, en la cual cada capítulo destacaba una tecnología concreta, junto con sus promesas y sus posibles consecuencias negativas, así como el papel que el Parlamento Europeo podría y debería desempeñar en la configuración de estos avances. Este nuevo estudio prosigue esta labor, presentando diez tecnologías adicionales que exigirán cada vez más atención por parte de los responsables políticos. Los temas del presente el estudio se eligieron con el fin de reflejar la gran variedad de temas en los que el Panel de Evaluación de las Opciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (STOA) del Parlamento ha decidido centrarse durante la octava legislatura parlamentaria (2014-2019). El objetivo de esta publicación no consiste simplemente en llamar la atención sobre estas diez tecnologías concretas, sino también en fomentar la reflexión acerca de otros desarrollos tecnológicos que, pese a encontrase aún en una fase temprana, podrían de igual modo tener un impacto enorme en nuestras vidas a corto o largo plazo.

Use of energy from renewable sources

26-06-2017

Despite its considerable length and a rather large number of options (over 30), the IA report could have delivered a more coherent, comprehensive, and persuasive analysis. The internal logic of the report and the arrangement of options is at times hard to understand because the options are linked to challenges rather than to clearly defined problems and objectives. Furthermore, the absence of preferred options makes it difficult to assess the usefulness of the impact assessment in informing the political ...

Despite its considerable length and a rather large number of options (over 30), the IA report could have delivered a more coherent, comprehensive, and persuasive analysis. The internal logic of the report and the arrangement of options is at times hard to understand because the options are linked to challenges rather than to clearly defined problems and objectives. Furthermore, the absence of preferred options makes it difficult to assess the usefulness of the impact assessment in informing the political decisions underpinning the legislative proposal. The use of different models, which are by the Commission's own admittance very difficult to compare, may have led to a certain lack of coherence in the assessment of the impacts. The proportionality of proposed measures is not always clearly visible compared with the evidence provided by the models used in the assessment. Overall, given the number of considerable shortcomings and the fact that the assessment twice received a negative opinion from the RSB, one might have expected a better argumentation for the Commission's decision to proceed with the proposal.

Bioeconomy: Challenges and opportunities

19-01-2017

The bioeconomy refers to the production and extraction of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food and feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. Although primarily based on activities carried out, in some form, for centuries or millennia (such as farming, fisheries or forestry), the bioeconomy emerged in the past decade as a knowledge-driven concept aimed at meeting a number of today's challenges. In the European Union (EU), the bioeconomy sectors have an annual turnover of about ...

The bioeconomy refers to the production and extraction of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food and feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. Although primarily based on activities carried out, in some form, for centuries or millennia (such as farming, fisheries or forestry), the bioeconomy emerged in the past decade as a knowledge-driven concept aimed at meeting a number of today's challenges. In the European Union (EU), the bioeconomy sectors have an annual turnover of about €2 trillion and employ between 17 and 19 million people. They use almost three quarters of the EU land area. A stronger bioeconomy could trigger growth and jobs, and reduce dependency on imports. It could contribute to optimising the use of biological resources, which remain finite although they are renewable. However, it could also create competition between uses and technologies at various levels. Besides, the amount of available biomass remains disputed. A bioeconomy could contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public health. However, it could also trigger new greenhouse gas emissions and induce adverse impacts on the environment. The EU policy framework for the bioeconomy is spread across a number of policies (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, climate, circular economy and research). Although a bioeconomy strategy from 2012 aims to ensure policy coherence, inconsistencies remain. The EU provides funding to innovative bioeconomy activities through the framework programme for research (Horizon 2020) and a range of other instruments. The European Parliament has been supportive of the bioeconomy strategy, while highlighting the need for sustainability and policy coherence.

Policies of the European Union with its Mediterranean Partners for the Management and Use of Natural and Renewable Resources: Towards Green Growth in the Mediterranean

25-04-2014

After drawing up an inventory of the energy and water resources of the South and East Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs) and presenting their political, economic and social challenges, this report takes stock of the European neighbourhood policies conducted following the Arab revolutions in these countries and offers a forward-looking vision in this area for the years to come. Despite some success the initiatives led by the European Union in respect of its neighbourhood policy with the SEMCs in the ...

After drawing up an inventory of the energy and water resources of the South and East Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs) and presenting their political, economic and social challenges, this report takes stock of the European neighbourhood policies conducted following the Arab revolutions in these countries and offers a forward-looking vision in this area for the years to come. Despite some success the initiatives led by the European Union in respect of its neighbourhood policy with the SEMCs in the area of the management of natural resources are not very effective owing to the lack of a shared vision between the countries in the region and a lack of strong political will on the part of the European Union. However, sustainable management of the energy potential and natural resources of the SEMCs could become the cornerstone of inclusive green growth in these countries. A paradigm shift in Euro-Mediterranean relations therefore needs to take place in order to respond to the desire for economic and social change expressed by the populations following the 'Arab Spring'. Two aspects in particular must be addressed: support for greater energy efficiency and integrated management of natural resources, particularly water resources.

Autor externo

Caroline ORJEBIN-YOUSFAOUI (IPEMED, France)

Recycling Agricultural, Forestry & Food Wastes and Residues for Sustainable Bioenergy and Biomaterials (Part of the Project 'Technology Options for Feeding 10 Billion People')

15-07-2013

The purpose of this study is to examine and review biorefinery technology options that exist to convert biomass in the form of agricultural crop and forestry residues and waste from the whole food chain into biomaterials and bioenergy. It assesses the technological options, including the sustainability of the processes involved. The study forms part of a bigger project commissioned by the European Parliament’s STOA (‘Science and Technology Options Assessment’) office under the heading of ‘Technology ...

The purpose of this study is to examine and review biorefinery technology options that exist to convert biomass in the form of agricultural crop and forestry residues and waste from the whole food chain into biomaterials and bioenergy. It assesses the technological options, including the sustainability of the processes involved. The study forms part of a bigger project commissioned by the European Parliament’s STOA (‘Science and Technology Options Assessment’) office under the heading of ‘Technology options for feeding 10 billion people’. Advanced biofuels and innovative bio-based pathways based on wastes and residues show considerable potential and should be further developed especially as Europe is already seen by some as having a lead in relevant technologies. However, there are also considerable uncertainties for investors and indeed all market participants and thus a major task is to ensure good transparency and better information concerning the availabilities of the waste and residue streams, the opportunities for processing, and the benefits to consumers. In addition, because, by definition, bio-based economic developments necessarily interact with ecosystems, there has to be visible assurance that the bio-products are indeed environmentally preferable with respect to GHG emissions, water, soil and biodiversity compared with their fossil-based counterparts. The conclusion is thus encouragement should be given to this sector, but with enhanced transparency of all aspects of its development, and with equally strong sustainability safeguards.

Autor externo

Bettina Kretschmer (Project Leader), Claire Smith, Emma Watkins, Ben Allen, Allan Buckwell, Jane Desbarats and Daniel Kieve

The EU and its Eastern Partners : Energy Needs and Future Prospects

27-02-2012

This study contains an overview of the energy sectors of the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and an analysis of current and potential energy cooperation with the EU and within the region. In order to strengthen security of supply and foster competition, the infrastructure priorities should be the completion of a network of gas and electricity interconnectors with and within the EaP region, and the extension of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline. In parallel, one should revive the goal of achieving ...

This study contains an overview of the energy sectors of the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and an analysis of current and potential energy cooperation with the EU and within the region. In order to strengthen security of supply and foster competition, the infrastructure priorities should be the completion of a network of gas and electricity interconnectors with and within the EaP region, and the extension of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline. In parallel, one should revive the goal of achieving a binding legal framework for the secure transit of energy in the region involving all relevant parties, including Russia. Existing horizontal areas of cooperation, in particular energy efficiency, lowering import dependence, and renewable energy, are clearly justified. Two new areas should be added, namely the production of unconventional fossil fuels, and the adoption of alternative fuels in transport. In terms of framework conditions, convergence towards the EU Acquis faces strong challenges from both domestic and foreign interest groups in several EaP countries. The main focus should be on those measures most likely to enhance security of supply in each country. Also, the coherence between the various existing EU instruments for regional cooperation should be strengthened.

Autor externo

HUNTER CHRISTIE Edward (PAN-EUROPEAN NETWORK, TURKU SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, FINLAND), LUSSAC Samuel (CENTRE EMILE DURKHEIM, UNIVERSITY OF BORDEAUX, FRANCE) and WOLCZUK Kataryna (CENTRE FOR EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM, UK)

Próximos actos

20-01-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable with the World Bank: Where next for the global economy
Otro acto -
EPRS
25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
Audiencia -
FEMM
27-01-2021
Public hearing on AI and Green Deal
Audiencia -
AIDA

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