21 November 2019 | 8 minutes.

Winning hearts and minds for new renewables infrastructure

Kristian Ruby
Secretary General, Eurelectric

Kristian Ruby, Secretary General, Eurelectric

Electrification is set to play a major part in Europe’s long-term decarbonization plans; although electricity industry association head Kristian Ruby “insists on being professionally optimistic,” major challenges lie ahead – in particular, public support for the necessary new infrastructure build-out. Are people ready to buy into the vision of a clean, affordable and convenient all-electric world?

An interview with Kristian Ruby.

Europe’s low-carbon future is electric, according to the European Commission’s strategy for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, published in November 2018. The strategy is not a legislative proposal, but a strategic vision, supported by a detailed analysis, on how the European Union (EU) can deliver on the Paris Agreement to contain the rise in average global temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In the strategy, the Commission assessed pathways for the EU that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions reductions between 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990) up to net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 – all of them in line with the Paris Agreement. All pathways converge on one central element: power generation should be fully decarbonized by 2050, with more than 80% of the EU’s electricity produced by renewable energy sources. Currently, the EU gets more than 30% of its electricity from renewable sources, up from 12% in 2000.

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