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EU Sees electricity Production Doubling By 2050 To Reach Net Zero

The commission is currently drafting a climate roadmap for 2040 and is set to recommend a 90 per cent pollution cut from 1990 levels, according to media reports

The European Union (EU) is facing the formidable task of more than doubling its electricity generation by the mid-century to meet ambitious climate neutrality goals, according to an analysis by the European Commission (EC). To align with recommended emissions-reduction targets, the EU must increase power production to 5,212 terawatt-hours (TWh) by 2040, up from 2,905 TWh in 2021. By 2050, output needs to expand to 6,922 TWh, driven by a surge in electric vehicle usage, increased reliance on electric heating, and a growing share of renewables in the energy mix.

The EU’s executive arm is formulating a climate roadmap for 2040, expected to propose a 90per cent reduction in pollution from 1990 levels. The plan encompasses the growth of renewables, energy efficiency improvements, and the accelerated adoption of green technologies. The commission’s study suggests that meeting the new target would necessitate an annual investment of approximately €1.5 trillion in the energy system.

The impact assessment reveals a significant demand for critical raw materials. In the scenario of a 90per cent to 95per cent pollution reduction, the EU would require up to 500,000 tonnes of copper annually by 2040, including 125,000 tonnes for wind power alone. For batteries in electric vehicles and stationary applications, the commission estimates the need for up to 80,000 tonnes of lithium and 60,000 tonnes of cobalt per year. These figures present a substantial increase compared to global demand for these materials in 2022, emphasizing the scale of the challenge faced by the EU.

Currently holding a binding goal of reducing greenhouse gases by at least 55per cent by 2030, the EU, according to the impact assessment, could achieve an 88 per cent reduction in emissions by 2040 if it maintains its existing green measures. The forthcoming climate roadmap, scheduled for adoption on 6 February, will set the stage for discussions with member states on shaping future policies and objectives.

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