Page 10 - European Energy Innovation magazine - autumn 2022 edition
P. 10

Autumn 2022 European Energy Innovation
               10    COMMUNICATION

            European countries can unlock

            huge cost and emissions savings

            by unleashing the potential of

            renewable energy

             By Jan Andersson (pictured), General Manager, Market Development, Wärtsilä Energy

                                                                                      s Europe scrambles
                                                                                      to replace Russian
                                                                                      hydrocarbons and shore up
                                                                              Aits energy supply, there is
                                                                              a once-in-a-generation opportunity
                                                                              to lay the foundations for net zero,
                                                                              whilst cutting energy bills and
                                                                              increasing energy independence.

                                                                              However, with energy prices
                                                                              continuing to rise at an alarming
                                                                              pace, baseload fossil fuel power
                                                                              plants are being refired. In Germany,
                                                                              mothballed coal plants are being
                                                                              restarted, with coal trains now taking
                                                                              priority over passenger transport as
                                                                              the country struggles to deal with
                                                                              the increased demand. In the UK,
                                                                              ambitious plans to achieve a net
                                                                              zero energy system by 2035 have
                                                                              been partially stalled as bills rise
                                                                              and the country transitions to a
                                                                              new prime minister, with some
                                                                              now calling for its 2050 net zero
                                                                              target to be pushed back.

                                                                              While European states across the
                                                                              continent are looking at fossil fuels
                                                                              as the solution to their current
                                                                              energy security and price challenges,
                                                                              the opportunity to harness the full
                                                                              potential of renewable energy is being
                                                                              missed. Scaling up renewables will
                                                                              cut emissions, reduce energy bills,
                                                                              and improve energy independence
                                                                              across Europe.

                                                                              A concerted political effort is now
                                                                              required. To achieve its renewable
                                                                              potential, Europe should accelerate

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