Europe Must Spend $5 Trillion to Have Clean Energy by 2050

Excerpt from weforum.org

Barely a week goes by without a new report on the price the world will have to pay if it does not cut emissions rapidly. But what is the price of it actually putting the technology in place to make those massive reductions?

When it comes to Europe, the cost of switching to clean energy by 2050 will be $5.3 trillion, according to a new report from low-carbon research specialist BloombergNEF (BNEF). Its European Energy Transition Outlook 2022 models two clean energy pathways out of Europe’s current energy crisis.

The need for Europe to find alternative sustainable energy sources has intensified this year because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia is the leading supplier of natural gas, oil and coal to the European Union, and the war has made supplies uncertain and sent prices soaring.

Clean energy alternatives

BNEF’s report models two alternative energy futures for Europe – an “Economic Transition Scenario” and a more ambitious “Net Zero Scenario”.

In the Economic Transition Scenario, Europe’s use of fossil fuels drops by 28% by 2050. A collapse in coal use is the biggest contributor, while the rise of electric vehicles helps to cut oil demand by 30% by 2050.

However, natural gas demand falls by only 5% over the same period. This is because of “limited economic alternatives” to gas for heating buildings, BNEF says. It also predicts that any falls in gas demand will start to flatten out after 2030.