Europe needs to spend billions to meet 2030 climate target – WoodMac

Europe needs to invest billions in renewable power and storage or it will fail to meet its 2030 climate target, a report by consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Thursday. European Union leaders in December agreed to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55per cent from 1990 levels by 2030, substantially toughening an existing 40per cent target. But the Wood Mackenzie analysis found that, under current plans, Europe would reach an emission reduction cut of 46per cent compared with 1990 levels by 2030. To meet the new target the bloc needs a significant increase in renewable power capacity, such as wind and solar and electricity storage, equating to around $585 billion in investment by 2030, the report said.

Technology to capture and store carbon emissions (CCS), widespread use of hydrogen as a fuel, more electric vehicles and reforms of the bloc’s emissions trading system (ETS) including the introduction of a floor price on the cost of carbon emissions are also necessary, the report said.

A $65 per tonne carbon price would ensure the maximum possible shift from polluting lignite power coal plants to lower emission gas-fired power plants and would spur investment in technology, the report said. The price level is almost 30per cent higher than current benchmark prices in Europe’s ETS of 39 euros/tonne ($47.03).

“Providing certainty on the carbon price now would help to grow that pipeline of CCS and hydrogen projects that’s needed,” Wood Mackenzie Research Director Murray Douglas said.