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It’s not easy turning green

Ruth Young Training Consultant

The European Union is committed to becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050. This will require a transformation of our energy system. As recently reported by WindEurope, 15% of Europe’s electricity consumption is met by wind but is not building enough to deliver the European Green Deal. Are we seeing a similar trend in Ireland or with our ambition for 70% renewable electricity by 2030, have we the framework needed to buck the trend? In this month’s Perspective, we look at the wind installation rates in Europe, the outlook for future installation and Irelands role in the European Green Deal. We’ve seen in recent months details start to emerge of new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s Green Deal. The objective of the European Green Deal is to achieve carbon neutrality in the EU by 2050, stating “a power sector must be developed that is based largely on renewable sources, complemented by the rapid phasing out of coal and decarbonising gas”. This will be enshrined in climate law by March 2020 and will mean the current EU emission reduction targets for 2030 will need to increase from the current 40% cut in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against 1990 levels to more than 50%. Is offshore wind the answer? As we would expect, the green deal identifies renewable energy sources as playing an essential role in a carbon neutral Europe, specifically setting the ambition to develop the full potential of Europe’s offshore wind energy. Undoubtably, many more gigawatts ...

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