On 28 November 2018, the Commission presented its strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050 – “A Clean Planet for All”, commonly known as the ‘Long Term Strategy’ (LTS). The LTS is based on an exploration of various scenario’s to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050. Extensive modelling was used.
DG ENER has meanwhile started thinking about the reforms that may be required in the gas sector and a deeper horizontal integration of the energy sector (sector coupling). Any such proposal will need to be compatible with the overall longer-term objectives to fully decarbonise the energy sector. However, an assessment of such measures and the priorities that need to be set need to be assessed against a shorter, mid-term perspective. A 2030 to 2040 time horizon would be more appropriate because:
- In order to make policy intervention more credible, it should be focused on priorities. Even if the state-of the world by 2050 may be fully clear, not all transformations will happen at the same time. Thus, the path towards 2050 is more important to set mid-term policy objectives.
- Time horizons much beyond 2030, such as 2050, would render an (impact) assessment too speculative to remain credible. Indeed, many uncertainties exist as to the precise state of the world towards 2050.
- Recently agreed policies for the ‘clean energy for all Europeans package’ were assessed against a time line towards 2030. Assessing any new proposals would hence be able to take these policies as a given whilst beyond 2030 defining a baseline would be increasingly complicated.
The goals of this study are to:
- Provide data and insights into the possible transition paths towards 2050;
- Provide a quantitative overview of the different transition paths and their use of various energy carriers
- Create an understanding of the no-regret scenarios as well as the orders of magnitude of the use of different energy carriers and the possible exclusion of some transition paths – with the aim to identify the parts of the system and/or the transition that need to be prioritised in order to enable the energy transition;
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“The study is carried out for the European Commission and expresses the opinion of the organisation having undertaken them. To this end, it does not reflect the views of the European Commission, TSOs, project promoters and other stakeholders involved. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information given in the study, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.”