Tuesday, April 7, 2009

European Power Companies Announce Intent to be Carbon-Free by 2050

Sixty European electricity CEOs have announced their commitment to "strive to achieve a carbon-neutral power supply by 2050."

Meeting as members of Eurelectric, the European electricity generation trade organization, the CEOs said, "The European electricity industry is making a clear commitment to achieving a carbon-neutral sector by mid-century."

The CEOs, who represent firms generating 2500 TWh electricity per year in 27 countries, said that in order to achieve this goal the companies will need to pursue a combination of efficient clean fossil technologies including carbon capture and storage, high-efficient combined heat and power, and nuclear power alongside new renewable sources. "A crucial factor here is also to simplify licensing procedures for new build," the CEOs said.

The CEOs noted that, "Policymakers have a crucial role to play here." In part, they said, policymakers should work for a worldwide approach to the global challenge of mitigating greenhouse gases (in other words, find a concrete way to get China, India, and the U.S. into the GHG reduction effort), increase support for research and development, and support a market-based approach to integrating renewable energy into the grid.

Not to be too critical, but no one can ever accuse the EU (or many European trade organizations) from suffering low climate change-related aspirations. The real trick is to find a way to enforce the legal commitments already on the books and to persuade the really "big guys" of GHG emissions to get working on this.

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