Renewable sources could cover more than one-third of energy demand across the Central and South-Eastern Europe energy connectivity (CESEC) area cost effectively by 2030, regional Renewable Energy Roadmap (REmap) analysis shows.
This study from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) offers a full energy system perspective, examining impacts on energy costs, investment plans, supply security and fossil-fuel consumption, along with, climate, the environment and people’s health. CESEC brings European Union (EU) countries together with eight non-EU Energy Community members in a key step towards forming an integrated pan-European energy market.
The COVID 19 crisis underlines the need for renewables to drive economic competitiveness, strengthen energy security, ensure affordability, create new jobs and improve air quality across Europe. Central and South-East Europe’s energy systems could be transformed through massive uptake of cost-competitive renewable power generation, efficient electrification of heat and transport, and increased investments in sustainable bioenergy across the regional system, the report shows.
Investment in renewables could give CESEC members:
- Savings on energy costs estimated at EUR 3.4 billion (about USD 4 billion) yearly by 2030;
- Benefits worth up to EUR 35 billion (USD 40 billion) with environmental and health impact factored in;
- Greatly improved security of energy supply;
- A more modern, resilient regional energy system;
- Closer alignment with Paris Agreement climate goals.
All CESEC members possess additional, cost-effective, renewable energy potential beyond their existing plans and projections. This creates a concrete opportunity to redirect investments to start building a renewable-based energy system, the report finds.
IRENA conducted the study in close co-operation with the European Commission.