A Carbon-Free Economy by 2050: Europe’s Smart Grid



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Yesterday in Brussels, the ETNO Interactive Workshop took place. The theme: the low carbon economy. Carbon has already come up in the 2011 European Commission roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by implementing a climate-friendly and less energy-consuming economy.


The EU’s short-term targets are to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and to reach 20% of renewable energy in its energy mix. At the domestic level, the EU’s long-term target is to reduce emissions between 80% and 95% by 2050.


These changes will be possible through smart grids using computing technologies to optimize production and distribution and to better connect supply and demand between producers and consumers of electricity.


The objectives of smart grids are to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas effects, to secure the power network and to reduce costs. It will help reduce consumption peaks by smoothing the load curve, avoid failure due to overload, reduce fossil-fuel energy consumption and make way for clean energy to enter the network.


Distributed generation, electric cars, energy storage, solar domestic, domestic wind turbines, tidal sources, virtual power plants, insulation of buildings and home automation are all goals for this initiative.


To facilitate the application of smart grids, high-performing broadband networks are needed. According to the EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, investing in clean technologies like smart grids is the solution to save hundreds of billions of Euros by lowering energy bills and cutting imports of oil and gas in half by 2050. It will also improve energy security. According to EU predictions, 1.5 million jobs could be created in the renewable energy sector by the end of 2020. Over the last five years, 300,000 jobs have already been created in this sector.


Smart-grid solutions are already offered by energy companies such as Kema and Siemens by providing a range of innovative products, solutions, data communication, energy automation, rail electrification, electromobility and related services.


Thus, in the current climate change and crisis context, smart-grid applications would stimulate demand for new networks and will create economic growth, new jobs and a healthier environment.


Related post:

The Strategic Energy Technology Plan Conference 2011 under the EU Council and the Polish Presidency will take place on the 28th-29th of November 2011, in Warsaw in Poland.


This article has initially been posted by Lena Baudo on November 24th, 2011 on Opinno's blog (Open Innovation).


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