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Increasing renewable energy output in Europe requires policy changes – Moody’s

Business Materials 22 April 2022 15:24
Increasing renewable energy output in Europe requires policy changes – Moody’s

Renewable energy does not provide European countries with a viable option to address their near-term energy needs or to protect consumers from high energy prices, Trend reports with reference to Moody’s.

Moody’s analysts note that renewables cannot replace Russian gas imports, a large portion of which are used for heating needs and industrial purposes that will continue to require natural gas, regardless of the source.

“In addition, increasing Europe's production and consumption of renewable energy has been a slow and gradual process, requiring policy changes and significant infrastructure investments. As a result, renewable energy consumption in the EU increased from 16 percent of total consumption in 2012 to just 22 percent in 2020. As shown on the next page in Exhibit 1, renewables accounted for less than 20 percent of the overall energy consumption in many European countries, including the United Kingdom (Aa3 stable), France (Aa2 stable) and Germany (Aaa stable). Moreover, the intermittency of power generation through wind and solar energy still requires the availability of fossil-fuel or nuclear plants for backup capacity,’ says the report.

However, Moody’s notes that long-term ambitions to reduce carbon emissions remain intact.

‘Reducing Europe's reliance on Russian fossil-fuel imports will require policy changes, infrastructure investments and capacity and storage improvements. Once the initial energy crisis and focus on energy security has subsided, there will be a renewed long-term focus on clean energy and efficiency policies and further investments in renewable infrastructure projects. In early March, the EU unveiled its REPowerEU plan, which aims to make Europe independent of Russian fossil-fuel imports before 2030 by diversifying access to non-Russian gas supplies and reducing Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels. Shifting gas supplies away from Russian pipelines and LNG imports will not be a viable short-term option, because of the distances that need to be traversed, the time it takes to build new pipelines and the large volume of gas that would need to be replaced. To reduce the region’s dependence on fossil fuels, REPowerEU aims to accelerate the EU’s “Fit for 55” decarbonisation proposals for energy-intensive industries by boosting hydrogen and biomethane production and building more wind and solar generation capacity,” said the report.

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