Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


EUSUSTEL — Result In Brief

Project ID: 6602
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Belgium

Framework for sustainable energy supply through to 2030

EU-funded researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of current and future European electricity demand and generation technologies. The study aimed to provide policy recommendations leading to secure, environmentally friendly and affordable energy right up to the year 2030.
Framework for sustainable energy supply through to 2030
The Eusustel project set out to comprehensively compare energy forms, by including costs, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and security of supply, among other aspects, through the year 2030 with the ambitious goal of developing a roadmap for sustainable European energy programmes for the next 20 years.

The social costs of electricity generation include both private and external costs. Private costs include items such as environmental taxes on fuels and carbon emission charges that can vary from region to region and with time within a region. Analysis of private costs revealed that coal and nuclear-based energy had similar costs and ranked best in the comparison. However, the private costs associated with new technologies decreased tremendously over time whereas cost reductions for the previously mentioned mature technologies were minimal through 2030. In fact, the researchers suggested that onshore wind generation may be the cheapest of all for the future.

External costs refer to those related to effects on human health, crops and materials, among others. Highest present and future external costs were associated with coal technologies and lowest with natural gas technologies.

A scenario analysis for 2030 including reduction of GHG emissions, security of supply and cost predicted that the current EU baseline energy scenario is unsustainable with respect to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and import dependence. The most favourable future options were nuclear generation and natural gas power plants as well as modern coal-based plants employing carbon capture and storage (CSS) processes.

The researchers concluded that Europe must diversify suppliers and develop nuclear and renewable energy programmes if it is to secure its future energy supply.

Eusustel has resulted in a number of concrete and scientific predictions regarding Europe’s future electricity supply and demand with important recommendations for policymakers, researchers and industry alike. Implementation of the recommendations could well help Europe decrease GHG emissions while enhancing the security of its energy supply in an economically feasible way.

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