When will it be possible to exclusively rely on renewable energies in Europe?
The EU has set the goal of generating half of the required electricity from renewable energies by 2030. Electricity generation should then be fully decarbonised by 2050. However, electricity only accounts for 22 % of the overall energy consumption in Europe. The rest is spread across the areas of heating and transport. Renewable energies currently account for 18 % of the energy consumed for heating and only 6 % of the energy consumed for transport. These values also need to increase significantly.
The expansion of renewable energies requires acceptance amongst the general population. How do we win acceptance?
It is important to involve the population in the planning of new onshore wind farms. Modernisation of the wind farms at the end of their 20 year service lives can also increase acceptance. After all, the turbines of today are much more powerful than in the past. 69 old turbines were recently replaced at a wind farm in Spain. Seven new turbines now generate twice as much electricity as before.
How uniform is the expansion of renewable energies worldwide?
There has been significant growth in renewable generation around the world. However, there are differences between the various regions. This becomes particularly clear if you examine the geographical distribution of the 540 GW of installed global output in 2017. There was 178 GW of output attributable to Europe, with 56 GW in Germany. Yet thanks to the massive expansion in China, the figure for Asia was 229 GW, while 105 GW was attributable to North America.