IEA press release on 22nd January, 2013
The International Energy Agency (IEA) releases their new assessment of the
Nordic region – Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives – detailing scenarios
for how the region can become carbon-neutral by 2050. The IEA points to
sector-wide changes, including a ten-fold increase in wind generation,
significant grid build-out and a revolution of the transport sector.
Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives is the first ever regional edition of
the IEA’s renowned global publication Energy Technology Perspectives. While
based on the same global scenarios to limit average temperature increase to
2°C, the Nordic edition includes an even more ambitious scenario. This
Carbon-Neutral Scenario assesses how the Nordic countries can achieve their
ambitious national emission reduction targets for 2050 as a region.
In order to achieve this scenario, the analysis calls for a complete
decarbonisation of electricity generation by 2050. Wind generation grows from
just 3% today to 25% of generation in 2050, highlighting the need for a ramp
up in grid infrastructure investment. With the right infrastructure and
pricing in place, the Nordic region could achieve annual exports of 50 to 100
terawatt hours (TWh) over the longer term. The report sees Nordic hydropower
resources as increasingly valuable in regulating the North European power
Transportation will require greater emission reductions by 2050 than any other
sector, to just an eighth of its current level. By 2050, 90% of light vehicle
sales would be electric or hybrid, with the majority of freight transportation
dependent on biofuels. This highlights the need for technology development in
electric and biofuel-based mobility, and the importance of securing a
sustainable supply of biomass.
Demand for energy in 2050 drops by 7% from today’s level in the Carbon-Neutral
Scenario. Widespread energy efficiency improvements in buildings, industry and
transport will be needed, while CCS must be employed in the industrial sector
in order to achieve the target. The report also highlights the potential for
greater regional cooperation in RD&D, as well as strategies for
infrastructure, transport and CCS.
The IEA sees the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and
Sweden as leaders in the global transition to a low-carbon energy system
advocated by the Energy Technology Perspectives series. All five countries
have announced ambitious emission reduction targets for 2050 and there are
clear synergies in tackling this challenge as a region. Considering its rich
renewable energy resources and strong policies already in place, the Nordic
region could be the first in the world to achieve a carbon-neutral energy
system – but it will not be easy.
The project is a cooperation between the IEA, leading research institutes from
all five Nordic countries, and Nordic Energy Research. Nordic Energy Research
is an intergovernmental organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers,
supporting sustainable energy research cooperation within the Nordic region.
Download the report and explore the data at: www.iea.org/etp/nordic
Order a hardcopy of the report and sign up to national launch events at www.nordicetp.org
Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives Finnish Launch: http://www.nordicenergy.org/project/nordic-energy-technology-perspectives/