The European Copper Institute, EURELECTRIC and the European Heat Pump Association, SolarPower Europe and WindEurope have joined forces to launch the Electrification Alliance, calling for electricity to be recognised as the key energy carrier for an efficient and decarbonised European future.
At the launch event held today, the Electrification Alliance published a Declaration on Electrification which also has the support of a large number of associations, companies and NGOs. The Declaration states that as electricity in Europe decarbonises, it will reveal its true value as it becomes the key vector for achieving a decarbonised, energy efficient and digital European economy.
The Declaration includes a commitment to support reductions in carbon intensity and the scale up of investment in non-emitting technologies like renewables, energy storage and smart grids, while promoting sectoral integration with the heating, cooling and transport sectors.
The Declaration on Electrification calls for reforms under the current legislative review of European climate, energy and transport legislation, to accelerate the advancement of electrification in years to come. These will maximise the potential of decarbonised electricity and enabling efficient technologies to advance Europe’s competitiveness, economic growth, job creation, and the promotion of a sustainable, healthy society for European citizens.
The Declaration calls on European policymakers to recognise that decarbonised electricity becomes a key vehicle for a sustainable European economy, to remove barriers to electrification, to roll-out the much needed widespread electric vehicle charging infrastructure and to enable the deployment of smart and efficient heating and cooling technologies.
Speaking on the launch of the Electrification Alliance, the heads of the partner associations are quoted below:
Bert Witkamp (Secretary General, AVERE) – “It is very encouraging to see that electrification of transport is now seen by many as a large part of the answer to the transport decarbonisation challenge. However, to be fully effective we need deep decarbonisation of the power sector and an integration of the electricity generation, its transport, use and storage in a smart and connected way.”
Bernard Respaut (Chief Executive, European Copper Institute) – “Electrification is an important gene in copper’s DNA. By helping to build the electricity system of the future, via our DecarbEurope initiative, through innovation, electrification and industrial demand response in our sector, we see many linkages with the Alliance for Electrification.”
Kristian Ruby (Secretary General, EURELECTRIC) – “Electricity is becoming increasingly decarbonised, more efficient, sustainable and competitive. But the transformation of the electricity sector must go hand in hand with the electrification of other sectors. More electricity means cleaner energy. Shifting from fossil fuels to electricity in industry, transport and heating/cooling will reduce carbon emissions, giving clear climate, environmental and health benefits already today.”
Thomas Nowak (Secretary General, European Heat Pump Association) – “Efficiently connecting the electric and thermal sectors will be essential in the quest to increase the share of renewable electricity in the EU energy mix. It will require storage and demand response potential. Heat pumps are natural allies in this endeavour. Serving as ‘thermal batteries’, they help to balance the grid by shifting load from times of surplus to times of shortage.”
James Watson (CEO, SolarPower Europe) – “Today almost 30% of our power in Europe comes from renewables and we anticipate that within the next decade more than half of our electricity generation will be renewable-based. A further electrification of the European economy therefore makes sense but should go hand in hand with a dedicated strategy to deploy more renewables in our continent.”
Giles Dickson (CEO, WindEurope) – “We’re doing a reasonable job of getting renewables into electricity – they’re now 29% of EU power demand. But electricity is only 22% of the EU's energy consumption. The rest is heating, cooling and transport - and we’re doing less well getting renewables into those sectors. The electrification of these sectors is essential to decarbonise the EU economy. But electrification brings other benefits too. It makes heating and transport more energy efficient. And it enhances the flexibility of the energy system and the range of storage options. We therefore need the EU Clean Energy Package to be strengthened on this front.”