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Moving ‘From Roadmaps to Reality’: shaping European power markets for cost-effective decarbonisation

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Early decarbonisation of the power sector is essential for meeting Europe’s climate goals 2030 and beyond. A number of ‘Roadmaps’ have demonstrated in quantitative terms that rapid decarbonisation of the European power sector is achievable at moderate cost, using existing technologies. This carbon free power system can then become a platform for decarbonising other sectors such as heat and transport.

While the evidence of economic and technical feasibility is already in place, the focus is now shifting to the policy frameworks required for delivering European power sector decarbonisation securely and cost-effectively – or how we move from the Roadmaps to reality.

In a major new study, E3G and fellow lead authors from the Regulatory Assistance Project, Client Earth and the European Climate Foundation have set out a framework delivering decarbonisation while continue to manage the cost and security risks facing the European power system. Underpinning this framework is the need to harness the opportunities from a fully integrated European energy market.

The analysis finds that more ambitious carbon, renewables and energy efficiency targets for 2030 will be required to establish the direction of travel towards decarbonisation. However this will need to be underpinned by structural changes to European energy market structures to ensure the targets will be met. This includes more robust governance structures and implementation of current market rules, a major effort to activate flexible power demand and demand reduction, and new targets to guide the delivery of power grid infrastructure to enable market integration.

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