By / August 17, 2012

EU Energy Roadmap 2050

The Energy Roadmap 2050, published on the 15 December 2011, goes beyond the 2020 goals set out in the Energy…

Image Copyright alphaspirit, 2012. Used under license from
Green world concept with windmill and solar panel
Image Copyright by alphaspirit, 2012.
Used under license from
The Energy Roadmap 2050, published on the 15 December 2011, goes beyond the 2020 goals set out in the Energy 2020 communication and provides an analysis of the long term energy policy orientations. The Energy roadmap follows on the Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050, which is part of the EU2020 Resource Efficient Europe flagship initiative. The Low-carbon roadmap shows the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.  The Energy roadmap received mixed reactions, from welcoming the strong emphasis on renewables and energy efficiency to the insistence that milestones and interim 2030 targets to decarbonise the energy sector must be included. More explicit references to 2030 milestones in an earlier version of the Roadmap were removed in the final text. The Roadmap has also been criticised for lacking specificity, it does for instance not favour any particular energy technologies. This, together with the omitted interim milestones, could create uncertainty for potential investors. Additionally, criticism has been raised that too much importance is given to natural gas and nuclear energy. EU energy ministers debated the Roadmap in a meeting in Luxembourg the 15 June 2012. 26 EU Member States backed a resolution calling on the Commission to propose a new policy framework for low-carbon energy up to 2030. Poland was the only country not to support this move, citing that further carbon reductions in the EU should only be agreed if other industrialised countries in the world take the same measures. This veto will however not stop the Commission from proposing measures to implement the long-term energy plan, considering that it was supported by all other Member States. An own-initiative procedure has been launched by the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee. See also the Library keysources: EU Renewable Energy Strategy and Completion of the EU internal energy market.


Energy roadmap 2050: brochure / DG Energy, 2012, 24 p. – DG Energy linksdossier Presentation of the energy roadmap 2050 and its future projections. State of play of the Energy roadmap 2050: background paper / DG Energy, 3.5.2011 The aim in the Energy Roadmap 2050 is to sustain a debate on the long-term EU strategy, bearing in mind the objectives – safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy contributing to European competitiveness. Appraisal of the European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 / Meeus, Leonardo. In: European Energy Journal, no. 3 (2012), p.48-54 What is the European energy strategy for 2050? How different is it from the 2020 energy strategy? What are the technology options? What are the policy options? Energy roadmap 2050 / Centrum für Europäische Politik, 2012, 4 p. This CEP policy brief outlines the main issues at stake in the Energy roadmap 2050.

What is new?

News articles relating to the EU energy roadmap 2050; – ENDS EuropeEuractivEUobserver EP parliamentary questions – Energy roadmap


Decarbonisation scenarios leading to the EU Energy Roadmap 2050: information for policy makers 1 / Smart Energy for Europe Platform (SEFEP), 2012 This paper presents the results of an in-depth analysis and a comparison of six mitigation scenarios from three important scenario studies released since 2009 by Greenpeace, EURELECTRIC and the European Climate Foundation (ECF) respectively. A decomposition method is applied to show the extent to which technologies and strategies contribute to CO2 emission reductions in the individual scenarios. Analysis of the EU’s Energy Roadmap 2050 scenarios: information for policy makers 2 / Smart Energy for Europe Platform (SEFEP), 2012 This paper summarises the analyses accomplished based on scenarios developed within the recently released Energy Roadmap 2050 of the European Union. The Roadmap explores different energy system pathways, which are compatible with the EU’s long-term climate targets. The EU’s Energy Roadmap 2050: targets without governance / Fischer, Severin ; Geden, Oliver. Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) , 2012 With the Energy Roadmap 2050 of December 2011, the European Commission has opened the debate about the future shape of Europe’s energy sector. But two central conflicts within the Union narrow the relevance of this planning instrument in the ongoing political process. Firstly, the European consensus that climate policy should determine energy policy is likely to erode. Secondly, formulating European targets for 2050 suggests a greater scope of governance than the EU actually possesses. Transition towards a low carbon energy system by 2050: what role for the EU? /  Meeus. European University Institute (EUI), 2011 Report from the THINK project, giving recommendations for the EU energy roadmap 2050.

Stakeholder positions

Public consultation: EU Energy Roadmap / DG Energy Scroll down to view contributions. – report on the results, SEC(2011)1569, part 3 Energy Roadmap 2050: renewables crucial for decarbonisation / European Renewable Energy Council  (EREC), 15.12.2011 Criticises failure to merge renewables and efficiency in a joint scenario and the lack of binding targets for 2030. EU roadmap: clean energy future at no extra cost / Greenpeace, 15.12.2011 “An energy system based largely on renewables and efficiency will cost taxpayers no more than a system locking Europe into fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Renewables emerge as the dominant energy source, despite skewed calculations to keep nuclear energy and fossil fuels in the energy mix. …. The Commission will be tempted to overplay the role of coal and nuclear energy to appease the likes of Poland and France.” Energy Roadmap 2050: a EURELECTRIC response paper, February 2012 The electricity industry association broadly supports the roadmap, and wants to put more emphasis on encouraging investment and develop ETS as a key driver. FORATOM sees EC’s 2050 Energy Roadmap as endorsement of nuclear energy’s role in Europe’s low-carbon future / Foratom (trade association representing the European nuclear industry), 15.12.2011 “The European nuclear industry particularly welcomes the Energy 2050 Roadmap’s reference to nuclear energy as making “a significant contribution to the energy transformation process” and being “a key source of low-carbon electricity generation.”

Related EU initiatives

Europe 2020 – A resource-efficient Europe Low-carbon economy 2050 roadmap White Paper “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system” Energy 2020 Strategy

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