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Energy ‘sector coupling’ requires 75% more electricity, study says

(EurActiv, 16 Mar 2020) Direct and indirect electrification of transport, buildings and industry could deliver a 60% reduction in carbon emissions across Europe by 2050 – but that will require a massive upsurge in clean power output, according to BloombergNEF, a research company.

So-called “sector coupling” of gas and electricity networks could make a big contribution to the EU’s objective of becoming the first climate-neutral continent in the world by mid-century, said the report, released on 11 March.

Transport, buildings and industry are the biggest consumers of energy in Europe, with heating alone responsible for almost half of the EU’s energy consumption.

Yet these sectors operate in silos and continue to rely chiefly on fossil fuels, which are responsible for the bulk of human-made global warming emissions.

Linking them all together in a “hybrid” energy system combining gas and electricity is part of the latest thinking in Brussels to extract deep emissions cuts from transport, buildings and industry, which are considered “hard-to-abate” because they cannot easily be electrified.

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EurActiv, 16 Mar 2020: Energy ‘sector coupling’ requires 75% more electricity, study says