The third workshop of the DEEDS stakeholder engagement series on “Decarbonising the energy sector through Research & Innovation” has been hosted on 17 June 2019 in Brussels.
The mass-scale use of cheap fossil fuels has enabled global economic growth but has also resulted in a big challenge: climate change. Today energy is responsible for almost 75% of direct greenhouse gas emissions in the EU with the supply sector being the larger contributor. The transition towards a carbon neutral Europe will require deep changes in its economy, institutions, politics, social networks and people’s behaviour.
The EU has a clear target of reducing GHG emissions almost completely until mid-century, with a potential tightening to net zero emissions under discussion. This requires the energy supply sector to undergo a fundamental transformation. Besides decarbonisation, the energy landscape is evolving through a number of other megatrends including technology breakthroughs in renewable energy sources, digitalisation, and the empowerment of consumers. While the last two decades saw substantial decarbonisation activity in the power sector, with both policy implementation and technology deployment, the other parts of the energy supply sector are still in the very early stages of reducing emissions.
The workshop on energy has provided insights into the fundamental transformations required for carbon neutrality by 2050 in the EU, as well as current megatrends in the energy sector, such as electrification and system integration for zero-emission fuels and heat. Participants had the chance to discuss these topics, as well as on challenges and needs in face of current and future trends and needed policy solutions in R&I in order to accelerate and scale up the deployment of suitable solutions. The workshop has collected concrete ideas for research and innovation programs for the coming years integrating the perspective of the energy sector in the decarbonisation of Europe’s economy and society. This has been done in collaboration with stakeholders from policy, academia, companies and civil society.