EU needs €210bn in wind, solar investment

An additional €210bn will be needed for energy investment between now and 2027, if the EU is to achieve energy security and reduce reliance on natural gas in the shorter term, according to Capgemini.

In its latest World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) report, Capgemini found that at present, wind and solar technologies are the most promising solutions, but that more investment is needed.

Colette Lewiner, Energy and Utilities Senior Advisor at Capgemini said: “A careful balance needs to be struck.

“This means making the right bets for short-term solutions like solar and wind, while for the longer term building third-generation large nuclear plants or SMRs in countries that can develop such programs.”

The WEMO report also said there was a need to be “realistic about the efficacy and use cases” of hydrogen and said investment in CCUS technologies are key to reducing CO2 emissions on the rise from the coal resurgence. 

Lewiner said: “We need to be realistic about emerging solutions and the impact they can deliver.

“For instance, for economic and technical reasons, hydrogen is not on track to fulfill its net zero roles by the mid-century.

“Therefore, Green Hydrogen should be reserved for industries where CO2 is difficult to abate.”

Of the renewable solutions available, the WEMO report stated solar has “significant growth potential” because of advances in innovative materials and methods to maximize solar energy such as bifacial cells, integrated lenses, and reverse solar panels, which can generate electricity at night.

The report also found that solar sites are also “more palatable” to local communities when compared with the wind.

“However, currently 75% of all Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels come into the EU from China, leading, over the last decade, to the decline of EU domestic PV production.

“Europe must be careful not to replace Russian gas dependency by a dependency on players like China for key energy transition components like PV panels, rare earth, and rare metals,” the report stated.

The report also advised governments to double down on climate action.

“Political will to combat climate change, especially from largest emitters like the US, EU, China, and India, must continue (and re-start) to achieve meaningful progress.”

Other news