Strong growth in wind and solar in a context of energy crisis | Item
Calls for rebalancing towards security of supply and affordability
The energy crisis has undermined the other two pillars of the energy system; reliability and affordability, again in the spotlight.
The reliability of energy systems is no longer a guarantee, especially in the event of harsh and prolonged winters, whether in Europe, Asia or both. And energy supplier bankruptcies could be a blow to the perceived reliability of the energy system for energy consumers, even if the energy system continues to operate.
Energy affordability requires little explanation in the current crisis. A perfect storm has unfolded, with average electricity prices last year rising eightfold and gas prices sevenfold.
The current energy crisis calls for a rebalancing of priorities: from a sustainability, or “renewable only” approach, to a balanced approach that includes the reliability and affordability of European energy systems.
In this regard, the current energy crisis is a wake-up call. Gas consumption in Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on suppliers outside the European continent. As the “renewables only” approach is not possible, Europe needs to develop more green alternative energies, such as hydrogen. Well-balanced and coordinated energy transition plans of the Member States are needed to solve Europe’s energy supply problems.
Such a rebalancing does not mean that the growth of wind and solar will slow down. In fact, coordinating the phase-out of coal and nuclear between countries, the availability of coal-fired power plants shut down as backup instead of demolishing them, and the construction of new gas-fired power plants with carbon capture and storage could makes it possible to accelerate the growth of renewable energies.