Seven European countries, which together produce almost half of electricity on the continent, have committed to decarbonizing their power systems by 2035.
The group of seven countries comprises France and Germany – the two largest electricity producers in Europe – as well as Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. The agreement was concluded as part of the Pentalateral Energy Forum, chaired by the Netherlands this year.
The forum, according to a statement on the joint vision of a decarbonized electricity system, has conducted several studies on the future of that system.
Based on these studies, as well as International Energy Agency’s (IEA) roadmap to net zero emissions, the seven countries have concluded that a timely decarbonization of the power system is a prerequisite for full decarbonization by 2050, according to the statement.
Estimates suggest that Europe’s power sector will be decarbonized by 2040.
The countries, therefore, stand behind the shared goal to decarbonize the common electricity system by 2035, and to continue on the ambitious path to complete decarbonization by 2050.
Estimates suggest, according to news agencies, that the European electricity systems will be decarbonized by the end of 2040, which means the group of seven has committed to do it five years earlier.
In addition to this commitment, the countries also agreed on seven principles of cooperation in reaching the set goal.
The main challenges, according to the statement, are unimpeded transport and exchange of energy in the region, sufficient capacities for energy storage, and greater flexibility of the future system.
Meeting these conditions will ensure that coal- and gas-fired power plants are no longer needed, according to the joint statement.
Simson: Close cooperation is key to progress
Rob Jetten, the Dutch Minister of Climate and Energy Policy, recalled that electricity production in the countries of the Pentalateral accounts for almost half of the overall EU output. That’s why it is clear that the rapid decarbonization of the power systems of these seven countries will significantly reduce CO2 emissions in Europe, according to him.
Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy, said that close cooperation among members of the Pentalateral Energy Forum will be of key importance for the development of energy storage and the integration of renewable energy sources, including the production of green hydrogen.
The Pentalateral Energy Forum was founded in 2005 with the aim of integrating the electricity markets of the seven European countries.