26 Mar 2014

The Potential Evolution of the European Energy System to 2020 and 2050

Arno Behrens / Caroline Coulie / Jonas Teusch

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This paper assesses the impact of decarbonisation of the energy sector on employment in Europe. Setting the stage for such an assessment, the paper provides an analysis of possible pathways to decarbonise Europe’s energy system, taking into account EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2020 and 2050. It pays particular attention to various low-carbon technologies that could be deployed in different regions of the EU. It concludes that efficiency and renewables play a major role in any decarbonisation scenario and that the power sector is the main enabler for the transition to a low-carbon economy in Europe, despite rising electricity demand. The extent of the decline in the share of fossil fuels will largely depend on the existence of carbon capture and storage (CCS), which remains a major source of uncertainty.

Arno Behrens is a Research Fellow, Caroline Coulie is a Research Assistant and Jonas Teusch was a Researcher at CEPS.