The European Union has approved a plan to end the sale of vehicles with combustion engines by 2035 in Europe, the 27-member bloc announced in a bid to reduce CO2 emissions to zero.
The measure, first proposed a year ago, will effectively halt sales of petrol and diesel cars as well as light commercial vehicles and facilitate a complete shift to electric engines in the European Union from 2035.
The plan is intended to help achieve the continent’s climate objectives, in particular carbon neutrality by 2050.
At the request of countries including Germany and Italy, the EU-27 also agreed to consider a future green light for the use of alternative technologies such as synthetic fuels or plug-in hybrids.
While approval would be tied to achieving the complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, the technologies have been challenged by environmental NGOs.
Environment ministers meeting in Luxembourg also approved a five-year extension of the exemption from CO2 obligations granted to so-called “niche” manufacturers, or those producing fewer than 10,000 vehicles per year, until the end of 2035. The clause will benefit luxury brands in particular.
These measures must now be negotiated with members of the European Parliament.
Taking into account that 2050 is often presented as the carbon-neutral target year, Greece has a 30-year period of opportunity to utilize the country’s natural gas resources and generate revenue, plus the additional potential provided by the role of gas in blue hydrogen production, EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, has noted in a report accompanying its financial results for 2020.
EDEY posted a total turnover reduction to 2.8 million euros for 2020, down from 5.5 million euros in 2019, as well as a drop in profit after tax to 1.7 million euros in 2020 from 4.3 million euros in the previous year.
Greece continues to have a window of opportunity to create revenue from natural gas resources through efforts that do not contravene the country’s ambitious green-energy transition now in progress, EDEY noted, highlighting that carbon emissions released by natural gas are 50 percent lower than those of fossil fuels and the National Energy and Climate Plan’s objective (NECP) for a natural gas energy mix share of 40 percent by 2030.
A new and more ambitious EU climate-change package, dubbed “Fit for 55” and just presented by the European Commission, has increased the EU’s RES energy-mix target for 2030 to 40 percent from the previous goal of 32 percent.
The package includes measures covering climate change, energy, land usage, transportation and transboundary taxation, their ultimate aim being to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
The measures are seen as crucial for the establishment of a more environmentally friendly energy system, given the fact that energy production and usage account for 75 percent of carbon emissions in the EU.
A new study by independent researchers from Imperial College London has found that just 4.5GW of new long duration pumped hydro storage with 90GWh of storage could save up to £690m per year in energy system costs by 2050, as the UK transitions to a net-zero carbon emission system.
Commissioned by SSE Renewables via Imperial Consultants the report – Whole-System Value of Long-Duration Energy Storage in a Net-Zero Emission Energy System for Great Britain – focused on the benefits of new long-duration pumped hydro storage in Scotland, as the current most established long-duration energy storage technology.
The main benefit of long duration storage compared to short duration batteries is being able to continuously charge up the storage with excess renewables and also discharge power to the grid for several hours or days when wind and solar output is low.
In its recent Energy White Paper, the UK Government set out that long-duration storage technologies like pumped hydro, would play an essential role in decarbonizing UK’s electricity supply by integrating renewable energy and maintaining security of supply.
The study, by Imperial’s researchers, found that 75% of the savings to the energy system would be from the avoided capital expenditure in higher cost electricity generation technologies that would otherwise be needed to meet the UK’s target of carbon neutrality by 2050 whilst meeting security of supply.