Electricity industry backs carbon neutrality by 2050

EUROPE: Members of the electricity industry union, EurElectric, have committed to providing a carbon-neutral electricity mix "well-before the mid-century".

Left to right: EurElectric's secretary general, Kristian Ruby, vice president Magnus Hall, president Francesco Starace and vice president Alistair Phillips-Davies

In a boost to the renewables industry, the members of the association have agreed to "strengthen its commitment to invest in clean power generation and other transition-enabling solutions and, importantly, to help accelerate CO2 emissions reduction in other sectors through increasingly efficient use of clean electricity".

The association is made up of the national electricity associations, or the leading national electricity company, from 32 countries.

The Vision for the European Electricity Industry commitment lays out the ways the members intend to reach its goal.

"Our industry sees a great opportunity on the path towards a progressively decarbonised and fully sustainable European energy future," said Francesco Starace, EurElectric president and CEO of Italian energy group Enel.

"Today's announcement shows how together we are determined to accelerate the energy transition through a progressive electrification of Europe's energy consumption while making the European power sector carbon-neutral well before mid-century," he added.

The move could help spur the electrification of the heat and transport sectors, seen as a key stumbling block to reaching the targets set out in the 2015 Paris climage agreement.

"Electrification of heating, transport and industry is a win-win. It comes with higher efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. We should do everything possible to advance electrification with smart regulation," said Magnus Hall, CEO of Vattenfall and vice-president of EurElectric.