WindEurope’s 2021 annual event, “Electric City”, starts today. The three-day conference and exhibition will gather 400 exhibitors and more than 8,000 participants in Copenhagen’s Bella Center to explore the role of wind-based electrification in Europe’s future energy system. By establishing new partnerships beyond wind, “Electric City” aims to promote the use of wind energy across all sectors of Europe’s economy.
Renewables are now 38% of all the electricity consumed in the EU, and that’s set to keep rising rapidly. But electricity is only one quarter of the energy we consume in Europe today. The EU wants to change that. The EU Commission want to increase the share of electricity in the energy mix to 75% by 2050: with 57% of energy consumption being powered directly by electricity; and another 18% coming from renewable hydrogen and its derivatives.
Europe is going to see a surge in electricity demand as it transitions towards climate neutrality. In the EU electricity demand will more than double from 3,000 TWh today to 6,800 TWh by 2050. And wind energy will be central to this transition. Today wind is 16% of Europe’s electricity mix. The EU want it to be 50% by 2050.
To electrify its energy system, the EU needs to increase its wind energy capacity to 1000 GW of onshore wind and 300 GW of offshore wind by 2050. Up from a combined total of only 180 GW today. That requires Europe to build twice as many new wind farms every year as it is building today. To deliver that it’s essential to simplify the permitting rules and procedures for new wind farms. And ensure permitting authorities are adequately staffed. Europe won’t deliver its electrification targets if it cannot improve permitting.
As ever WindEurope’s 2021 annual event, “Electric City”, showcases what’s happening in wind energy. But it also brings together those working to electrify transport, heating and industry. Event partners include Eurelectric, Hydrogen Europe, the European Association for Electromobility (AVERE), the European Heat Pump Association (epha) and the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE).