The European Commission Research Center presents new data on the potential of renewable energies and reveals that the sun and wind could contribute 100% to energy consumption in the European Union.
None of the European Member States are currently exploiting their full potential in terms of renewable energy production. Not even Germany and Italy, the two countries at the top of the G20 list for non-programmable electricity production quotas. But, beyond the undeniable challenges facing the sector today, there are those who wonder how far Europe can go with green energy.
New data produced by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center answers this question. The work started with a simple question: if renewables were the main source of energy in the EU, would photovoltaic panels and wind turbines be required to cover every square meter of the ground?
According to scientists at the Center, the answer is no. To be precise, a 100% green energy future would be much less cumbersome than you might imagine. It would be sufficient to use 3% of the land for solar systems and up to 15% for terrestrial turbines to be able to cover the total energy demand of the EU exclusively from renewable sources.. And converting just 1% of land to solar farms would already be enough to meet the EU’s electricity needs.
The data comes from a study of 276 European regions across GIFT (Potential of the energy system for renewable energy sources).
We have also found that, contrary to popular opinion, there is also great potential for solar power in northern Europe and great potential for wind power generation in many countries that are not. located in the northwest of the continent.
The five countries with the highest offshore wind potential are the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.
The dataset also shows that there are many regions of Eastern Europe – for example, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland – which have large tracts of abandoned arable land that could be used for fast growing energy crops.
In general, the dataset shows how to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, using only a fraction of the real potential of renewables, would increase the installed capacity of photovoltaic energy by 100 and by 20 the current wind capacity.