A cost-effective share of bioenergy 2030

Europe’s 2030 climate and energy package includes a 27% renewables target at the EU level. The central question addressed in this study is what the most cost-effective renewable energy mix is in 2030, given current and future cost structures. An additional question is how this mix compares with current renewable energy demand and with the projections of the EU reference scenarios for 2013 and 2016.

According to the Impact Assessment (IA) of the Commission, a relatively high share (over 60%) of this target will be met by bioenergy use. The expected share of bioenergy deployment in the IA in 2030 follows from calculations in the PRIMES model. While this model aims to calculate a price-based equilibrium under different policy scenarios, it is questionable whether the published PRIMES output truly reflects a cost-effective renewable energy mix for 2030 from a societal perspective. The reason is that higher discount rates than the social optimum have been applied. In addition, it is unclear what underlying assumptions have been made on the costs of the different technologies.

Transport and Environment, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau therefore requested CE Delft to determine the most cost-effective optimal RES mix for the EU-28, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Poland and the UK, taking into account social discount rates and the most recent cost developments.