Researchers from Aarhus University have modelled the decarbonisation of the sector-coupled European energy system using very high-resolution data. The results are clear: To reach climate-neutrality by 2050 we need solar energy. And lots of it.
What's the cheapest, easiest way to honour the Paris Agreement of limiting the global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius? A clear and strong investment in wind and solar power. Starting now.
That's the message in a new scientific paper published in Nature Communications, where Aarhus University researchers have modelled the decarbonisation of the sector-coupled European energy system using uninterrupted high-res hourly data for every European and Scandinavian country and network interconnectivity.
Using the university's supercomputer, PRIME, the researchers have modelled how to modify the production of electricity, heating and transport sector energy, so to make sure that there's enough of everything for every possible hour, even in the coldest weeks of winter.
"We ask the question of which energy strategy to employ in order to reach the 2050 goal. We have a 'carbon budget' - a maximum amount of CO2 we can emit - and how do we make sure, that by 2050 we reach climate-neutrality in the cheapest and most feasible way?" asks Assistant Professor Marta Victoria, an expert in photovoltaics (PV) and energy systems at the Department of Engineering, Aarhus University.