To become the first climate-neutral continent, investments of 2 trillion euros needed.
Europe could become energy self-sufficient by 2040, and only with renewable energies, according to a new study conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research on behalf of the Aquila Group. However, the authors call on policymakers to set the necessary course to achieve this, arguing that billions of euros in investment are needed. By 2030, nearly 140 billion euros, and by 2040, 100 billion annually – a total investment of more than 2 trillion euros. The money is to flow, for example, into solar plants, wind farms, and the associated infrastructure. The study calls for further and more intensive support for expanding renewable energies, for example, by favoring capital-intensive investments in sustainable electricity production and prioritizing them. In addition, grid expansion should be prioritized. In connection with the large sum, the authors cite a comparison with the German government’s spending of 792 billion euros in just one year to protect consumers from the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Electricity prices surged at the time, mainly due to supply uncertainty.
Despite high investment costs, the researchers speak of benefits for the European continent. Energy independence would give Europe one of the lowest energy prices in the world and thus also strengthen its position as a business location. In addition, the investments would help Europe achieve goals in the fight against climate change and support the continent on the path toward net zero. According to the authors, Europe could become the first carbon-neutral continent.
Aquila Group is an investment company focused on renewable energy and sustainability. The company operates and develops photovoltaic, wind, and hydroelectric power plants, as well as battery storage facilities.