Renewable hydro and wind energy resources in the Nordics offer local communities and Europe a more sustainable energy solution.
An energy transition is ongoing. Clean energy is needed to address the climate challenge, meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as the EU Green Deal. Renewable hydro and wind energy resources in the Nordics offer local communities and Europe a more sustainable energy solution. Several market drivers are pointing towards a sustained long-term increase in renewable and Nordic power supplies and prices.
Cloudberry believes in a fundamental long-term demand increase for renewable energy in the Nordics and Europe.
We further believe that the energy transition across Europe in combination with increased power interconnection capacity between the Nordics and Europe, will drive a sustained long-term increase in Nordic power supplies and prices.
Strong regulatory and financial push for renewable energy
There is a strong regulatory, environmental and economic push for the shift towards renewable energy. Sustainability, EU Green Deal and national action plans, the Paris Agreement, energy security, employment and economic growth, the cost of energy, foreign investment, and energy projects’ time to market are all forces in play.
The energy transition is anchored at government level across the world. Renewables are projected to make up the lion’s share of power supply and renewables are expected to almost entirely replace non-renewables over time.
Multiple key drivers for the European energy transition
The ongoing energy transition in Europe is driven by technology development, policies and regulation and last but not least, individuals, businesses, capital markets and society responding to climate change and environmental issues.
Changing energy use patterns in society driven by technology development or change in policies and regulation, or simply preferences, may accelerate the speed of the European energy transition. How technology, regulation and climate change play out in the energy context will impact energy supply and demand, and ultimately power pricing.
Technology development impacts the European energy outlook, the pace of the energy transition and the supply and demand of renewable energy. The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for renewables, particularly wind and solar, have dropped significantly over the last ten years. For wind, the LCOE decrease of around 70% has particularly been driven by lower installation costs, improved capacity factor and better design and manufacturing of turbines (Lazard, IRENA Renewable power generation cost 2018). Further improvement in renewables’ LCOE will increase the competitiveness of renewables compared to fossil fuels (Lazard LCOE 12.0).
Storage and battery technologies, both short-term and seasonal solutions, may have a significant impact on the energy system. Storage in combination with renewable energy may lead to improved balance and offload the transmission system during peak demand periods.
Europe’s electricity share of total energy demand is expected to double from today’s ~20% to above 40% in 2050 (DNV Energy Transition Outlook). Digital technology enabling smarter electricity use will increase energy efficiency. Digital technology will also play an important role balancing the energy system as more renewable and variable energy is connected to the grid.
The technology development within the electric mobility ecosystem will impact overall demand for electricity, and clean electricity. In Norway, 80% of all cars sold are either electric or hybrid. The rapid shift towards low emission vehicles is explained by growing restrictions on the use of fossil fuel cars combined with financial incentives. It is thus an example of how rapidly the demand for electricity can rise if incentives and regulations take effect.
Europe is in a decarbonisation mode to meet the EU’s and national climate and emissions goals, aiming to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C, as defined in the Paris Agreement. The EU targets at least: 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels), 32% share of renewable energy and 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
In Norway and Sweden, Cloudberry’s home markets, Norway targets a 50% reduction in non-quota emissions compared to 2005 in 2030 while Sweden targets a 100% renewable power system and zero CO2 emissions by 2040.
EU’s Energy Union has a vision of secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy (EU Commission). This vision is paving the way for new EU strategies, policies and regulations such as the European Green Deal, and the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities and more. The EU’s climate and energy targets together with national emission targets drive both the supply and demand of renewable energy.
The EU Emission Trading System (ETS) which regulates the price of carbon emissions is a central instrument in EU climate policy. The carbon price impacts European and Nordic power pricing. Tighter regulations of the carbon market may boost the demand for renewable energy.
The EU’s Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) are key cross border infrastructure projects that link the energy systems of EU countries. Increased power interconnectivity is expected to ensure steady supply, reduce Europe’s energy import needs and even out power price imbalances.