Investing in Renewable Energy Projects in Europe Dentons’ Guide 2020

After several years of declining clean energy investment, Europe’s energy transition is entering a new phase. The von der Leyen Commission’s goal of replacing the current 2030 emissions reduction target of 40 percent with a target of 55 percent reductions against 1990 levels calls for a step change in member states’ decarbonization efforts. This increased ambition, and the targets set by member states at national level, will help end the slowdown in European renewables investment that has come with many countries meeting their 2020 goals earlier than anticipated. The clean energy sector has become a mature and competitive industry on which much of the EU’s climate ambition is based. Energy demand from transport, as well as that of residential and industrial heating, will increasingly have to be met with clean electricity for emissions to decline towards net zero by 2050. BNEF estimates that just over €1 trillion in clean energy investment is needed over the next decade for the EU to meet its clean energy deployment goals. Batteries that help better integrate variable renewables and power electric vehicles are another key feature of this transition and are set to see investment grow. Anticipated cost declines in renewables and storage technologies mean that the least cost solution to exceeding 70 percent of renewables in the power system by 2030 calls for 51 GW of utility-scale storage installations. The Commission’s approval of €3.2 billion in state aid for research and innovation in battery technology from seven member states in December 2019 is a sign of how critical this sector is considered in European capitals.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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