The Energy Transition mapping follows the progresses of Energy Transition in Europe through the monitoring of key indicators. Featured topics from INSIGHT_E research work illustrate some key aspects of Energy Transition. In order to catch the operational levers of Energy Transition, the Observatory looks specifically at three levers of Energy Transition: innovation (mainly technological innovation), policy, and market aspects.
An Energy Transition at EU level necessarily implies structural changes and trade-offs, between energy sources, energy uses, and broader consumption patterns. However big are the political, economic and societal choices involved, a balance must be kept between four essential dimensions, which forms the analytical backbone of the INSIGHT_E Observatory:
Climate and Environment
The term “energy transition” coins a process which is altogether qualitative and quantitative, supply and demand oriented:
First, energy transition is about switching to more reliable and decarbonized energy sources. Although there is no ideal energy mix –its composition is to be decided at national level, and largely dependent on geological, geographical, economic and political parameters – it should be sufficiently diversified to ensure its resilience, and which has a minimum impact on our climate and environment.
Second, energy transition is about mastering our energy demand. This means reducing our energy consumption, but also channelling the demand for energy in a more efficient way over time and space.
The main levers of Energy Transition are:
Activating an Energy Transition requires an extensive deployment of innovations. Bridging technological gaps in particular may influence both the feasibility and the extent of energy transition, but technologies need to be properly channeled and managed in order to fully deliver their benefits.
POLICIES AND REGULATIONS
Engaging in the energy transition implies crucial policy decisions at EU, national and local levels – i.e. regarding the level of public intervention, the priority to be given to the different energy sources, or the balance to find between keeping up to EU environmental standards and European competitiveness. The policy toolbox includes various regulatory tools such as investment schemes, taxes, land & urban planning, regulatory framework; international cooperation; education & capacity-building.
Finally, energy production and consumption patterns are strongly influenced by the market environment. Carbon markets or energy subsidies for instance may accelerate or slow down the Energy Transition and distribute its costs.