New report highlights importance of smart technologies, EV-grid integration for reaching net zero

Wed 14 October 2020 View all news

A new report identifies 55 'high impact technology projects' that it says that Europe must embark upon in order to meet net zero by 2050. These include upgrading energy grids, enabling bifacial solar and driving EV deployment. The report explains how digital technologies are key to increasing flexibility, control of demand, supply and storage and improving aggregation of demand.
The study is by consultancy Capgemini, commissioned by Breakthrough Energy. The analysis says that implementing the 55 pathways identified will require an estimated €144 billion (£130 billion) of public and private investment annually.
The “Fit for Net-Zero” report investigates and analyses existing and future technologies in five interconnected economic domains: energy; buildings and construction; industry; transport; and food and land use.
To decarbonise energy, the report highlights the need for digitalisation across the customer, production and grid levels in order to solve availability and intermittency challenges.
Smart solutions to these can help to make distribution grids more flexible, to cope with more frequency variations and to reduce imbalances between supply and demand, it said. Solutions could include implementing interconnectors, measuring energy flows in real-time, integrating renewable energy and new forms of consumption such as electric vehicles and efficiently managing energy storage, with the help of digital and automated tools.
A number of technology quests are listed in the report which relate to electric vehicles, including fostering both private and public EV charging infrastructure to ease adoption of short distance e-mobility. The report says that faster, cheaper and more convenient technologies for EV charging also need to be developed, levering European R&D to invent disruptive charging solutions.
The authors engaged eminent innovators, entrepreneurs, corporate strategists and policymakers to help identify and examine more than 200 potential projects, each with differing levels of technological maturity, to assess their transformational potential and readiness for investment support.
Based on this, the analysis identified 'quests' which have the potential to create an annual market of net zero goods and services worth up to €790 billion of gross value added per year, reducing emissions by 871 MtCO2, and creating nearly 13 million jobs by 2030 through both new jobs and the transformation of existing ones.
The authors say that every €1 invested in this portfolio of clean technologies should generate €9 of future turnover in European markets by 2050. The projects, they say, could also help improve air quality, food safety and increased energy independence for Europe.
Cyril Garcia, CEO of Capgemini Invent and member of the Group Executive Board, said, “Europe’s clean tech revolution can be as significant as the digital revolution and plays to Europe’s core industrial strengths and leadership.”

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