The European Union (EU) is adopting proactive strategies toward global decarbonization, proposing ambitious climate objectives to the international community, and adopting by itself ambitious energy and climate change objectives, as can be checked in its strategic packages 2020, 2030 and 2050. As can be seen in these packages and in global climate and energy agreements, renewable generation is a key aspect to reach the global decarbonizing objectives. This chapter starts with a review of the very basic concepts of greenhouse gases emissions and its impact on climate change, and summarizes the main objectives of the strategic EU energy packages and of the Paris agreement. It then focus on methodologies for estimating the impact of renewable energies on greenhouse gases emissions reduction, and reviews the reported EU related achievements. It also proposes a classification of EU countries in terms of Tapio decoupling states by analyzing and classifying the countries emissions intensities and its variation for a considered time period, and analyzes the impact renewable energies had in that greenhouse gases emissions variations, in relation with other possible relevant factors. The chapter ends with a summary of the expected evolution of renewable energies in the EU, and with the final conclusions.
Keywords: Greenhouse gas emissions; Renewable energy resources; Energy consumption; Emission factors; Europe 2020 strategy; Decomposition analysis
Registration date: 2017-09-07