Europe is heading for a climate neutral future. For a smooth phase out of fossil fuels and their replacement with affordable low-carbon energy, governments need to support domestic industries in their transition and in setting up new supply chains. Policy support, the behavior of governments in international relations and the development of new technologies are key determinants of what the next decades will look like. Despite significant uncertainty, reliable energy infrastructure, including storage, handling and transport, is essential in the fight against climate change. This paper seeks to distinguish long-term trends for energy infrastructures by analysing technological developments against the background of global climate ambitions.
Although the future cannot be anticipated, potential pathways to 2050 are becoming more and more apparent. To a certain extent, the achievement of climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement depends on the success of Europe’s green revolution. Since oil consumption has already been decreasing in Europe, however, it is even more dependent on the actions of the most important players in the oil market, like China, the US, Russia and the OPEC countries. A new geopolitical world will be shaped by emerging players in renewable energy technologies and hydrogen production, as novel dependency relations are being established.
The extent to which countries follow through with their announced pledges and commitments will determine the future role of energy infrastructure. Hydrogen, chemical carriers, battery storage, biofuels and circular approaches to industry will impact the new energy system. This paper discusses the broad trends related to the adoption of these low-carbon energy sources by outlining their role in the energy transition, the factors that have been inhibiting their large-scale deployment and the prospect of surmounting those obstacles.
This paper is part of a series of four reports regarding the role of European tank storage in global supply chains.
- Paper 1: The European tank storage sector and the global energy landscape
- Paper 2: European tank storage in today’s global value chains: What role does it play in our economy?
- Paper 3: European tank storage in global supply chains: Outlook to 2030
Authors: Irina Patrahau, Michel Rademaker, Lucia van Geuns, Philip Geurts and Sarah Ojukwu