Most of us are used to a steady supply of electricity coming from the outlet in our homes. There must be a constant balance between electricity production and consumption so that there is enough electricity available at all times for the needs of households and industry. At the same time, well-informed consumers are aware that the origin of the electricity consumed plays an important role in reducing your personal carbon footprint.
About two-thirds of all the emissions caused by people come from energy production and consumption. Particularly in the Nordic countries, emissions from electricity production have decreased quickly, and the electricity produced is 90 per cent carbon-free hydro, nuclear, wind or solar power. The situation in Central Europe is more challenging, due to the larger scale and the fact that hydropower is not available to the same extent.
However, electricity accounts for only about a fifth of the energy we use in the EU, which is why making electricity production emission-free does not take us very far. What is needed is a system-level energy transition. At the heart of this is wide-scale electrification, which can help reduce emissions – especially in heating, transportation and industry. Electrification as such is not the answer for all sectors. Still, clean electricity can be used to produce clean and storable hydrogen, which is predicted to be one of the most important components of the future of energy.