Page 12 - European Energy Innovation - autumn 2017 publication
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12  Autumn 2017 European Energy Innovation


Interview with Daniele Agostini

Daniele Agostini, Vice Chairman EURELECTRIC WG Energy & Resource Efficiency and Head of Low Carbon
and European Energy Policies, Enel

Q A lot of progress has been made             electric cars, delivering an additional                          Daniele Agostini
       to reduce overall levels of            big plus for air quality improvement.
greenhouse gas emissions in Europe.                                                      and among countries to create a more
However, emissions from transport             This is becoming increasingly urgent       efficient system. It is the only way to
continue to rise. What do you think is        as according to the 2016 EEA               upscale and accelerate the emission
the key solution to cutting emissions         Report on air quality 85-91% of the        reductions effort required by the
from this sector?                             EU urban population is exposed to          Paris Agreement. Such cross-sectorial
                                              concentrations of PM2.5 above the          partnerships are already blooming,
Indeed, transport is responsible for          WHO guideline value (data refer to         with many Eurelectric members playing
about a quarter of EU greenhouse              2012-2014). Poor air quality needs         a key role in their creation. Public
gas (GHG) emissions and it is almost          to be addressed as it causes serious       policy should catalyse such process
exclusively dependent on oil for fuel. It     problems to human health, making it        by promoting initiatives supporting
is actually the only major sector in the      the number one environmental cause         collaboration across sectorial
EU in which GHG emissions are still           of premature death in the EU. The          boundaries.
rising – this is why it’s crucial now to put  European Commission3 estimated that
a special focus on the transport sector.      total health-related external costs of     Q We are waiting for the second
                                              poor air quality in 2013 were in the              part of the Mobility Package
Even though much can be done in               range of €330–940 billion.                 from the European Commission.
areas such as logistic optimisation                                                      What do you expect from the
and light weighting, we see the               Q What role do you see for the             package? What actions are now
electrification of transport as the only              electricity industry now and in     needed at the EU level to boost
solution to move forward. I am not            the future in contributing to the          electrification and the transition to
speaking only about passenger cars,           transport emissions challenge?             low carbon transport?
but also about light and light duty
vehicles, as well as buses.                   I believe that the electricity sector has  We expect clear, long-term and
                                              come a long way in its transformation      ambitious CO2 emission performance
Battery electric vehicles reduce              towards low carbon generation. In          standards that will lead to the
drastically the GHG emissions of road         2015, we generated 56%4 of all the EU’s    accelerated uptake of zero emission
transport. They do not have any tailpipe      electricity from carbon free sources       vehicles. These standards will also
emissions and all emissions linked            and this share continues to increase       send a strong political message while
to power generation are subject to            every year. We are investing widely in     ensuring long-term investment and
the EU ETS and thus capped. Even if           low-carbon and innovative solutions        innovation. They must be properly
we wanted to count these emissions            to achieve our commitment to deliver       verified and set on vehicles actually
as transport emissions, with the              carbon-neutral electricity supply by       sold, not only on vehicles offered on
current European power mix, electric          2050, and this year we have stated our     the market.
passenger cars emit 50gCO2/km1,               intention not to invest in new-build
already significantly less than the 2021       coal-fired power plants after 2020.
fleet emission limit for new cars of           Therefore, electrification is the obvious
95gCO2/km.                                    choice for driving the decarbonisation
                                              of the transport sector.
In 2016, the average emissions of
new cars sold was still 118gCO2/km1.          We are therefore committed to provide
Although there is still some room for         a decarbonised transport fuel. But
improvements in internal combustion           in order to continue this process of
engines, they will not be sufficient to        decarbonisation, we need to engage
get us even close to decarbonisation          openly with non-energy industries, such
of the transport sector. Let us also not      as automotive, construction and ICT,
forget that other pollutant emissions,        to create value outside our traditional
such as nitrogen oxides and dust, major       boundaries. The transformation that
causes of smog in our cities, can be          we are all facing requires collaboration
drastically reduced by switching to           and coordination among industries

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