Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 needs to be pursued in a cost-effective manner across all sectors, including power generation. To such regard, a cost-effective path to carbon neutrality will only be achieved if a level playing field is ensured. This entails ensuring that all technologies are subject to the same rules and assessed under both their life cycle GHG emissions and the value they provide.
The EU is committed to become carbon neutral by 2050. As power generation increasingly moves towards a decarbonised future, technologies such as PV and wind progressively become mainstream and already are, in some locations, the main form of power generation. This has led to a shift in the role of thermal generation from main electricity supplier to a reliable support role, addressing the fluctuation of weather conditions and the limited possibilities for energy storage.
Electricity is a commodity with the property that generation has to equal consumption (plus grid losses) at every point in time, as it is otherwise hard to store. When surplus electricity is dispatched to the grid, the system can collapse, causing major damages to connected electrical equipment. Conversely, when too little electricity is dispatched, there is the risk of brownout or blackout, leading to huge financial and social costs. Hence, the stability of the electricity system is of key importance.