100% Renewable Europe study

Together with global top-10 climate action university, LUT, SolaPower Europe has published a landmark report modelling the 100% renewables scenario for Europe needed to reach climate neutrality by 2050. 

The study is the first of its kind to model a fully renewable pathway to achieving climate neutrality for the European energy system, presenting three transition pathways with varying levels of ambition. The crucial finding of the report is that low European ambition is a burden for society, from both a climate change and economic perspective. The 100% renewable scenarios result in lower per-unit energy costs, and show that achieving climate neutrality by 2050 is more cost-effective compared to a lower level of ambition.

Key findings from the study: 

  • A 100% renewable energy system enables the EU to become climate neutral before 2050 in the most cost-effective manner
  • A 100% renewable energy system in Europe will lead to sharpest decline in GHG emissions, down to zero by 2040
  • Solar power is set to generate more than 60% of EU’s electricity by 2050
  • The EU energy system needs a high rate of electrification and sectoral integration
Questions about this report? Contact Bethany

Bethany Meban

Senior Press and Communications Advisor


+32 492 97 82 48

Key Takeways


The project demonstrates the lowest feasible costenergy mix with the transitioning of the power, heat, and transport sectors, towards an integrated energy system across Europe up to 2050. To do so, the energy transition across Europe is explored in the modelling of three distinct scenarios:  laggard, moderate, and leadership scenarios reaching different levels of renewable share, reduction of GHG emission, and compliance toward the Paris Agreement.

A true European Green Deal

Aristotelis Chantavas, President of SolarPower Europe, said: “A 100% renewable energy system enables the EU to become climate neutral before 2050, complying with the ambitious 1.5°C Paris Agreement target, and without resorting to carbon sinks. This Leadership scenario will also trigger the sharpest decline in GHG emissions, down to zero in 2040. It also highlights the pivotal role of electrification to achieve a 100% renewable-based energy system, which will generate significant system efficiency gains and facilitate sectoral integration. With this cutting-edge report, we aim to contribute a new perspective to the discussion on how to enable a true European Green Deal.”


Electricity Share

All scenarios demonstrate that a high rate of electrification is essential to achieving a 100% renewable and integrated energy system. 
Among this electricity, the model shows that a 100% renewable European energy system is a solar story. Indeed, due to its cost competitiveness, solar PV will become the dominant source of electricity generation across all three scenarios.


Heat Share

Heat pumps emerge as a core part of a 100% renewable energy system, with over 60% share of heat generation by 2050.


Transport Share

Transport: A 100% renewable transport sector requires significant synthetic fuels for marine and aviation.


In April 2020, SolarPower Europe hosted a webinar focusing on the findings of the report. Listen to the webinar here, download the webinar slides here.

Download the 100% Renewable Energy Report

Download the SolarPower Europe and LUT University report that models a 100% renewables scenario for Europe to reach climate neutrality before 2050.

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Meet the authors
Michael Schmela

Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe

Christian Breyer

Professor for Solar Economy at LUT University

SolarPower Europe

Raffaele Rossi, Aurélie Beauvais, Lukas Clark-Memler & Kristina Thoring

LUT University

Manish Ram, Dmitrii Bogdanov, Arman Aghahosseini & Theophilus Mensah

100% Renewable Energy report sponsors