New analysis: Renewables and grid flexibility would slash electricity prices by a quarter by 2030, by a third by 2040

Press release

24 June 2024

  • New modelling shows that more renewables, electrification and flexibility can boost European competitiveness, slashing average day-ahead energy prices by 25% by 2030, and by 33% by 2040. 


  • Electrification and flexibility slash solar curtailment by two-thirds in 2030 and by half in 2040, compared to the baseline, avoiding wasted solar and supporting the sustainable growth of solar PV in Europe.  


  • With a flexible, electrified system, more solar can be added to the grid. By 2040, the EU could host 2.4 TW of solar, meeting 39% of the bloc’s power demand. 
Read our Mission Solar 2040 report

This study explores the interplay between the rollout of PV capacity, and the deployment and operation of flexibility solutions in the EU power system, looking at the 2030 and 2040 time horizons.


BRUSSELS, Belgium (Monday 24th June 2024): Boosting renewables, electrification and flexibility would structurally ease electricity costs for consumers, increase European competitiveness, and reinforce the business case for solar.  


New modelling shows that electrification and flexibility can slash average day-ahead energy prices by 25% by 2030, and by 33% by 2040, compared to 2023. At the same time, the solar capture prices will be 71% greater in 2030 compared to the baseline, and 54% higher by 2040, supporting the sustainable growth of solar project developers. 


Beyond benefit for consumer and developer, electrifying and flexing the system means system-wide cost savings - €30 billion saved by 2030 per year, and €160 billion save by 2040 per year. 

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe (she/her) said:  


 “It is time to take the next step in energy transition. We need a flexibility revolution, surrounding renewables with grids, storage and electrification. The new political cycle is an opportunity to build the new energy transition agenda. We call on EU leaders to implement the existing electricity market regulation, set new targets for renewables and flexibility to 2040 and adopt an EU electrification action and investment plan as soon as possible.”  


SolarPower Europe’s new report, Mission Solar 2040: Europe’s Flexibility Revolution, maps out three scenarios through the coming decades; solar-as-usual (SAU), solar + flexibility (SF), and solar + flexibility + electrification (SFE). Compared to SAU, the SFE scenario reduces curtailment – solar energy wasted – by 66% in 2030 and 49% in 2040. The more efficient utilisation of solar energy leads to gains across the economy. 


With a flexible, electrified system, more solar can be added to the grid. By the end of this decade, the EU could reach 1.2 TW of solar, much higher than the 750 GW EU Solar Strategy goal. By 2040, the EU could host 2.4 TW of solar, meeting 39% of the bloc’s growing power demand.  


Critically, ramped-up solar deployment would empower the decarbonisation of the economy – driving down emissions the equivalent of over 550 MtCO² per year by 2040 compared to current forecasts. 


To deliver the new energy system, the Mission Solar 2040 report recommends the incoming EU leadership: 


  1. Set EU targets for renewables and flexibility for 2030 and 2040. Flexibility targets do not exist today, explaining the lack of political oversight and progress on that front. 
  2. Improve energy system modelling capacities, by strengthening the Agency for European Regulators (ACER) and by setting up a new EU Energy Agency to reinforce energy system forecasting. 
  3. Unlock investment in flexibility across the energy system, primarily by ensuring full implementation of agreed electricity market legislation. 
  4. Adopt an EU Electrification Action and Investment Plan within the first 100 days of the next Commission’s mandate. 



What is Flexibility?  

Flexibility is the ability of a consumer, electricity generator, or any other technology (like storage) to adjust how they feed in electricity to the grid, or consume electricity from the grid in response to grid needs or solar availability. Flexibility means less investment is needed for slow-to-build grid infrastructure. We also need to focus on the efficient and smart operation of grids with smart electrified resources.  In real life that looks like a solar power plant coupled with battery storage, or a smart charging station that charges a car when rooftop solar PV is producing abundantly.   


While we need to ramp up battery and heat storage, we should ensure flexibility from the demand side too. We can follow the example of nuclear countries who employ flexibility from the demand side to manage inherently inflexible nuclear production. Since it’s hard to switch nuclear on and off, consumers are encouraged to spread out their demand for electricity.  ‘Time-of-Use’ tariffs make it cheaper to use nuclear electricity at night, incentivising electricity consumption at night, when demand is typically lower. 


Discover the #LetsFlex campaign 


What is Electrification? 

Electrification means building an energy system on the principal of electricity – rather than combustion. So induction cookers rather than gas hobs, and vehicles that run on electricity, rather than diesel and other fossil fuels. Today, 24% of Europe’s energy system is electrified. We should reach at least 60% electrification in the EU by 2050 to achieve climate neutrality. 


Discover the Electrification Alliance 


Questions? Get in touch.

Bethany Meban
Head of Press and Policy Communications


© Euronews

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