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Nordic Countries, IEA Plan for Regional Carbon-Neutral Energy System by 2050

20 November 2012: Developing a carbon-neutral energy system in the Nordic region by 2050 is possible, according to a report preview released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in collaboration with Nordic Energy Research and other research institutes.

Shared on 20 November 20102 at the RENERGI conference in Oslo, Norway, the preview outlines a path for the region to reach ambitious energy targets. According to IEA, the five Nordic countries are in a strong place to lead on goals related to carbon use and climate change, due to factors such as their renewable energy resources, strong economic systems and policies that favor efficiency.

As outlined in the preview report, the proposed path to a carbon-neutral Nordic energy system will entail: changes to energy generation and efficiency; fully de-carbonized electricity generation; increased wind electricity generation; reduction of fossil fuels in the industrial sector; significant emissions cuts in transportation; improvements in fuel economy along with biofuel and electric vehicle development; and improved energy efficiency in the building sector.

The preview focuses on potential economic benefits to the Nordic region, such as the opportunity to become an exporter of electricity or to meet international demands for bioenergy. However, it also identifies challenges the Nordic countries would face in this scenario and steps they would need to take in response, namely: policies that encourage energy efficiency improvements in industry; significant infrastructure for new electricity generation; rapid collaborative work on carbon capture and storage (CCS); an increase in bioenergy supply; and cooperation across the region for cost-saving. The full report will be released in January 2013. [IEA Press Release] [Publication: Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives]