EU expected to be 90% renewables in 20 years

July 2019—Any utilities still whining about how they can’t handle a high percentage of renewables need to shut up and get with the program. It may have been true ten or twenty years ago, but storage options have proliferated. Excess energy can pump water uphill to be used as hydroelectric power later, stored in salt batteries or turned into hydrogen for vehicles.

“By 2040, renewables make up 90% of the electricity mix in Europe, with wind and solar accounting for 80%,” predict the experts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in their annual energy outlook released this week.

Even more inspiring, some regions are already hovering around 100 percent renewables.

In addition, many large population regions are at 100% (or higher). As a September 2018 international study documented, these include Germany’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region in the Northeast and the Schleswig-Hostein region north of Hamburg, New Zealand’s South Island, and Denmark’s Samsø island. In Canada, both Quebec and British Columbia are at nearly 100% renewable power.

Another part of the puzzle is dynamic demand, working with industrial customers and even smart devices in your home to use less energy during peak times.