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6 Scenario results //

This chapter provides an overview of the scenario results for demand, supply, and emissions at EU27 level.1

1 All figures are expressed in net calorific value.

6.1 Final energy demand

In Global Ambition and Distributed Energy scenarios, the overall final energy demand of the European Union significantly decreases. This reduction is attributed to a combination of energy efficiency measures, such as building renovations and the adoption of more efficient technologies, coupled with the enhanced integration of the energy system.

The extent of this transition and the specific technology choices varies based on the respective storylines and are further detailed at country level – see scenario links published online.2

Figure 5 shows the final energy demand for the different scenarios and covers all sectors including the energy sector, non-energy use, international aviation, ambient heat and international shipping.

Figure 5: Final energy demand per carrier, EU27 (TWh)
For NT+ “Others” include geothermal, industrial excess heat, power to gas excess heat and solar.

6.2 Demand per energy carrier

6.2.1 Electricity demand

Direct electricity demand increases by over 50 % in the Distributed Energy scenario and over 35 % in the Global Ambition scenario by 2050, compared to the reference year.

The notable increase in direct electrification is driven by Europe’s shift away from fossil fuel use, underscoring the region’s commitment to enhancing energy efficiency and accelerating decarbonisation.

The growth in electricity demand is evident across all sectors, but significant emphasis on efficiency measures temper the extent of this trend. High-efficiency consumer appliances and enhanced thermal insulation of buildings play significant roles in this regard.

The transportation sector stands out as the primary driver behind the growth in electricity demand. Currently reliant on oil as its primary energy source, this sector is undergoing a significant shift towards electric transportation.

This transition not only eliminates local emissions from vehicles but also enhances energy efficiency, as electric motors are considerably more efficient than internal combustion engines (ICE). In the Global Ambition and Distributed Energy scenarios, electricity demand from the transport sector is projected to increase significantly, by an order of magnitude between 15 and 17 times compared to the reference year, by 2050.

Heat pumps contribute significantly to electrification efforts owing to their energy efficiency and capability to provide both heating and cooling using electricity, consequently reducing carbon emissions.
Figure 6 illustrates the projected final electricity demand, which surpasses 3,600 TWh in Global Ambition and exceeds 4,000 TWh in Distributed Energy by 2050.

Figure 6: Final electricity demand per sector, EU27 (TWh)

6.2.2 Gas demand

The importance of gas molecules as energy carriers is foreseen in all scenarios, where methane remains predominant in 2030 and hydrogen becomes more prominent in the long-term.

The role of gas molecules, particularly methane and hydrogen, is crucial in the energy transition scenarios. By 2040, gas demand is expected to surpass current levels in Global Ambition scenario. Methane remains the dominant energy carrier in 2030 and hydrogen’s prominence increasing in the long-term. Methane, often associated with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, can be decarbonised and transformed into hydrogen through various methods such as steam methane reforming (SMR), autothermal reforming (ATR), or pyrolysis.

Both methane and hydrogen serve as versatile energy carriers across multiple sectors, offering substantial potential to contribute to Europe’s decarbonisation efforts. The efficient decarbonisation of the EU and the reduction of dependency on imports necessitate the utilisation of all available sources of renewable energy. Consequently, the demand for methane and hydrogen coexists in all scenarios, albeit to varying degrees and with different trajectories depending on the specific storyline.

Figure 7: Gas demand (methane and hydrogen) per sector, EU27 (TWh)
Methane for SMR is excluded from the graph above to avoid double counting

6.2.3 Methane demand

Up to 2030, only a slight decrease in methane demand is anticipated, followed by a more pronounced decline thereafter.

At the EU level, national policies underscore the critical role of methane as an energy carrier. Until 2030, only a modest reduction in methane demand is expected. This reduction is primarily due to increased electrification in residential, tertiary, and industrial sectors. However, it is partially offset by new applications in other sectors. Additionally, the power sector will experience a decrease in demand due to higher renewable energy generation (RES).

Looking ahead, after 2030, the demand for methane is expected to decline more rapidly. This shift is driven by national strategies that anticipate a surge in hydrogen demand. Despite this trend, methane will be needed for balancing of energy markets.

In deviation scenarios, methane demand primarily relies on final uses, including non-energy applications. Furthermore, there is indirect demand for abated natural gas for hydrogen production2. Global Ambition projects higher methane levels in final uses in 2040 compared to National Trends. However, Global Ambition and Distributed Energy scenarios show a very low methane use in the power sector by 2040 due to a decrease of up to 83 % in full load hours compared to National Trends scenario. This outcome of the used optimisation model is driven by the extensive use of flexibility options such as demand-side response (DSR), vehicle-to-grid (V2G), hydro pump storage, and electrolysers connected to hydrogen networks and storage. These results are significantly different from both the current situation and National Trends. The analysis of this outcome is further explained in 6.4.3 Electricity supply section.

2 Where relevant, the gas balance also includes residual (methane) gasses from industry that are used for hydrogen production.

Figure 8: Methane demand per sector, EU27 (TWh)

Peak methane demand

The methane demand in high demand cases reflects the changing nature of residential and commercial demand, as temperature-depending space heating typically drives peak methane consumption. As a result, the methane demand for end use during peak days and Dunkelflaute decreases in all scenarios due to efficiency measures. National Trends observes the most limited change as consumers invest in more traditional technologies, although they are considered less efficient.

The significant development of variable electricity RES capacities influences the role of the gas infrastructure to back-up the variable power generation. With significant variable RES capacities in the energy system, the methane demand may be impacted by Dunkelflaute events more often and more intensely.

Figure 9: Methane final demand in high demand cases, EU27

6.2.4 Hydrogen demand

By 2050, clean hydrogen is projected to reach levels comparable to current methane usage. Its role will continue to expand across various sectors, playing an increasingly vital role.

The evolution of hydrogen demand across different sectors presents a strong narrative of potential growth and diversification. In Europe, hydrogen consumption is already making a tangible impact across various industries. Currently, the industrial sector dominates hydrogen usage, with refineries, steel production, and ammonia and methanol manufacturing as primary consumers3. Fast forward to 2030, the National Trends scenario foresees a marked increase in demand across multiple fields, with transport showing a notable uptick. This trend persists into 2040, suggesting a recognition of hydrogen’s versatility as an energy vector.

The deviation scenarios clearly show that although the initial demand is focused on industry, the future forecasts predict a broader use of hydrogen. This shift reflects the evolving perspectives on integrating this clean energy source into our global economy.

Furthermore, an ever-growing portion of hydrogen demand will be allocated to synthetic fuel production. Synfuels offer a promising pathway for decarbonising energy systems. These fuels are generated through processes that convert renewable energy sources into liquid or gaseous fuels. Their potential to accelerate the global shift toward cleaner energy becomes significant as early as 2030, gains traction by 2040, and reaches a substantial hydrogen demand of 800 TWh by 2050 — equivalent to the energy currently used by gasoline-fueled road vehicles.

The Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios show only a very limited hydrogen demand for power generation. As is the case for methane fired power plants, this is an outcome of the optimisation model. For hydrogen fired power plants the full load hours are even lower, often close to zero4. The analysis of this outcome further explained in 6.4.3 Electricity supply section.

3 These TYNDP scenarios only consider the hydrogen that has a transmission requirement. This means that captive onsite production is not visible in the hydrogen graphs. The energy feedstock associated with captive onsite hydrogen production is considered in the fossil fuel (i.e., methane) balance.
4 Low dispatch of hydrogen fired power generation also leads to an underestimation in the need for hydrogen flexibility (i.e., storage). This is further elaborated in the hydrogen supply chapter (6.4.6).

Figure 10: Hydrogen demand per sector EU27, TWh

Hydrogen peak demand

The development of hydrogen-based technologies results in increasing peak and Dunkelflaute demand, especially in the Global Ambition scenario.

Figure 11: Hydrogen final demand in high demand cases, EU27 (GWh/d)

6.2.5 Heat

The following graph shows how the heat distributed through heating networks is produced at the EU-27 level for the different scenarios and years.

While the heat generated by methane and solids will decrease over time, more heat will be produced by electricity.

Figure 12: Energy sources for District Heating, EU27 (TWh)
*Others in National Trends+ include geothermal, industrial excess heat, power to gas excess heat and solar.

6.3 Demand per sector

6.3.1 Built environment

Built environment in transition

Households and buildings require energy for lighting, power, cooking, heating and cooling. Today, most of the energy consumption comes from fossil fuels. In order to meet the climate ambitions for 2030 and beyond, a vast transition of the building sector is needed.

The decarbonisation of the sector can be achieved though energy efficiency and technical innovation. More efficient appliances and insulation of buildings will not only decrease energy demand, but also improve living standards.

Decarbonisation of heating through heat pumps and renewable gas

The majority of energy demand in the building sector is for heating. Figure 12 illustrates how the use of different heating technologies change over time in the Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios. Today the use of conventional boilers is dominant, but this changes in both scenarios. Both scenarios foresee an increase in the use of heat pumps, which are much more efficient than conventional boilers. By 2040 the households market share of heat pumps (full electric and hybrid) has grown to around 50 %5. In the following years, this market share increases further, up to 63 – 69 % by 2050.

In Distributed Energy most of the installed heat pumps only require electricity to operate (up to 63 %). In Global Ambition the market share of all-electric heat pumps is lower (up to 50 %) while hybrid heat pumps play a bigger role.

This is an electric heat pump coupled with a gas (methane or hydrogen) boiler to enhance the overall heating efficiency. The electric heat pump will run for most of the year, but in periods of very cold weather, the gas boiler will complement to provide peak capacity. Hybrid heat pumps are in particular viable in countries that already have an established gas distribution grid. On an EU level, the market share for hybrid heat pumps reaches 13 %.

The share of homes that use a traditional gas boiler drops from 37 % in the reference year to 6 – 10 % in 2050. Gas boilers in 2050 make use of renewable gas like biomethane and hydrogen.

5 Excluding heat pumps used for district heating.

Figure 13: Heating technologies in households, EU27 ( %)

All scenarios show a sharp decrease in overall energy demand for households and buildings.

This is illustrated in the graph below. By 2050 the total energy demand declines by 40 – 48 %. This increased energy efficiency is the result of both an ambitious renovation rate6 and the use of more efficient appliances like heat pumps.

The use of oil and coal will almost completely disappear. Gas demand also shows a sharp decline. Part of the methane demand is replaced with hydrogen, in particular in Global Ambition. The share of electricity in total energy demand increases from 31 % in 2019 up to 58 % in Distributed Energy 2050. This is mainly driven by the increased use of heat pumps for space heating and hot water.

6 Distributed Energy and Global Ambition assume a renovation rate of 2.3 % per year, of which 2.1 % is medium or deep renovation (only 0.2 % light renovation).

Figure 14: Final energy demand in the built environment, EU27 (TWh)

6.3.2 Industry

Final energy consumption in industry sector

In the various scenarios considered, the industrial sector is seen to decrease its overall energy consumption while simultaneously increasing the integration of hydrogen and electricity. Distributed Energy 2050 stands out with the lowest energy demand, amounting to 2561 TWh, and the highest use of electricity, reaching 1669 TWh. Conversely, the Global Ambition 2050 scenario showcases the most significant hydrogen usage at 653 TWh. Despite these variations, electricity is consistently the predominant energy carrier across all scenarios, favored for processes that do not require high temperatures.

Hydrogen’s importance grows, especially in sectors that are challenging to decarbonise, such as those requiring temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius, making electrification difficult. Industries such as steel, cement, aluminum, and petrochemical production are examples where hydrogen plays a crucial role. Methane’s relevance continues until 2040 but is eclipsed by hydrogen by 2050, which then becomes the second-most utilised energy carrier after electricity. The use of solid and liquid fuels, currently dominant in energy-intensive processes, is projected to diminish over time.

Figure 15: Final energy demand for industry sector (energetic), EU27 (TWh)
Refineries are included in the industry sector for DE and GA scenarios according to the definitions used in the Energy Transition Model.

Final non-energy consumption in industry sector

Regarding non-energy consumption within the industry, current usage predominantly involves liquids and methane, serving mainly two purposes: the production of chemicals, particularly liquid-based petrochemicals for plastics, and the manufacture of fertilisers, with ammonia being a key component produced through Steam Methane Reforming (SMR).

The graph illustrates a significant reduction in liquid fuels in both the Distributed Energy and Global Ambitions scenarios. However, liquids continue to be the primary energy carrier until 2040, after which hydrogen takes the lead, driving the sector’s transition in all scenarios. In contrast, the National Trends scenario relies more heavily on liquids and methane.

Figure 16: Final energy demand for industry sector (non-energetic), EU27 (TWh).

6.3.3 Transport

The transport sector is undergoing a significant energy transition to address environmental concerns and reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

This transition encompasses various initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable mobility, enhancing energy efficiency, and decarbonising transportation. One notable aspect is the growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), spurred by advancements in battery technology, supportive government policies, and increasing consumer awareness. EVs are emblematic of the energy transition and strong growth in sales is evident across Europe. From a demand perspective their development is driven by air pollution concerns, energy efficiency and CO₂ emission reduction. Passenger vehicles currently account for the highest share in the total transport fleet. To reach the climatic targets, the decarbonisation of the passenger sector will be driven mainly by a fast uptake of EVs. For passenger cars a strong uptake of EVs is considered in Distributed Energy.

Global Ambition shows a smaller market share for BEV passenger cars in 2050, considering a wider range of clean mobility technologies with FCEV and renewable methane (CNG) as meaningful options for long distance travel, high usage rate and power requirement. In 2050 ICEs and (non-plug-in) hybrid vehicles have a residual market share.

For heavy-duty trucks the Distributed Energy scenario also follows a higher electrification rate. Global Ambition also shows a strong push of new technologies in this segment but with higher share of FCEVs. Overall, the uptake of BEVs in the heavy goods transport category is lower than for passenger cars. This is linked to the specific challenges of transporting heavy loads over long distances. Beyond road transport, electric engines have a role in shipping and aviation since they can be powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Furthermore, whatever technology they use (hydrogen or batteries) they can provide flexibility to the electricity system with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) services provided by prosumers’ EVs. Both scenarios consider a significant development of all technologies but to a different extent depending on the scenario storyline.

Figure 17: Final energy demand in the transport sector, EU27 (TWh)
Transport includes international aviation and international shipping. However, reference year, coming from Energy Transition Model (ETM), excludes international shipping.

6.3.4 Agriculture

The agriculture sector holds considerable importance in the energy transition, given its significant greenhouse gas emissions. Vital operations such as irrigation, machinery use, and transportation heavily rely on fossil fuels. Yet, this sector also holds immense potential for driving positive change. Through the adoption of energy-efficient practices and technologies, such as precision farming and optimised irrigation systems, farms can markedly reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. Moreover, the agriculture sector plays a pivotal role in bioenergy and biofuel production, harnessing organic materials such as crop residues and animal waste. These renewable energy sources not only bolster energy independence but also present a sustainable alternative to conventional fossil fuels.

In all the scenarios analysed, agriculture reduces its total energy consumption and gradually increases the quantities of electricity as well as hydrogen in the energy mix. Global Ambition 2050 is characterised by the lowest total energy demand (258 TWh), but the Distributed Energy 2050 has the highest electrification level (75 TWh). Nevertheless, both electricity and methane remain significantly used energy carriers in all scenarios. The use of oil gradually reduces in the energy mix up to 2050 in both scenarios.

Figure 18: Final energy demand in the agriculture sector, EU27 (TWh)

6.4 Supply

6.4.1 Total primary energy supply

The European energy supply decarbonises through the development of renewable capacities and implementation of energy efficiency measures.

TYNDP 2024 Scenarios achieves a 27 % reduction in total primary energy supply across all sectors by 2030 (including international maritime bunkers, international aviation, non-energy use) as compared to 2022 levels. By 2050, this reduction reaches to 35 % in Global Ambition Scenario and 40 % in Distributed Energy Scenario. Achieving this reduction in energy supply is facilitated by the adoption of energy efficiency measures, switch to more efficient technologies, and the integration of flexibility solutions to uphold energy security.

Figure 19 provides insights into the total EU27 energy supply mix, illustrating a significant decline in natural gas supply post-2030, ultimately phased out by 2050 in all TYNDP Scenarios. By 2040, both electricity and gas production are nearly fully decarbonised, while coal and oil are nearly phased out by 2050, with the increased amount of renewable energy supply sources. Solar and wind generation witness remarkable growth, reaching threefold by 2030 and approximately ninefold by 2050 in the envisioned scenarios.

Figure 19: EU27 Total Primary energy supply in TWh (including international maritime bunkers & international aviation & non-energy use)
* Historic data is coming from Eurostat
** The supply of H₂ required for Power Generation is not explicitly modelled for the National Trends+ scenario. Therefore, it referred as ‘undefined’, meaning either import or domestic production which is assumed to be renewable hydrogen in our calculations.
*** Other RES includes tide, wave, ocean, geothermal for all and additionally Ambient Heat for historic datasets.
**** Natural gas includes non-renewable waste in the historic data

Figure 20: EU27 Total Primary energy supply share (including international maritime bunkers & international aviation & non-energy use)

TYNDP scenarios register a significant increase in renewables energy production. The RES share in Global Ambition reaches 88 % and 91 % in Distributed Energy by 2050. The vast majority of the energy supply stems from solar PV and wind generation. Renewable electricity production is complemented with biomass and energy from waste materials.

Low carbon sources like nuclear and blue hydrogen supply also contribute to decarbonise the energy system, with a market share 7 % in Global Ambition Scenario and 4 % in Distributed Energy Scenario of primary energy supply. The share of fossil fuel is decreasing with 1 % coal and 4 % oil which is mainly used in international aviation & shipping and non-energy sectors.

Figure 21: Share of fossil, low carbon and renewable energy in EU27 total primary energy supply (including international maritime bunkers & international aviation & non-energy use)

6.4.2 Biomass supply

Compared to today’s level7, the NT+ scenario foresees the biggest increase in the biomass supply, while it is rather limited in Global Ambition. In the Distributed Energy scenario, the supply of biomass is slightly lower than the current level. This is illustrated in Figure 21. Biomass is used for different purposes in the scenarios. It is directly used as final demand for heating and in industrial processes. Furthermore, biomass is used as a feedstock to produce biofuels, biomethane and electricity8.

As such the biomass is converted to other energy carriers, which are subsequently used in the end use sectors for mobility, heating and other applications. The biomass potential used in both scenarios are well below the max potentials stated by JRC9 and in line with the consumption in the Impact Assessment10. A clear trend in the scenarios is that more biomass will be used in the future for production of biomethane while less will be used directly for electricity generation.

7 The current level is quoted from Eurostat energy balances – biofuels 2022 level. Biomethane and bioliquids are transformed into a biomass demand using the conversion factors 0.58 % for biomethane and 0.55 % bioliquids. See here.
8 The final demand and power generation categories only include the direct use of biomass. However, the biomethane produced from biomass is subsequently also consumed for these purposes.
9 See here.
10 Impact assesment from European Commission: See here.

Figure 22: Biomass supply and utilisation, EU27 (TWh)

6.4.3 Electricity supply

To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, decarbonising power generation is essential. This becomes increasingly crucial given the growing reliance on renewable fuels contingent on electricity.

Sector coupling accelerates power generation development to meet the rising demand from direct electrification and the production of renewable fuels via electrolysis. The projected growth of electrolysis-based fuels varies across scenarios, influencing the associated electricity demand. This chapter’s generation figures account for both the final electricity consumption and electrolysis needs.

Figure 23: Electricity demand for final use and electrolysis, EU27 (TWh)
* Historical figures are coming from ENTSO-E Statistical Factsheet

By 2050, the electricity required for electrolysis is expected to represent nearly one-third of the total electricity demand in both deviation scenarios.

These scenarios envision achieving carbon neutrality in power generation early on. By 2040, renewables such as wind, solar, and gas-fired power plants using renewable gases, along with nuclear energy and decarbonised hydrogen, are projected to supply 99.8 % and 99.3 %11 of the EU27’s electricity in Global Ambition and Distributed Energy scenario, including power dedicated to electrolysis.

By 2050, variable renewable sources like wind and solar become predominant, contributing 89 % and 86 % to power generation in the Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios, respectively, a significant increase from 56 % in 2030 and 23 % in 2022. Consequently, by 2050, electricity generation is fully decarbonised12.

11 The renewable shares of methane and hydrogen can be found in methane and hydrogen supply sections in this report.
12 At the exception of (up to 1TWh) small thermal power plants such as CHP answering local needs.

Figure 24: Share of electricity covered by RES and low carbon sources, EU27(TWh)
* Low carbon includes nuclear and decarbonised H₂

While wind, solar and nuclear capacity differs between DE and GA scenarios, these technologies are complemented by other renewable energy sources which capacity remains constant for all scenarios. This includes hydro, biomass, and gas-fired power plants utilising renewable methane or hydrogen, with hydro being the most significant among them.

A sharp increase in wind and solar capacity is constitutive of all scenarios. The magnitude of the increase varies less depending on the storyline, as their expanded role is essential in every scenario to meet efficiency, renewable energy, and decarbonisation targets.

In Distributed Energy, a focus on lowering nuclear capacity and reducing import dependency supplement the decarbonisation objective. As a result, investment in wind and solar capacity reaches the highest level in order to meet both direct electrification and the need for synthetic fuels to replace imports. From a technology perspective, there is a slight preference to decentralised sources such as onshore wind and solar PV. In accordance with more developed prosumer behaviour, in Distributed Energy, solar PV capacity reached 2008 GW in 2050 in comparison to 1,670 GW for Global Ambition.

In Global Ambition, final direct electricity demand is lower than in Distributed Energy. However, the increased demand for synthetic fuels is not fully offset by imports, leading to rise in electricity demand for synthetic fuels. Nuclear capacity remains relatively stable with a slight increase. While the need for wind onshore is on a par with Distributed Energy, the need for solar capacity is strong but slightly lower. The differentiation in wind offshore capacity between deviation scenarios is less pronounced, as the capacities align with the MS’s non-binding agreement13 on minimum capacities.

Compared with the deviation scenarios, the buildout of RES capacities in National Trends+ goes along with a lower electricity demand – mainly driven by a reduced demand from the electrolysers. Therefore, both wind and solar capacities are lower. The share of low carbon and renewable generation reaches 89 %14 in 2030 and 96 % in 2040. Wind and solar capacity reach 1,127 GW in 2030 and 1936 GW in 2040.

13 As of August 2023.
14 Assuming a share of renewable methane of 4 % National Trends in 2030.

Figure 25: Power capacity mix for EU27 (including prosumer PV, hybrid and dedicated RES for electrolysis)

Figure 26: Power generation mix for EU27 (including prosumer PV, hybrid and dedicated RES for electrolysis)
* Figures includes all sectors
** Wind and Solar figures include dedicated wind/solar
*** Other RES includes tide, wave, ocean, geothermal
**** Methane includes small thermals answering local needs
***** Other non-RES includes CHP and small thermals running with coal, oil and lignite

In all scenarios, coal and lignite are under pressure of phase-out policies in many countries as well as high CO₂ price. At European level, the role of these two sources in electricity generation becomes almost negligible from 2030 on.

The role of gas in power generation undergoes significant changes over time.

Methane is progressively decarbonised offering the opportunity of flexible renewable and low carbon generation. While methane is currently mostly natural gas, the share of biomethane as well as synthetic methane increases along the time horizon. As illustrated in Chapter 6.4.4 Gas Supply, the methane as well as the hydrogen supply is decarbonised by 2050.

The overall gas power plant capacity, sum of hydrogen and methane fired power generation, is considered nearly constant from 2030 till 2050; as the decrease on methane fired power plant capacities being replaced with hydrogen fired power plants.

From an energy perspective, in 2040, gas-fired power generation significantly differs from National Trends to deviation scenarios. Indeed, in National Trends the decrease between 2030 and 2040 is equivalent to 11 % while in Distributed Energy and Global Ambition 2040 varies between –85 % to –96 % with respect to National Trends 2030.

Figure 27: Evolution of the main methane and hydrogen fired power capacity and generation for EU27
Excluding Small Thermal and CHP which operation can be driven by other factors such as heat production.

Figure 28: Evolution of gas fired power generation full load hours for EU27

In both deviation scenarios, the role of gas-fired power generation changes to mainly providing flexibility, especially in periods with low feed-in from renewables. In fact, full load hours of methane and hydrogen fired power generation, which are 287 and 87 in 2040 in Distributed Energy and Global Ambition respectively, are significantly lower than current level and national scenarios (i.e., 1,689 hours in National Trends 2040). Although the overall utilisation is low, they still are essential to overcome pronounced periods with little generation from renewables: In several hours all gas-fired power plants are dispatched.

This result arises from several factors:

Firstly, the installed capacities of gas-fired power plants (aligned between electricity and gas TSOs) in the Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios are equivalent to those in the National Trends scenario.

In the National Trends+ scenario, the capacities of gas power generation, as well as those of renewable energy sources and other forms of generation, are predetermined by TSOs. Conversely, in the Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios, the installed capacity of renewable generation begins at 2030 NT+ levels and is then optimised for expansion until 2050. Since the electricity and hydrogen sector are optimised jointly, renewables are not only expanded to cover the rising direct electricity demand, but also to cover large shares of the hydrogen demand via electrolysis (see Figure 23). This results in higher levels of renewable generation capacity compared to the National Trends scenario, which represents the minimum capacity available in DE and GA.

The high levels of renewable generation are complemented by ample of short-term flexibility in the form of batteries, flexible charging of EVs and demand side response like (jointly expanded) electrolysers (see Figure 29). The greater capacity for renewable generation in DE and GA combined with the flexibility options lead to a reduced reliance on thermal generation.

Furthermore, according to the storyline, no must run obligations are considered in the deviation scenarios. Taking into account eventual must run obligations or additional revenue streams (e.g. providing system stability, heat for district heating) might increase utilisation of gas-fired power plants above the actual levels observed in the Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios.

It is important that potential limitations that might impact the feasibility of the identified flexibility options will be further thoroughly examined in the upcoming TYNDP scenario cycles but also in other reports like the European Resource Adequacy Assessment (‘ERAA’).

Flexibility need will increase as well as the range of technologies to answer it. The electrification of the heating sector and the development of wind and solar will increase the climate dependency of the electricity system. At the same time, the impact of global warming on the variability of weather conditions can already be observed. As a result, the decarbonisation of the electricity mix must go in parallel with the development of flexibility solutions in order to maintain the security of supply. The extent of the flexibility needs and the development of technologies to meet depend on the scenario storylines. Beyond hydro pump storage which capacity follows the same path, the deviation scenarios show a different usage of upstream flexibility (generation side) and downstream flexibility (consumer side) – between the scenarios as well as over time.

In Distributed Energy, the climatic exposure will be at the highest as a result of heating electrification and maximum wind and solar development. At the same time dispatchable power generation (including nuclear) will decrease. In addition, the development of prosumer behaviours will result in a high development of residential batteries and V2G services providing short term storage solutions. Finally, the need to produce synthetic fuels to replace imports may also offer the opportunity of seasonal flexibility by coupling the electricity and hydrogen systems. Electrolysis and hydrogen storage will then be beneficial to the security of the energy system.

In Global Ambition, the climatic exposure of the electricity system will increase relatively slower both on the demand and supply side. Less direct electrification, less variable renewable production, more nuclear generation and more flexibility of the hydrogen infrastructure are lowering the need for flexibility compared to Distributed Energy.

Distributed Energy shows a more flexible consumer behaviour. Both deviation scenarios have PV-connected household batteries and bidirectional usage of electric vehicles, with a higher share in Distributed Energy compared to Global Ambition. In addition to that utility-scale batteries are used in the same order of magnitude as hydro pump storages. In contrast to that National Trends show a higher reliance on flexibility from dispatchable generation.

Figure 29: Main flexibility sources for adequacy of the electricity system for EU27
Peaking units are resulting from the new adequacy step. In NT flexibility of V2G is modelled within the demand.

Focus on system operation under various climatic situations

The influence of climatic conditions on the electricity system will significantly increase as a result of the electrification of space-heating and the evolution of wind and solar.

In order to illustrate the impact of the climate on the electricity system, the following graphs show the hourly balance in 2-week periods of the climatic year 200915 under different circumstances.

15 Climatic year of highest residual demand based on Distributed Energy RES capacity and demand profile.

Figure 30: Hourly generation profile of power generation (Distributed Energy, left – Global Ambition, right)
Excluding RES dedicated to Electrolysers.

6.4.4 Gas supply

All renewable and decarbonisation technologies are needed to meet the EU energy and climate objectives.

The decarbonisation of the gas supply can be done in many ways. Gas can either be produced from renewable energy such as biomass producing biomethane or wind and solar energy producing hydrogen via P2G. Furthermore, decarbonised hydrogen can be produced with natural gas with different technologies such as steam methane reforming (SMR)/autothermal reforming (ATR) associated with carbon capture and storage technologies16.

Both deviation scenarios consider all types of technologies to a greater or lesser extent following their storyline. Each technology comes with its level of decarbonisation that is considered in the computation of the GHG emissions of each scenario to keep track of their carbon budget expenses. For instance, biomethane can be considered as carbon neutral or carbon negative if associated with CCS17.

The EU methane and hydrogen production can decarbonise by 2050 in both TYNDP 2024 deviation scenarios.

With the development of renewable hydrogen, biomethane and decarbonisation technologies, the EU can decarbonise nearly 80 % of its gas production by 2030 in National Trends. The EU indigenous production is largely decarbonised in 2040 in both National Trends and the deviation scenarios with remaining 105 TWh of remaining unabated Natural gas and up to 24TWh grey Hydrogen.

Global Ambition shows the highest development of indigenous gas production (about 3,166 TWh produced in 2050) with a higher role for biomethane and hydrogen. In Distributed Energy, the indigenous production of methane and hydrogen increases relatively less with roughly 2,715 TWh produced in 2050.

In the production mix, the specific role of synthetic methane is also crucial, which develops in all scenarios by 2040, and in line with its storyline reaching its peak in the Distributed Energy scenario by 2050 with about 285 TWh.

16 For SMR/ATR an overall efficiency factor of 77 % is used. For CCS processes a capture rate of 90 % is considered. This capture rate represents the various methane reforming technologies and takes into to account the part of the CO₂ that cannot be captured in the process and that is therefore released in the atmosphere.
17 Also known as bio-energy carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS).

Figure 31: EU27 annual gas production per scenario

6.4.5 Methane supply

Figure 32 provides an overview of the methane supply in all three TYNDP 2024 scenarios. All scenarios consider similar decrease of the conventional indigenous natural gas production, reaching zero in 2050.

By 2040, compared to the National Trends + 2030 level, there is a 31 % reduction in methane production, while the DE and GA scenarios aim for more ambitious reductions, with 47 % in DE and 40 % in GA.

Figure 32: Methane supply for EU27

The production of indigenous renewable methane, including biomethane and synthetic methane, varies across the scenarios in alignment with their respective storylines.

National Trends+ shows an increase of biomethane production over time and the production of synthetic methane through electrolysis is rather limited. The overall production of renewable gases is enough to compensate the decline in conventional natural gas production.

Biomethane: an essential source of renewable methane.

Biomethane plays a major role in the decarbonisation of the methane supply, and it is the main source of decarbonisation of the methane supply in both deviation scenarios. Synthetic methane is the key to complement the supply needs and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Import levels are reduced to zero by 2050 in both scenarios.

In the Distributed Energy scenario, there is a lower level of indigenous production of renewable and decarbonised methane, amounting 920 TWh in 2050. Synthetic methane production is slightly higher compared to the Global Ambition scenario, reaching around 285 TWh in 2050. Biomethane plays a crucial but less prominent role in the Distributed Energy scenario, accounting for approximately 635 TWh by 205018. In 2040, the level of imports in Distributed Energy is the lowest of all three scenarios and does not consider any natural gas in 2050.

As a scenario focusing on the integration of the EU into the global energy transition, Global Ambition combines both high decarbonisation levels and access to global and diversified markets for renewable and decarbonised methane (1,078 TWh in 2050). Furthermore, thanks to energy efficiency measures, methane imports decrease to 1,119 TWh by 2040. Natural gas imports are reduced to zero by 2050.

18 See TYNDP 2024 scenario building guidelines for the potential of EU27 biomethane production.

6.4.6 Hydrogen supply

A game changer

Today the EU-27 hydrogen supply is a domestic production of about 250 TWh19, mainly used as a feedstock. About 75 % is produced with SMR/ATR, the remaining volumes are by-products from other industrial processes . However, all scenarios consider the hydrogen market will undergo a complete transformation over the next 30 years and be traded mainly as an energy carrier to become the main gas energy carrier by 2050 with a marginal role for its demand as feedstock.

The main drivers of this transformation of the hydrogen market are the significant EU and global potentials for producing hydrogen from variable renewable electricity and water, and the development of EU-wide, cross-border, hydrogen infrastructure. Figure 33 provides an overview of the hydrogen supply in the three TYNDP 2024 scenarios.

19 See here.

Figure 33: Hydrogen supply for EU27

National Trends considers an uptake of hydrogen production already in 2030.

In 2030 the hydrogen production/consumption already shows a strong uptake compared to today’s levels. However, between 2030 and 2040 an even more substantial increase can be seen, indicating that the transformation to hydrogen in many sectors has begun. The hydrogen supply is more than 1,500 TWh in 2040, whereof more than half is imported. In the National Trends+ scenario, the supply of H₂ required for power generation is not explicitly modelled, and therefore, it is referred to as ’undefined for generation.’ This indicates that the H₂ supply for generation could either come from imports or domestic production. As the import potentials could fulfil this demand (10 TWh in 2030 and 174 TWh in 2040) the assumptions for the H₂ supply are referred as ‘green’.

As NT+ models don’t include dedicated electrolyser modeling, Spanish native H₂ demand including the production for synthetic fuel is not specifically modelled. The assumption is that all native Spanish H₂ demand, including the production of synfuel, is met by dedicated electrolysers. Annex 3 provides overview of the figures submitted by Enagás for transparency on how these native H₂ demand, not included in the ENTSOs model, is met by dedicated electrolysers.

Deviation scenarios: the key role of hydrogen to decarbonise the energy system.

Distributed Energy, as a decentralised scenario with high energy autonomy, considers a high level of domestic ­production of renewable hydrogen. Since both decarbonisation and higher self-sufficiency are the main drivers of the Distributed Energy Scenario, it requires a significant increase in renewable electricity generation to meet the P2G demand (1,795 TWh in 2050) and its related indirect electricity ­demand. The uptake of hydrogen imports is limited (564 TWh renewable hydrogen in 2050), with an import share of 24 %. In 2050 there is no more production of hydrogen with SMR.

Global Ambition, as a scenario considering larger scale solutions and the EU as an actor of the global energy transition, combines both high decarbonisation levels with access to a global and diversified clean hydrogen market. Hydrogen produced from renewables in the EU play an important role in the supply mix (2,083 TWh) and clean hydrogen imports are key to ensure the supply and demand adequacy of the EU, providing 981 TWh of decarbonised and renewable ­hydrogen, resulting in an import share of 33 %.

A strong development of electrolysis

Electrolysers enable the production of hydrogen and synthetic fuels (synthetic methane and synthetic liquids). Both scenarios show a higher electrolyser capacity reaching close to 400 GW in 2050.

Figure 34: Electrolyser capacity for EU27
The configurations are explained in the scenario methodology guidelines.

As a result, from the decarbonisation of the generation mix and the high number of hours at low marginal price, the wholesale electricity market is the main source of electrolysers. In 2050, it accounts for 81 % of electrolyser electricity supply in Distributed Energy and Global Ambition20.

Electrolyser development also takes advantage of local availability of RES closed to consumption areas, where they can either simultaneously connect to nearby RES and the wholesale market (hybrid RES) or provide a direct connection to the hydrogen grid without expansion of the electricity grid (Dedicated RES)21.

20 Consideration about a specific market design or requirement laid out in the legal framework (e. g., the criteria’s outlined in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) are beyond this edition of the TYNDP Scenarios report.
21 The market modelling methodology for the TYNDP 2024 introduces a more detailed offshore modelling for electricity and hydrogen. The model is set up to allow for different configurations, including hybrid and dedicated offshore electrolysis, considering input specifications from TSOs. Based on these inputs the model sometimes concludes that dedicated renewables for offshore hydrogen production are the optimal solution, whereas in practice a hybrid configuration may be a more attractive option (as shown in the Pathway study performed by the North Sea Wind Power Hub). The model split in dedicated, and hybrid offshore electrolysis tends to be somewhat biased towards dedicated renewables. For transparency purposes the modelling results are published as is. But the ENTSOs would like to underline that both hybrid and dedicated offshore renewables should be interpreted as a mix of both. See the Scenario Building Guideline for more information.

Figure 35: Origin of the electrolyser supply for EU27
Hybrid renewables are connected to both the electricity grid as well as to an electrolyser.

All production of grey hydrogen is phased out by 2050.

The deviation scenarios have in common that until 2050, all SMR / ATR without carbon capture and storage will be either decommissioned, retrofitted with CCS or replaced by SMR/ATR with CSS. For countries with a published CCS strategy, it is assumed that all current facilities will be retrofitted with CCS by 203022. In both scenarios low carbon hydrogen plays an important role in the early stage of the transition therefore securing the renewable supply is critical. In the longer term SMR/ATR will be decreased and in 2050 there is no more SMR or ATR left in Distributed Energy. In Global Ambition the supply of low carbon hydrogen will decrease as well. However, a small fraction (5 TWh SMR with CCS) is remaining in 2050.

The system role of hydrogen goes hand in hand with an increasing need for flexibility.

The current hydrogen market is mainly characterised by baseload demand and dispatchable supply. The future hydrogen system will see much more imbalance in (hourly) supply and demand. The application of hydrogen for heating will introduce temperature dependent demand. Renewable hydrogen supply through electrolysis will also be weather dependent. Furthermore, hydrogen will enable increasing flexibility in the electricity system, through dispatchable power plants to run at peak times.

There is still great uncertainty as to what the optimum portfolio of flexibility resources in the future hydrogen system will look like and how best to distribute these resources geographically across Europe. Certain hydrogen supply sources may provide flexibility to some extent, like SMR/ATR or imports. Studies23 show however that the majority of flexibility in the hydrogen system needs to come from storage, as is current practice in the methane system. Hydrogen storage in salt caverns is already demonstrated. In the long term, hydrogen storage in depleted gas field may also be feasible, although there are still (technical) challenges to overcome.

The scenario modelling for this TYNDP 2024 is set up to allow flexibility from various sources, like SMR/ATR, e-fuel production, import terminals, demand side response, etc. The flexibility needs of the hydrogen system is illustrated in the figures below24. By 2050 the system needs flexibility of an order of magnitude of up to 180 TWh of working gas volume to balance supply and demand. In the current model the main part of this flexibility is delivered by other sources than storage facilities, which for both economical and technical reasons may not be able to deliver flexibility to this extent. As a result, the model seems to underestimate the need for hydrogen storage. If conventional production and imports provide only (very) limited flexibility, the hydrogen storage capacity requirement will be a factor up to 9 higher than shown for the various scenarios. Limitations in connections between countries as well as a more extreme climate years can further increase this factor.

22 The countries with a CCS strategy is; Belgium, Hungary, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Croatia, Italy and Netherlands. Source: IOGP
23 See here.
24 More information on the methodology and model limitations can be found in the methodology report.

Figure 36: Hydrogen Flexibility

Figure 37: Hourly flexibility requirement for hydrogen in GA 2050 (MW)

6.4.7 E-Liquid Supply

Similar to synthetic methane (see 6.4.5 Methane supply) the demand and supply of e-diesel and e-kerosene is modelled endogenously. The demand can be supplied ­either by importing the e-liquid directly or by synthesising it ­domestically from biogenic CO₂ and H₂.

The total production of synthetic methane, e-diesel or e-kerosene is thus limited by the available amount of captured biogenic CO₂.

Figure 38 shows the total amount of e-liquids supplied by imports and from domestic production.

Figure 38: E-Liquid Supply

In all three scenarios the majority is synthesised within Europe rather than imported. In order to produce those e-liquids domestically, significant amounts of H₂ have to be supplied: For all e-fuels (including synthetic methane) between 500 and 643 TWh of H₂ in 2040 and between 767 and 813 TWh in 2050 (see Figure 54: Hydrogen demand by sector, EU 27, TWh) are used. Besides hydrogen a carbon source is needed in the synthetises as shown in Figure 39. These amounts of CO₂ captured and used are additional to the amounts of CO₂ captured and stored described in Section 7.2.1 Role of non-energy sectors.

Figure 39: Biogenic CO₂ captured and used for synthetic fuels

6.5 Imports

With the development of RES capacities and further reductions of energy demand, overall imports are decreasing significantly.

In all three scenarios, the combination of the energy efficiency measures combined with further integration of the different energy systems significantly reduces the energy demand. Furthermore, both Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios see the significant development of indigenous renewable capacities for electricity and gas, reducing the need for imports in the future.

Figure 40: Energy imports for EU27 (TWh)

System integration fosters clean energy production and contributes to energy independency.

With increasing system integration, the EU energy system increasingly relies on renewable sources to satisfy its energy demand since significant production capacities can be developed in the EU. Therefore, the EU energy demand only marginally relies on coal, oil, and gas which reduces the need for carbon intensive energy imports in the future.

Overall, the scenarios show a significant decline in imports compared to the current level, a trend that is already anticipated for 2030 in the NT+ scenario. In 2050 there will be no need for imports of methane and solids, and only a fraction of today’s import level of oil is remaining. The H₂ imports are higher in GA than in DE, indicating the storylines differentiation with more energy independence in DE.