The European Union has committed to decarbonise by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.
To accomplish this goal, the transformation of the energy sector towards a renewables-based system is playing a key role in European strategies for decarbonisation, but renewable energy sources and the accompanying transmission infrastructure will require space both on land and sea.
Space is a limited and valuable resource that can be used in a multitude of ways, including nature and biodiversity protection, urban and industrial development, energy infrastructure, agriculture, among others. This holds true also for water, the availability of which has decreased throughout the years.
Thus, a sound planning on how to adequately optimise available resources is necessary to minimise social and environmental impacts, ensuring a fair and nature-friendly energy transition.
To achieve the climate and energy targets set out for 2030, 2040 and 2050, different pathways could be taken, but some questions remain unanswered, such as:
- What are the challenges laying ahead?
- How the challenges related to a limited availability of space and water can be addressed?
- What are available tools that can be helpful for the system and spatial planning?
- How can we address existing constraints related to implementation of a decarbonised energy system?