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Scenario results

This chapter presents the main quantification of the TYNDP 2022 scenarios. The level of detail provided for each scenario depends on the approach of building the data sets. As Best Estimate and National Trends are based on TSO data, the results are limited to electricity and gas. The final energy demand supplied by other primary fuels, such as oil and coal are not in the focus of these scenarios. Distributed Energy and Global Ambition are developed as full energy scenarios and results are provided for all sectors and energy carriers. The full-energy nature of the quantification also enables the assessment of carbon emissions for the two COP21 scenarios.

This chapter provides a European overview of the scenario results for demand, supply and emissions at EU-27 level. All figures are expressed in net calorific value.

Data per country (including some non-EU countries which were included in the modelling) can be found on the visualisation platform.

5.1 Demand

5.1.1 Final energy demand

Energy efficiency: the EU can significantly reduce its energy demand by 2050.

In both COP21 scenarios, the overall energy demand of the EU significantly decreases with the combination of energy efficiency measures (renovation of buildings and switch to new or more efficient technologies) and the effect of further system integration.

With further electrification and system integration, the EU can make more efficient use of its renewable electricity production, increase the efficiency of variable renewables and improve security of supply:


Direct use of renewable electricity and responsive demand can reduce the mismatch between production and demand while avoiding unnecessary conversion losses.

Variable renewables are more productive since they can produce renewable hydrogen whenever the electricity demand is lower than the available renewable capacity.

The need for additional renewables and decarbonisation capacities is more limited thanks to the integration of hydrogen from variable renewables into the gas system and shorter-term battery solutions.

With significant storage capacities, the gas system can provide flexibility to the electricity system when the electricity demand is higher than the production, especially during seasonal and extreme climatic events. Besides its transportation tasks, the European gas infrastructure serves as the back-bone for the EU energy system.

Figure 3: Final energy demand per carrier (energy and non-energy use for feedstock) for EU27

In the Distributed Energy scenario, electricity represents 52 % of the final energy demand and gaseous hydrogen 17 % (including non-energy use) in 2050. In the Global Ambition scenario, these shares reach respectively 43 % and 21 % in 2050.

Final energy demand reduction is achieved through a wide range of actions such as, but not limited to:

  • Conversion from less efficient to more efficient heating options, e. g., heat pump technologies, such as electric and hybrid heat pumps (electric heat pump associated with condensing gas boiler).
  • Switch from low efficiency transport options to more efficient modes of transport.
  • Energy efficiency product standards continuing to deliver energy efficiency gains for end-user appliances.
  • In the built environment, thermal insulation reduces demand for heat.
  • Behavioural changes where consumers actively reduce demand either by utilizing more public transport or modifying heating and cooling comfort levels.

Figure 4: Energy demand per sector (energy and non-energy use for feedstock) for EU27 – Ambient heat from heat pumps not taken into account.

The final energy consumption (including electricity losses and excluding non-energy use1) of Distributed Energy and Global Ambition are respectively 7,812 TWh and 8,412 TWh in 2050.

1 Non-energy uses amount for 848 TWh in Distributed Energy and 997 TWh in Global Ambition in 2050

Figure 5: Final demand of biomass

Figure 5 illustrates the final demand of biomass in both scenarios compared to the reference year. Both Distributed Energy and Global Ambition foresee a decrease in biomass consumption. The strongest decrease is observed in the residential and tertiary sectors.

In these sectors wood and pellet are increasingly replaces by other heating technologies like heat pumps. Industrial use increases a bit, in particular for the processes which are harder to decarbonise.

Figure 6: EU-27 share of district heating

Figure 6 illustrates the share of district heating in both scenarios compared to the reference year. Both DE and GA show a strong increase of the number of buildings connected to a district heating network, more than doubled with respect to the reference year.

Methane share remains quite stable over the time orison, while oil and coal are nearly phased-out by 2050; electricity shows the fastest growing trend, followed by hydrogen.

Figure 7: EU-27 share of individual heat pumps

Figure 7 illustrates the share of heat pumps in DE and GA compared to the reference year. In both scenarios, by 2050, nearly half of the buildings are equipped with an electric heat pump. The graph also takes into account hybrid heating systems, in which an electric heat pump is coupled with a gas boiler to enhance the overall heating efficiency.

In order to avoid confusion and double counting, the market shares of electric heat pumps linked to the district heating network are not represented in this figure, but only in figure 6 with the label “District Heating Electricity + Ambient Heat”.

5.1.2 Direct electricity demand

Despite the fact that final energy demand in both scenarios decreases over time, direct electricity demand grows up to 52 % in Distributed Energy scenario, and 43 % in Global Ambition scenario compared to the reference year2. This is mainly caused by the replacement of fossil fuel powered solutions with electric ones.

Growth in electricity demand can be seen in every sector. However, a strong focus on efficiency gains helps slow this process (e. g., high-efficiency consumer appliances, better thermal insulation of buildings).

2 For residential and tertiary sectors, the historic values are based on 2018. For the other sectors (industry, agriculture, energy branch, mobility) 2015 values are the most recent with sufficient level of detail.

Electricity demand of the transport sector to rise 9 to 12-fold by 2050 due to uptake of electric vehicles.

The main driver of electricity demand growth is the transport sector. The primary energy source for this sector is currently oil. The radical shift to electric transportation does not only eliminate local emissions from vehicles, but also contributes to energy efficiency as electric motors are much more efficient that internal combustion engines (ICE).

In both COP21 compliant scenarios, electricity demand from the transport sector will increase by an order of magnitude of between 9 and 12 until 2050 compared to 2015 (reference year for mobility).

Figure 8: Final electricity consumption (excluding transmission and distribution losses) for EU27

As it was described in the TYNDP 2022 Scenarios Final ­Storyline Report, Electrical Vehicles (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.

Electric vehicles are one of the key solutions of the efficiency first principle and reduction of air pollution.

Figure 9 shows the TYNDP 2022 scenario assumptions for EVs including battery (BEV)3 and fuel cells (FCEV). For passenger cars a strong uptake of EVs is considered in Distributed Energy, reaching almost 90 % share of total fleet in 2050. 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/LNG) as meaningful options for long distance travel, high usage rate and power requirement.

In 2050 ICEs and (non-plug-in) hybrid vehicles still have a residual market share in particular for heavy goods transport. The fuels for these vehicle types are also decarbonised, as is further detailed in the supply chapter of this report.

3 Including plug-in hybrid

Figure 9: Share of transport technologies for EU27

For heavy trucks the Distributed Energy scenario also follows a higher electrification rate with a 47 % market share for BEVs while FCEVs amount for 28 % of the market. Global Ambition also shows a strong push of new technologies in such segment but with a reverse proportion, 13 % for BEVs and 38 % for 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 COP21 scenarios consider a significant development of all technologies but to a different extent depending on the scenario storyline.

TYNDP 2022 country level market shares for the different technologies and transport categories can be found in the Visualisation Platform.

Both scenarios foreseen an increase in term of final electricity demand and Distributed Energy will exceed 4,000 TWh in 2050. The average peak will reach 700 GW and 740 GW in 2050 for Global Ambition and Distributed Energy (57 % and 67 % increase compared to 2018).

Figure 10: Evolution of average electricity demand and peak (including transmission and distribution losses) for EU27 – For historical data see – Malta is missing.

5.1.3 Gas demand

Methane and Hydrogen: two complementary energy carriers for an efficient use of the resources.

Europe has significant potentials for producing renewable methane (e. g., biomethane) and hydrogen. Methane can also be associated with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to be decarbonised and, using steam methane reforming (SMR), autothermal reforming (ATR), pyrolysis or other technology, converted to hydrogen. The analysis of the supply potentials for methane and hydrogen shows that for an efficient decarbonization and to limit its dependence on imports, the EU needs to make use of all its sources of renewable energy in both Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios.

Therefore, for cost and energy efficiency reasons both methane and hydrogen demand coexist in both scenarios, to a different extent and with different evolutions depending on the storylines.

The comparison of National Trends and the COP21 scenarios shows that, in many countries, current national policies do not always have a long-term vision post 2030 and do not consider yet a shift of the gas demand from methane towards hydrogen, nor do they consider significant CCU/S capacities.

With electrification, gas demand for power ­becomes more seasonal and critical.

As electrification increases significantly in Global Ambition and to a greater extent in Distributed Energy, the structure of the gas demand evolves as the demand for electricity becomes more seasonal and variable, requiring more flexibility amongst others from the gas system as well. As electrification increases, the seasonality of the gas demand remains significant since the heating demand shift towards electrification is compensated by the increasing seasonality of the electricity demand.

Furthermore, as the energy system relies on variable renewables to produce electricity and gas, the gas supply becomes sensitive to climatic events as well as the energy demand. This combined climatic sensitivity increases the need for flexibility. This translates in the scenarios by a higher winter demand for power, especially during climatic events like Dunkelflaute4 when gas demand for power generation increases to compensate for the absence of wind and solar energy during periods of several days.

4 “Kalte Dunkelflaute” or just “Dunkelflaute” (German for “cold dark doldrums”) expresses a climate case, where in addition to a 2-week cold spell, variable RES electricity generation is low due to the lack of wind and sunlight. Methane demand

National policies rely more on methane until 2040, whilst hydrogen kicks in after 2030.

At EU level, national policies show a large role for methane as a gas energy carrier with very limited evolution of the demand until 2030. After 2030 however, the methane demand decreases with the implementation of the strategy of some Member States which see the uptake of their hydrogen demand.

The development of final methane demand differs from region to region. Due to a high dependence on coal and coal-to-methane switch policies, methane demand for heating rather increases in Central and Eastern Europe, whereas other regions head towards more electrification in the private heating sector. The country specific values can be seen in the visualisation platform.

COP21 scenarios: methane demand decreases and decarbonises over time.

Following the evolution of the production capacities, the methane demand decreases as hydrogen develops after 2030. However, in the scenarios, methane remains necessary to cover the EU energy demand until 2050.

The demand for methane is generally sustained by the final demand including non-energy use and the indirect demand of abated natural gas for hydrogen production (974 TWh in Distributed Energy 2050 and 1,328 TWh in Global Ambition 2050).

Figure 11: Methane demand per sector for EU27

Figure 12: Methane demand seasonality (gas seasons: summer 1 Apr – 30 Sept and winter 1 Oct – 31 Mar) for EU27

Peak Methane Demand

The high daily-peak and 2-week demand for methane reflect 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 2-week cold spells 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 in both scenarios 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 13: Methane demand in high demand cases (Peak, 2-Week cold spell, Dunkelflaute) for EU27 Hydrogen demand

In all scenarios, the demand for hydrogen develops as of 2030 and hydrogen becomes the main gas energy carrier in both COP 21 scenarios in 2050. Today, hydrogen is mainly used as a feedstock for the industry and quantified in kg or tonnes5.

However, as the demand for clean gaseous energy increases to meet the COP 21 and EU climate and energy targets, hydrogen is mainly used for its energy content by 2040 – quantified in TWh – and its use as feedstock becomes more marginal over time.

5 The hydrogen specific energy content is about 33 kWh/kg NCV

National Trends reflects contrasted policies across the different Member States.

National Trends considers the different national policies of the EU Member States. Whereas some countries plan for the development of hydrogen to replace natural gas with objectives defined for 2030, some other countries plan for a more stepwise approach to move away from the most carbon intensive fuels, especially in the coal mining regions. Therefore, at EU level, this translates into a slower development of the hydrogen demand which is nevertheless steadily accelerating between 2025 and 2040 at EU level.

Most of the current hydrogen produced locally in the industrial clusters is not included in the figures since they are not connected to any regional or national networks. These figures are shown as methane demand.

Distributed Energy and Global Ambition: Hydrogen as a key element to reach carbon neutrality.

Both COP 21 scenarios require significant amounts of ­hydrogen to meet the COP 21 and EU climate and Energy targets and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Hydrogen can be produced indigenously in the EU to a significant extent and some extra-EU countries6 have significant potentials to produce renewable hydrogen and can be actors of a global clean hydrogen market. In addition, methane decarbonisation solutions (e. g. SMR/ATR + CCS) can support the development of the hydrogen demand by securing the supply and accelerate the decarbonisation of the European economy. Furthermore, applied with biomethane, those decarbonisation capacities can become carbon negative and help to recover from the carbon budget overshoot after 2050.

In Distributed Energy as well as in Global Ambition, both indigenous production and imports of renewable hydrogen are needed. However, following their storylines, the scenarios show different evolutions of the hydrogen demand7: Distributed Energy sees a development of the hydrogen demand following the development of production capacities in the EU (1,744 TWh in Distributed Energy 2050) while reducing the energy imports and Global Ambition sees a more rapid development of the hydrogen demand supported by the access to an international clean hydrogen market, in the context of a global energy transition (749 TWh of renewable hydrogen imports in Global Ambition 2050).

6 Scenarios assume hydrogen production in the UK, Norway, North Africa, Russia, Turkish hub and Ukraine.
7 The hydrogen demand displayed is not considering H2 supplied via by-products and H2 used for conversion (P2M/P2L).

Figure 14: Hydrogen demand per sector for EU27 (excluding hydrogen from by-products and for conversion [P2M/P2L])

Figure 15: Hydrogen demand seasonality (gas seasons: summer 1 April – 30 September and winter 1 October – 31 March) for EU27

Hydrogen Peak Demand

In the COP 21 scenarios, the development of hydrogen-based technologies in the residential and tertiary sectors as well as in the power sector results in increasing peak and 2-week demand, especially in the Global Ambition scenario.

Figure 16: Hydrogen demand in high demand cases (Peak, 2-Week cold spell, Dunkelflaute) for EU27 Methane and Hydrogen demand for transport

Beyond EVs the decarbonisation of the transport sector requires the contribution of all energy carriers.

The transport sector represents today close to one third of the final energy demand of the EU. It is largely dominated by Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) using oil or other liquid derivatives as fuel mostly from fossil origin and almost entirely imported.

To decarbonise the transport sector, both COP 21 scenarios consider the necessary contribution of all energy sectors and behavioural changes to reduce the demand of the sector, especially for passenger cars. The increasing availability of decarbonised energy in the gas and electricity sector can be used to produce decarbonised liquids, including liquid biomethane (bio LNG), and can foster the switch from liquids to gas- and electricity-based fuels, thus accelerating the decarbonisation of the transport sector and reducing the need for additional decarbonisation capacities for liquid fuels.

Hydrogen for transport is predominant for heavy duty road transport, shipping and aviation (mainly fuel cells technology for electric mobility and partly as e-fuel for ICEs) in Distributed Energy and Global Ambition. It also has a significant share in passenger cars in Global Ambition. In 2050 hydrogen accounts for 27 % (545 TWh) and 31 % (712 TWh) of the energy demand for transport respectively in Distributed Energy and Global Ambition. In 2050 methane plays a smaller role in passenger cars, its overall market share in the transport sector is 11 % (212 TWh) and 12 % (277 TWh) in the two COP21 scenarios.

Figure 17: Transport demand per energy carrier for EU27