Europe could meet all its electricity needs from renewable sources by mid-century, according to a report released Monday by services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.
A "super-smart" grid powered by solar farms in North Africa, wind farms in northern Europe and the North Sea, hydro-electric from Scandinavia and the Alps and a complement of biomass and marine energy could render carbon-based fuels obsolete for electricity by 2050, said the report.
The goal is achievable even without the use of nuclear energy, the mainstay of electricity in France, it said.
Over all, about 50 percent of Europe's energy demand is met with imported fuels.
Under so-called business-as-usual scenarios, that share could increase to 70 percent in coming decades, according to several projections.
The switch to renewables is more than a matter of energy security, said the report, backed by research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the European Climate Forum, both based in Potsdam, Germany. "Substantial and fairly rapid decarbonisation... will have to take place if the world is to have any chance of staying within the 2.0 degree Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit) goal for limiting the effects of global warming," the report said.