“European businesses and consumers face at least 20 years of electricity price rises, according to a leaked European Commission report on how the region can meet its green energy targets.
It also forecasts a huge growth in the number of wind farms, which would push up prices even higher.
In an assessment that examines a range of ways in which fossil fuels such as coal can be replaced with cleaner sources of energy, the 112-page report says all scenarios point to wind farms becoming the biggest source of electricity in the bloc by 2050, outstripping both coal and nuclear power.
Wind farms could provide as much as 49 per cent of EU electricity by that date, the report suggests, up from just 5 per cent today.
Average electricity prices for households and businesses would rise “strongly up to 2020-2030” under all scenarios, the document says, and the highest prices would occur after 2030 if renewable sources of power, such as wind and solar, make up a large share of energy production. For example, average prices for households could jump by more than 100 per cent by 2050 if this were the case but only by 43 per cent under a scenario that assumed more nuclear power and carbon capture and storage were used.
The report suggests this would be partly due to new infrastructure investments but it also appears to assume that conventional fuel plants would not run as much as they do now, meaning higher prices would have to be charged to cover initial investment costs.”