From Fossil to Renewable Energy Sources
The transformation of energy systems from fossil to renewable sources, the energy transition, is a global trend. The shift towards green and sustainable energy systems that has gained momentum over the past 25 years is reflected by policy decisions of governments around the world encompassing around 144 countries having corresponding policy targets in place already in 2014. This Chapter provides an overview of the forces driving the energy transition in the countries under consideration. Comparing countries with each other in particular with regard to the current energy production landscape, the present challenges and the future prospects for policy development we describe common elements as well as differences thus identifying – where possible – clusters and drawing brief conclusions in Section 2.1. The motivations underlying the Energy Transition are diverse and manifold. They differ from country to country and sometimes even between regions of the same country rooting in the specific challenges determined by geography, the historical development of national energy markets and cultural factors. We also observe that these motivations often are het-erogeneous including conflicting elements resulting in discrepancies between the declared goals regarding the deployment of RE and the actually implemented energy policies. A discussion of structural differences of fossil and RE production follows in Section 2.2. To illustrate the state of affairs in the countries under consideration we provide an overview of the energy mix for each country, regarding total energy production, consump-tion and, especially, electricity production. We conclude with a short summary of the impact that digitalisation has on the Energy Transition in Section 2.3.
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