OMA: roadmap 2050 OMA: roadmap 2050
apr 13, 2010

OMA: roadmap 2050

diagram showcasing decarbonized grid power distribution

OMA, the research based think tank within the office for metropolitan architecture, has extended its expertise in planning the design of the future energy infrastructure of the EU as part of ‘roadmap 2050: a practical guide to a prosperous, low-carbon europe’ the project, proposing an EU-wide decarbonized power grid by 2050, debuts in brussels today to an audience of european leaders.

‘roadmap 2050’ is commissioned by the european climate foundation and is based on extensive technical, economic and policy analyses conducted by five leading consultancies: imperial college london, kema, mckinsey & company, oxford economics and AMO, a dutch based design and research studio and an architectural counterpart practice to OMA.

according to the ‘roadmap 2050’, 80% CO2 reduction overall implies 90-95% reduction in power, road transport and buildings. this could be achieved by maximum abatement within and across sectors. the most influential sector will be power and vehicle transportation. this level of decarbonization is dependent on achieving aggressive 2% year on year energy efficiency savings, without which this level of abatement is not possible in this model.

the project is based on european leaders’ commitment to a 80-95% reduction in co2 emissions by 2050. the technical and economic analyses outline why a zero-carbon power sector is required to meet this commitment and illustrate its feasibility by 2050 given current technology. the project then aims to chart a policy roadmap for the next 5-10 years based on the near-term implications of this commitment. through the complete integration and synchronization of the EU’s energy infrastructure, europe can take maximum advantage of its geographical diversity. the report’s findings show that by 2050, the simultaneous presence of various renewable energy sources within the EU can create a complementary system of energy provision ensuring energy security for future generations. EU-27 total GHG emissions in decarbonized pathway, GtCO2e per year

AMO contributed to the content development through the production of a graphic narrative which conceptualizes and visualizes the geographic, political, and cultural implications of the integrated, decarbonized european power sector.

chart showcasing billion barrels of oil equivalent per year

reinier de graaf, OMA’s partner in charge of the project, said ‘in our profession there is a lot of talk about sustainability, but it is generally only dealt with at the scale of buildings. this project allowed us to address the issue at an entirely different scale. in the end, the planning of a trans-national renewable energy grid has a much larger impact and more widely shared benefits.’   the project builds on two foundational AMO projects: the image of europe exhibitions, commissioned by the dutch EU presidency in 2004 (which included the proposal for a composite ‘barcode’ EU flag), and zeekracht, a plan made in 2008 for a ring of offshore wind farms in the north sea.

‘roadmap 2050’ will launch mid-day 13 april in brussels.

comparative chart between existing capacity (2010) and projected capacity (2050) of total transmission requirements assuming 80% RES & 20% DR overview of yearly energy balance, 80% RES pathway (TWh per week)

  • I think this is the most wonderfully compelling piece of planning work that I have seen in a long time. The concept is crystal clear.

    Beautifully presented too.

    Martin Duys says:
  • I guess you refer to AMO and not OMA in the first paragraph.
    Beutiful article!

    Jo says:
  • tell me.. how would it work if all our renewable sources of energy would be over in the next 50 years..??!.. wouldnt that bring the whole world to a complete stop anyways..?? if u need to take action, let it be 2020 not 2050..!

    yo says:

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