Europe’s energy crossroads

Europe's energy policy is at a crossroads. Its grid infrastructure and many power stations are ageing and major investment decisions are being taken. Important issues are at stake; energy security, stability of supply, growing demand, the risks of nuclear power, employment opportunities for thousands and the urgent need to cut emissions and head off climate change. An answer delivering sustainable, cost-effective and secure energy is within reach: energy savings and renewable power.

An offshore windfarm in Danish waters. With the right power grid, Europe could efficiently channel large amounts of wind power south and solar power north to balance supply and demand.

An increasing number of European businesses, organisations, politicians, cities and regions subscribe to the vision of a 100 percent renewable energy supply by 2050. The Energy [R]evolution study demonstrates how Europe can achieve the necessary transition. However, its realisation relies on political decisions at European and member state level. Greenpeace is focussing on the following policy fields:

A 100 percent renewables pathway
The EU is developing an energy roadmap leading to 2050. Greenpeace urges decision-makers to strive for an efficient and fully renewable energy supply, one that would enable Europe to achieve its emissions reduction target of 80-95 percent by 2050, while supporting a flourishing economy and delivering affordable energy to its people.

A 21st century electricity system
Europe's electricity networks and market rules suit large, centralised fossil and nuclear power stations. The system is inefficient, inflexible and threatens the climate. To enable the cost-effective integration of increasing shares of renewable energy and to reap efficiency and cost benefits from market integration, Europe has to upgrade and smarten its electricity infrastructure and the way it is operated. As the EU is developing different policy initiatives and an upcoming infrastructure regulation, Greenpeace’s Battle of the Grids report demonstrates what infrastructure improvements are necessary.

Phasing out fossil and nuclear energy
Dirty and dangerous nuclear and fossil fuel power sources are not compatible with a safe, secure and climate-friendly energy system and should be phased out. This is why Greenpeace is working to make the nuclear industry reduce its risks and pay its own costs in full. The EU should draw lessons from the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, cease subsidies for nuclear energy and tailor its proposed nuclear waste directive to discourage the production of more radioactive waste while properly taking care of existing wastes.

Greenpeace opposes all fossil fuel subsidies, including those for experimental carbon capture and storage technology, a highly expensive distraction from investment into proven renewable technologies.

The latest updates

 

Why Europe should strengthen its 2020 climate target

Publication | February 17, 2011 at 16:50

A report outlining the host of benefits European countries could gain by moving to a 30% carbon reduction target. Published by the Climate Action Network Europe.

Renewables key to growth

Publication | February 2, 2011 at 0:00

A 2 page briefing to accompany Europe's first energy summit. It gives facts and figures on the global boom in renewables and the need for European investment away from nuclear towards renewables.

The economic effects of a more ambitious EU carbon target in Hungary

Publication | January 21, 2011 at 16:34

A report on the costs and benefits for Hungary of moving to a 30 percent carbon target by 2020.

Energynautics Grids study

Publication | January 18, 2011 at 0:00

Battle of the Grids

Publication | January 18, 2011 at 0:00

A 32 page report outlining how Europe could switch to 100 percent renewables power and phase out dirty energy.

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