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

 

Analysis of the EU standard on car emissions

Publication | December 1, 2008 at 0:00

The EU’s first standard on CO2 emissions from passenger cars has beed devised to never reach its stated objective of an average 130 grams CO2 per kilometre from new cars.

A week ahead of Poznan - where is Europe’s climate leadership?

Publication | November 25, 2008 at 0:00

In a week’s time Europe’s Environment Ministers will go to Poznan to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP14), a crucial milestone in negotiations for a global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2012. The EU’s energy...

CO2 from cars – the Council position on car emissions

Publication | November 18, 2008 at 0:00

If all the loopholes proposed in Council were adopted, the first-ever EU standard on CO2 emissions from passenger cars would never reach its stated objective of an average 130 grams CO2 per kilometre.

Nuclear power - Undermining climate protection

Publication | November 3, 2008 at 10:06

There is a clear scientific consensus that we must halve global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 or suffer changes to the global climate with catastrophic consequences. Avoiding the most severe impacts of climate change requires governments...

Global Energy [R]evolution (executive summary)

Publication | October 27, 2008 at 0:00

This is a 16 page summary of the report that provides a blueprint showing how to apply existing technologies to halve global CO2 emissions by 2050, whilst allowing for an increase in energy consumption. The report is divided into 10 regional...

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