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

 

EU 2050 energy roadmap – Greenpeace analysis

Publication | December 15, 2011 at 9:26

Our power stations and electricity networks are old and need upgrading. Replacing them will cost money, but what should European governments invest in? Clean energy or conventional fuels? The EU 2050 energy roadmap, which the Commission released...

Claims versus reality: How the European car lobby proved itself wrong

Publication | December 2, 2011 at 9:00

When policy makers discussed the EU’s first ever mandatory CO2 emission standard for cars in 2006–2008, individual car companies and their lobby group, ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association), lobbied hard to stop the...

Biodiesel tested: How Europe’s biofuels policy threatens the climate

Publication | July 19, 2011 at 0:01

Greenpeace tested diesel at filling stations across Europe in 2011, discovering worrying amounts of rainforest-destroying biofuels.

Sharing the costs and benefits of green technology in Europe

Publication | June 29, 2011 at 13:22

This report, based on the efforts of two leading environmental policy insitutes, shows that the cost-efficient potential for further emission reductions, towards a 30 percent climate target, is unevenly spread across the 27 EU Member States.

Polish presidency: make it green, not greenwash

Publication | June 28, 2011 at 15:22

Greenpeace's demands of the 2011 Polish EU presidency, focusing on fisheries, climate, energy and agriculture.

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