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

 

Toxic coal: counting the health cost of weak EU air pollution limits

Publication | May 20, 2015 at 0:30

MEDIA BRIEFING - Draft EU air pollution standards for coal power plants could lead to 71,000 avoidable deaths between 2020 and 2029, due to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and other diseases associated with air pollution,...

Coal pollution limits leave EU trailing behind China

Publication | April 9, 2015 at 10:37

An EU expert body has released new draft coal plant pollution limits that are weaker than existing standards in China, the United States and Japan. The draft has only marginal changes compared to information released by Greenpeace in March,...

The power of lobbies

Publication | March 23, 2015 at 15:03

JOINT STATEMENT - updated from 17 December, 2014. Multi-sectoral civil society coalition calls for greater protections for consumers, journalists, whistleblowers, researchers and workers.

EU leaders likely to reinforce inconsistencies of energy union plan

Publication | March 18, 2015 at 11:58

MEDIA BRIEFING - On 19 and 20 March, European leaders meeting at a summit in Brussels are expected to endorse the European Commission’s plan for a European energy union [1]. The plan sets out the Commission’s proposed priorities for EU energy and...

Smoke & Mirrors - How Europe’s biggest polluters became their own regulators

Publication | March 5, 2015 at 8:30

The European Union is in the process of defining new standards limiting pollution from coal-fired power stations in the EU – a once-in-a-decade opportunity to clamp down on toxic emissions killing thousands of people every year.

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