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


One year gone, but a long road ahead for EU energy union

Publication | November 16, 2015 at 12:50

On 18 November, European Commission vice-president for the energy union, Maroš Šefčovič, will for the first time take stock of the EU’s progress on a number of energy files under the energy union heading and inform the Council on what policy...

Renewable energy: untapped fuel for Mediterranean economies

Publication | November 10, 2015 at 11:46

Despite being the sunniest region in Europe and having huge renewable potential, many Mediterranean countries overlook renewable energy in their struggle with debt, a stagnating economy and unemployment.

Open letter to the Presidents of Council, Commission and Parliament on VW scandal

Publication | November 9, 2015 at 9:00

Several NGOs address the presidents of the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament to take action on the VW scandal.

Don't cap renewables and efficiency

Publication | June 16, 2015 at 14:08

"The European Council’s guidance from last year for 2030 targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency falls far short of the EU’s potentials. [...] Upcoming EU legislation must be used to meet the full potentials of renewables and efficiency."

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,...

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